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Padar: situation may become critical

13. August 2014 - 15:20
Meeting with Estonian food sector
„All possibilities must be kept alive – we must look for new alternative markets and make sure that agricultural producers can manage critical situation,“ minister Padar said.

At the extraordinary meeting with the food sector representatives held on 12 August 2014, Minister of Agriculture Ivari Padar and Minister of Foreign Trade and Entrepreneurship Anne Sulling discussed the current situation of Estonian agricultural producers and food industry as well as the possibilities of assistance to be provided by the state to help undertakings to survive the sanctions imposed by Russia.  

It was found that the situation of primary producers can quickly become critical. 

„It is most important to help undertakings to keep the impact of Russian sanctions at minimum level and to adapt to the new situation. Those primary producers who have invested in production are the first to be rescued from the fire,“ Minister of Agriculture Ivari Padar said. „The current situation clearly indicates how important it is to process primary products locally and to find alternative markets for finished products.“
Minister of Foreign Trade and Entrepreneurship Anne Sulling declared that the state will help undertakings to establish direct contacts necessary for finding new target markets, using the network of Estonian foreign representations and honorary consuls. „To try to find new markets, important information can be obtained from producers as they know best where they are able and wish to go with their products. Enterprise Estonia can support producers to organise trips to make new contacts and offer expert services,“ Sulling said.
Efforts to find new markets for food products can also be linked with other sectors. „In long-term perspective, it is in the interest of Estonian economy to find alternatives to Russian market,“ minister Sulling noted.
To handle the sanctions, actions taken will be coordinated with undertakings. At the meeting, sector support measures, incl. the EU common possibilities, search for alternative markets and loan guarantees, were discussed. „All possibilities must be kept alive – we must look for new alternative markets and make sure that agricultural producers can manage critical situation,“ minister Padar said.  
At the press conference that followed the meeting, both ministers pointed out that in the current security situation in Europe, solidarity with local food producers must be shown – solutions will be searched by the state and undertakings and each person can help, consuming local food. 
The meeting was attended by the representatives of Estonian Food Industry Association, Estonian Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce, Central Union of Estonian Farmers, Estonian Farmers’ Central Union, Estonian Association of Fishery, Estonian Horticultural Association, Estonian Dairy Association, Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and several enterprises. 
On August 7th, Dmitri Medvedev, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, announced full embargo on beef and pork, fruit and vegetables, poultry, fish, cheese, milk and dairy products from the European Union, USA, Australia, Canada and Norway.  

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