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Indian apple sector wary of Iranian imports

Indian apple sector wary of Iranian imports Hill State Horticulture Forum © Greater Kashmir

These Indian farmers formed the Hill State Horticulture Forum. © Greater Kashmir


Apple growers of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand have grouped together to fight the alleged smuggling of Iranian apple into Indian markets. These farmers have formed the Hill State Horticulture Forum to raise their concerns. The president of the Fruits, Vegetables and Flowers Growers Association of Himachal Pradesh, Harish Chauhan, alleges that Iranian apples are being brought into India through Afghanistan without paying the required import duties. “We have decided to come on a platform to fight this threat. Along with the apple growers, small CA store owners, arhtiyas and other stakeholders in the apple business, too, will be roped in. We will raise the matter with the Central Government as well as our state governments,” said Chauhan.

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Iran has been gaining its position in Russia as an important exporter of sweet pepper

Iran has been gaining its position in Russia as an important exporter of sweet pepper
Photo: Z&Y Fruit Company

Israel remains the largest capsicum exporter to Russia. Last year, it supplied 48,300 tons. Moreover, the export value has grown up to 75,400 euro, comparing to 62,600 euro in 2016, in spite of a slight decrease of the volume (50,000 tons in 2016). For many years, Russia has remained by far the largest partner for Israel; thus, in terms of value, its share of global capsicum export has increased from 54% in 2016 to 72% in 2019.

China and Turkey are other large exporters of capsicum; and one more player appeared at Russian market whose presence is not to be ignored. “Iran has become one of the most significant competitor of Israel in the European part of Russia,” says Elnur Mehdiev, purchase manager of Z&Y Company (St. Petersburg). “Iranian growers have improved quality of their pepper; they more flexible and offer better price.” Besides, shipping from Israel is done through Black see, and the containers are often delayed due to weather condition; Iran, on the contrary, sends its produce by trucks thus making the delivery time faster and more predictable.

Z&Y, one of the largest Russian wholesale traders, has been importing fruit and vegetables since 1996. The company imports more than 200,000 of produce a year, cooperating with some 200 suppliers from all over the world. The company owns three cold stores in St. Petersburg and  three cold stores at Moscow’s Foodcity wholesale market.

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Commissioner Hogan continues diplomatic offensive in Saudi Arabia and Iran


Agriculture and rural development Commissioner Phil Hogan will continue his series of diplomatic offensives on behalf of European food and drink products with visits to Saudi Arabia and Iran on 7-12 November 2017. As usual, Commissioner Hogan will be accompanied by a delegation of senior representatives from European food and drink companies and producer organisations.

The aim of the visit is to enhance cooperation between the EU, Saudi Arabia and Iran in the field of agriculture and rural development, in particular with a view to further developing bilateral trade in agri-food products between the EU and the two Middle Eastern countries.

Saudi Arabia is already the EU’s sixth biggest export market for agri-food products, with sales there of €4.6 billion in 2016. As a net food importer and with a growing population of young people and rising disposable incomes, Saudi Arabia has the potential to become an increasingly important market for European agri-food producers.

There is little established trade in agri-food products between the EU and Iran, but bilateral exchanges have increased significantly in the past year following the so-called nuclear deal with Iran that has seen the country emerge from the diplomatic wilderness and back onto the world stage. It is now an aspiring WTO member and with a growing economy and a population of 80 million, the potential for increasing trade in EU agri-food products is significant.

The business delegation of senior figures from the EU agri-food sector that will accompany Commissioner Hogan on his visits will consist of representatives from the sectors with the most significant potential for trade and cooperation with Saudi Arabia and Iran.

For Saudi Arabia, this includes poultry and beef meat, dairy, fresh & frozen fruit and vegetables, olive oil, bakery, confectionery and chocolate products, cereals for human use and fodder/cereals for animal use, among others.

For Iran, the key sectors are dairy, meat (notably beef and sheep meat), olive oil, cereals and oilseeds, food and feed additives, and genetic materials (both of plant and animal origin). Other sectors such as fruit and vegetables or confectionery are also considered potentially interesting for trade with Iran.

Members of the business delegation will have their own business-to-business programme during the visit to Saudi Arabia and Iran, including business forums with local operators in Riyadh and Tehran. These meetings will offer the European businesses the chance to explore the possibilities and requirements for doing business in Saudi Arabia and Iran, as well as an opportunity to make direct business contacts with local companies.

The draft programmes of the business delegation activities are available here for Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Businesses or organisations wishing to apply to join the business delegation can do so here before 10 July 2017. Those with experience in the above sectors, and/or with experience or interest in halal goods will be prioritised.