MINSK, 19 January (BelTA) – The Belarusian market is saturated with food and farm products, Belarusian First Deputy Agriculture and Food Minister Igor Brylo told the media in Minsk on 19 January, BelTA has learned.
On 1 January, in response to the sanctions, Belarus imposed a food embargo on the states that had taken the unfriendly steps against Belarus. The list of embargoed goods include pigs, beef, pork, a number of byproducts, salted meat, meat in brine, dried or smoked meat, meatmeal tankage, milk and dairy products (with some exceptions), vegetables other than those intended for planting, fruits and nuts, pork fat and poultry fat, cattle, sheep or goat fat, lard stearin and other animal oils, sausages and similar products, confectionery, salt and other goods.
When asked whether the Belarusian market will face a shortage of products, Igor Brylo replied: "We are fully stocked with raw materials, I would even say overstocked with them. Today we produce more than 400 types of hard and semi-hard cheeses. We produce about 250,000 tonnes of such cheese per year. Last year Belarus imported 1,400 tonnes of cheese. So the figures are not even comparable. The market is not missing anything. The soft cheese line-up has also increased.”
He also touched on the import substitution of meat products. “Probably most questions have been about jamon and similar products. Last year we imported as little as 20 tonnes of them. Meanwhile the local output was about 480 tonnes. This means the market is fully saturated with domestically-made meat products of high quality,” the first deputy minister said.
“Belarus makes more than 1,500 types of dairy products and 1,000 types of meat products. They increase the lineup of products every year,” the representative of the Agriculture and Food Ministry said.
The Trade Dialogue in Minsk has brought together domestic food producers, retail and HoReCa (Hotel, Restaurant, Catering). The event has been organized by the Ministry of Antimony Regulation and Trade (MART) and the Product.BY magazine. The main theme is import substitution. The program of the event includes presentations and tastings of local cheeses and meat delicacies. The event will provide a good opportunity for negotiations between producers and retail and HoReCa. A roundtable featuring representatives of the MART and the Agriculture and Food Ministry will discuss the progress in import substitution.
“The main goal is to introduce the hospitality business that used imported raw materials to domestic cheeses and meat products and to showcase that Belarus produces a great lineup of foods products,” Igor Brylo said.