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According to the market participants interviewed by TASS, this will be possible due to the support of the state and stable demand for domestic product, as in the case of cheese, the production of which in Russia has been successfully established after the introduction of sanctions in 2014. Currently, a number of ingredients for breast milk substitutes are already available in Russia, a number of large companies are considering projects for the production of infant formula.

On July 23, the Federation Council adopted a resolution requesting the government of the Russian Federation to develop and implement a set of measures aimed at ensuring 80% of the demand for specialized products for baby food due to domestic production. The document notes that currently more than 90% of dry adapted milk mixtures and individual ingredients for their production are imported, "which poses significant risks to food security of the country".

The most deficient product of baby food of domestic production is a breast milk substitute for children under the age of six months, most of the ingredients for its production, including whey powder, are now imported. However, even today they are produced by Russian manufacturers, told General Director of JSC "Korenovsky milk canning plant" (Krasnodar region) Igor Moskovets to TASS.

"At least two manufacturers in Krasnodar region make such ingredients. It is Bryukhovetskiy milk plant: raw materials are suppled by three plants from Leningrad and Pavlovsk districts and from Briukhovetsk. The second major producer – "Syry Kubani" — is a new plant with drying technology. Now they have already achieved the necessary quality and made the first deliveries for Russian companies that produce baby food. We, in turn, produce cottage cheese, and already send whey to the company "Syry Kubani", where it is dried and processed", — said Moskovets to TASS.

According to the Ministry of agriculture and processing industry of Krasnodar region, regional producers are currently suppliers of the company "Infaprim" — the only Russian producer of breast milk substitute.

"Infaprim" cooperates with "Gulkevichsky starch plant", which after renovation began to produce maltodextrin (derivative of starch used as a food additive — note by TASS), and of higher quality than imported ones. It also cooperates with the plant "Syry Kubani", which supplies milk demineralized whey D-90. This product is the basis of breast milk substitute", — explained the Ministry to TASS.

According to the Vice-Governor of Krasnodar region Andrey Korobka, today in the region there are enough processing enterprises capable of producing ingredients for baby food.

"To improve the quality of products, it may be necessary to coordinate the work of production, to build new technological chains. Kuban is definitely ready to join this work, the region is able to create its own range of all necessary products, including the production of such unique products", — said Korobka to TASS.

The market participants interviewed by TASS point to the difficulties in creating production sites for baby food — high requirements for the quality of raw materials and organization of production. According to Deputy Director of JSC "Dairy plant "Stavropolsky" Lyudmila Trufanova, not all suppliers of raw materials are ready to fulfill these conditions.

"Milk for baby food — there are very strict requirements to it. The plant cannot receive it [from suppliers] as all milk, mix and let it go for processing for baby food. It is very different by microbiological and physical-chemical characteristics from the milk products for general consumption. I think one of the reasons [lack of infant formula of Russian manufacturers] is that the quality of raw materials does not meet the requirements for baby food", — said Trufanova to TASS. She added that in the 1970s, the company had a baby food shop — sterilized milk and cream were produced in bottles of 200 grams, raw materials for these products were supplied by a specially selected supplier.  

According to Denis Afanasyev, director on marketing and development of the large Rostov dairy producer "Bely medved’", special requirements for the production of baby food are imposed not only on the quality of raw materials, but also on the organization of the production process. "These are separate milk trucks, separate receiving unit for milk and so on", he explained.

Nevertheless, milk producers are ready to consider the possibility of producing products for baby food with the support of the state, as well as the demand for their products.

"The areas of our new plant, which we have recently launched, allow us to accomodate such capacities. But such a project involves quite large financial costs, which means that we must immediately talk about the wide market, which is now occupied mainly by foreign monopolists. If the legislator thought about it, it's great. If there are specific introductory measures, we will consider them", — said the representative of the company "Bely medved’".

Manufacturers believe that in the case of the creation of appropriate conditions in Russia it is really possible to turn the tide with the production of infant formula, despite the overwhelming advantage of foreign components and products. Thus, according to the commercial director of the Krasnogvardeysky dairy plant (one of the leading producers of Adygei cheese in Adygei) Ruslan Teshev, domestic producers will be able to replace the import of infant formula, as, for example, they provided the country with domestic cheese after the ban on the import of a number of European products five years ago.

"When the cheese market was closed for imports, everyone shouted that it was impossible that there was not enough milk in Russia. The disaster did not happen. There is no shortage of milk; the Russian dairy market has provided the country's food supply. And with baby food will be the same", — explained Teshev to TASS, adding that the company's management intends to study the topic of baby food production.

He stressed that import substitution in the production of baby food in the future will have a positive impact on the cost of these products. "Due to the achievement of a certain turnover by the leading manufacturers of baby food, they can reduce the cost, this is the law. Russian companies will be able to establish all this and provide the market with a quality product under the condition that the product is in demand", the responder said.

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