5000 European Cows get a Passport to Siberia to Ease Milk Prices


Russia’s ban on European Union cheese imports has driven up milk prices so much that French yogurt maker Danone is transporting almost 5,000 cows to a farm in Siberia to ensure it has an affordable supply.

Russian Cheese makers are making more Cheese to replace EU imports

Russia’s ban on European Union cheese imports has driven up milk prices in Russia by so much that French yogurt maker Danone is transporting almost 5,000 cows to a farm in Siberia to ensure it has an affordable supply.

The Holstein cows are traveling as many as 2,800 miles (4,500 kilometers) in trucks from the Netherlands and Germany, boosting the herd on a farm near the city of Tyumen, according to Charlie Cappetti, head of Danone’s Russian unit. That should protect the company from the increase in raw milk prices, which are up 14 percent this year, he said.

“Milk prices have been going up steadily,” Cappetti said in an interview in Moscow. “That puts products such as yogurt under pressure.”

Russian Cheese Makers are Making more Cheese to Replace EU Imports

While the French dairy company doesn’t normally invest in agriculture, it made an exception for Russia. After Russia’s ban on dairy imports took hold in 2014, demand for milk surged as local cheesemakers rushed to replace French camembert and Italian pecorino. That has exacerbated the inflationary effects of the ruble’s weakness.

Danone invested in the 60-hectare (150-acre) farm with local producer Damate, Cappetti said. The first cows started to provide milk for Danone in May, and a final shipment of cattle is due to arrive in September.

“We hope that Russian milk inflation will slow down next year,” the executive said. The difference between supply and demand is narrowing as new milk is coming to the market, including from the Siberian farm.

While easing milk inflation may help the Russian dairy market rebound in volume terms, Danone isn’t expecting a fast economic recovery in the country, according to Cappetti. Sales in Russia have been growing in line with inflation in the first half and should rise in 2018, he said.


12 thoughts on “5000 European Cows get a Passport to Siberia to Ease Milk Prices

  1. A very long journey. Not so pleasant for the cows, I suppose. And maybe not the best news for Russian dairy farmers. But many consumers will be delighted, and the people who work for the Danone farm of course. Thanks for the information.

      1. Actually, all this trade doesn’t help local industries. So it’s nice to hear that the locals are benefiting from this.

  2. I hope that there will be more Russian style cheese made and not just French style cheese. Nothing whatsoever wrong with French cheese but if I were ever lucky enough to visit Russia, I would be disappointed to find no local foods. And I love** cheese. It might be almost the only local food I’d enjoy!
    But here’s something funny. As I was starting to read the blog, I scrolled down a little so about half of the second pic was visible – at first glance, the cow’s face initially looked like two brown guinea-pigs!

    1. Haha, didn’t tell you Russia is thinking about selling Guinea pig milk did I. Just kidding. Of course, I’ve found some great cheeses in our markets like a great cheese with walnuts in it. Both the wife and I loved it with our sparkling wine from the Caucasus. Think you’d be amazed at what you will find in our local markets.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s