Russia has agreed to “open its doors” to Israeli poultry products, a development that could offset the impact of new European labeling guidelines and the pressure of the boycott campaign.
“I see great importance in expanding Israeli chicken exports to Russia,” said Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel. “This is another example, in light of the EU boycott, of the government’s activity to open exports to other countries.”
The decision followed an exhaustive process of veterinary checks that lasted four years. Russia will rely on the Veterinary Services at the Israeli Agriculture Ministry to ensure the health of the poultry.
Russia’s Veterinary Services has been working with its Israeli counterpart, conducting tests of food safety, hygiene, equipment and control systems that monitor the production process, the ministry said.
It was not clear what drove the Russian hesitation, considering that Israel already exports meat products to the United States, Canada, South Africa and 28 EU countries.
Currently, Europe is Israel’s leading customer for poultry, about 2,271 tons annually. Some 1,045 tons go to the U.S. and Canada and about 9 tons to South Africa, according to ministry figures.