As the boycott on EU products continues, Israel's agriculture ministry has said that Russia has agreed to imports of Israeli poultry products following four years of negotiations.
Minister of Agriculture, Uri Ariel, said: "I see great importance in expanding exports of Israeli poultry to Russia. It expands and deepens the agricultural cooperation between the two countries, thereby strengthening the Israeli economy. This is yet another example of government action to open exports to other countries in light of the EU boycott.”
After a lengthy four year period of testing procedures, Russia has approved the import of poultry products under the supervision of the Veterinary Services of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Israel. Russia now joins many other Western countries to which Israel is authorised to export animal products, including the US, Canada, South Africa and the 28 countries of the European Union.
The Russian Veterinary Services have been evaluating their Israeli counterparts over the past four years.
As a part of the tests, the Russian Veterinary Services examined the Ministry of Agriculture’s supervision process over the production of chicken products, and its compliance with Russian export requirements. Food safety and hygiene, facilities and equipment, and production control systems were some of the aspects most closely scrutinised.
Like Israel, Russia sees the advantages of imports which at the same time pose a potential risk of introducing animal diseases, which could also potentially be harmful to humans, into their country. Therefore, imports of such products involve a testing process to map the risks associated with importing. The tests examine aspects of animal diseases as well as those of public health in the country of origin.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Israel annually exports 2,271 tons of processed poultry products to Europe, 1,045 tons to the United States and Canada, and 9 tons to South Africa.
Dr Shlomo Garazi, Chief Import-Export Veterinarian in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Veterinary Services commented: "Russia's decision to approve the import of Israeli products is a badge of honour for our local supervision, proving once again the quality of the meticulous tests performed daily by our Ministry personnel.
"Foreign trade is very important, both for Israel’s economic development as well as for its worldwide reputation, given the quality of its products."