According to the National Organic Union of Russia, the volume of the Russian market for organic products is €160 million. And 80% of this volume comes from imports.
“The volume of the Russian market is also small and amounts to about €160 million. At the same time, Russia itself produces only slightly more than 20% of the organic products it consumes, and 80% is import. Very few organic products are imported from the EEU countries to Russia, less than 1% of the import volume,” said NOS Executive Director Oleg Mironenko at the round table discussion themed ‘Prospects for the Formation of a Unified Organic Market of the EEU: Developing Coordinated Regulatory Approaches’.
The Russian market of organic products is growing annually by about 10-15%. At the moment, Russia is actively involved in the creation of an interstate standard for all EAEU countries.
“This standard was approved and put into effect on January 1, 2018 and we had a hope that other countries will join this intergovernmental standard. Unfortunately, today we state that only Kyrgyzstan and Russia have introduced this standard in their capacity as national standards, while other countries are still in the waiting period, ” added Mironenko.
On 29 May 2018, a press conference took place in the Russian Federation, dedicated to the 5-year anniversary of the National Organic Union. Participants discussed the latest developments of organic products in Russia and expressed their expectations of the draft Federal Law on “Organic Products, Production and Marketing”. However, some problematic issues were raised as well. The Organic Union on 23 and 24 June will hold another conference on organic agriculture in Suzdal.
In just ten years (2005-2015), the area of organic agricultural land in Russia has increased from 6,900 to 385,140 hectares, which amounts to 0.2% of the total agricultural land in the country. But not all certified organic land is under cultivation, which is partly due to the fact that certification takes about three years and farmers do not start using the land until they can produce and sell certified organic products.
Most organic farms in Russia are small and medium of size (50-1,500 hectares), while the biggest share of the organic production is done by large holding companies such as Agrivolga, Arivera and Savinskaya Niva. More than 60 Russian organic producers have international organic certificates from the European Union and of the National Organic Program of the US.
In the autumn session, the Russian State Duma will discuss a bill on the production of organic products as it was reported by Shkolkina Nadezhda, deputy chairman of the Duma Committee on Agriculture, commenting on the approval of the Federal Agency for Technical Regulation and Metrology of the Government Standard (or National Standard) R56508-2015 “Organic production. Rules of production, storage, transport. ”
“One of the main tasks of the Government Standard is the establishment of common rules for the production and turnover of organic products throughout the Russian Federation. Correspondence of Russian production and certification of organic products to the international practice will create conditions for fair competition of domestic organic products with imported products, as well as the access of Russian organic products to foreign markets “, – said Shkolkina.
The Government Standard defines terms: “labeling”, “organic”, “organic production”, “processing”, “products produced from GMOs”, etc. The Standard will become effective from January 1, 2016.