Sergey Korshunov: Organic producers are focused on the domestic market
‘There will be development of the domestic market, it is quite large, and we will focus on it,’ said Sergey Korshunov, Head of the Association of Individuals and legal entities for the development of organic Agriculture "Union of Organic Agriculture", Russia. ‘I tend to think that China and the Middle East will become the main exporters of organic products. We will probably shift our focus there.
The head believes that the pandemic has become one of the key drivers of the development of organic agriculture abroad, including in the European Union, which is explained by the increased demand of the population for environmentally friendly products that help strengthen immunity. The "Green Agenda" was quickly adopted in the EU, where the share of organic products in the agro-industrial complex reached 25%.
‘We are a bit out of this trend,’ the expert believes. ‘Despite the fact that the federal law “On Organic agricultural production" came into force last year, all certification systems have been worked out, technologies have been established in one way or another, but in fact the number of producers of organic products is not growing as much as we would like. Especially not in the same way as it happens in other agricultural markets.
According to the speaker, this is due to the fact that exports has not always been a driver for Russia. Small-scale agricultural producers, and organic products are still the lot of large and medium-sized enterprises, are aimed at the domestic market. The understanding of the value of this product is still being formed on this market.
‘In Russia, there is no understanding of what the peculiarity of this type of agricultural production is,’ the head believes. ‘The pandemic also played a role, which negatively affected the purchasing power of the population. We try to educate our citizens somehow.
The speaker said that in fact, producers of organic products did not see a drop in sales in the context of the pandemic. On the contrary, there is growth. However, at the same time, the manager does not see an active transition of farmers to the production of organic products. He said that the export of "organic" mainly supplies feed raw materials – oilseeds and a little grain. The main crops are soy, rapeseed, oilseed flax, wheat, barley, legumes – peas and chickpeas.
‘In fact, all that we export is forage crops,’ the expert specified. ‘At the same time, our main market is the European Union. I do not know what will happen tomorrow. Taking into account all the political changes, I am not 100% sure that the EU market will be open for us next season.