Russia here we come


Geopolitics and fresh produce can be strange bedfellows at time. The EU slapped a few selective sanctions on Russia’s Vladimir Putin and his merry band of oligarchs and what did Putin do in return?  He prohibited the import of a range of goods, including fresh produce, from countries which he no longer considered to be friendly towards Russia. Australia appears to have earned Mr Putin’s displeasure but little ol’ New Zealand is clearly not on his radius, so our fresh food exporters are scrambling to see how the Ukrainian crisis can be turned into a windfall for our agri-exports. Cheese got a mention in dispatches earlier and now New Zealand cherry growers seem to have fixed their eyes firmly on Mother Russia.

In this informative article, the cherry industry’s two principal challenges are highlighted –  these being rain and air transport capacity. So it might be a little while yet before we are supplying Russia with cherries by the plane load. But the messaeg is very clear. Our Asian markets represent enormous growth potential already, temporary windows of opportunity can arise when regular supply partners have a falling out, but we do need to get on top of our quality and logistic issues in order to truly take advantage of any opportunity that may present itself.

Just as well Russia can pay with the folding stuff these days.  We wouldn’t really want to start exchanging food for Ladas again…