Russia: Speculation mounts over more bans on Turkish fruit
While a large swathe of Turkish fruits and vegetables have been banned in the Russian market since January this year, some products have still been given the green light.
But the doors appear to be closing one by one. The initial ban was related to a military altercation in late 2015, but now the country's food safety watchdog is giving phytosanitary reasons for blocking new produce items.
Just yesterday a temporary ban was announced on Turkish lettuce due to concerns over flower thrips.
Shortly after, Interfax is reporting the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) deputy head Yulia Shvabauskene said a ban on all Turkish fruits and vegetables from next week was under consideration.
Shvabauskene told Interfax the reason for the move was that more Turkish products in need of quarantine had been intercepted, but highlighted the new restriction would only apply to lemons, grapefruit and squash.
Earlier this year the agency added peppers, pomegranates and eggplants to the ban, but it is still unclear what any new measures would mean for other products that have still been allowed.
For example, last month a representative of Turkish company Alara told www.freshfruitportal.com exports of black figs and cherries were still permitted.
Today, Alara’s quality systems manager, Hakan Gazi said he was yet to hear news from the Turkish Government to confirm Russia would be banning more items.
"Our managing director is also the president of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Importers Union in Bursa and the union is working with the Ministry of Agriculture," Gazi said.
"The thing is if Russia bans fresh fruit and vegetables from Turkey, it’s going to affect our market position in Europe because the exporters to Russia will turn their face to Europe so it’s going to affect us in this way."