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Turkey Expects to Export to Russia

by 5m Editor
3 October 2008, at 8:55a.m.

TURKEY - The Russian Ministry of Agriculture will send inspectors to facilities in Turkey to decide if Russia will import Turkish poultry products, giving hope to the ailing Turkish poultry sector.

Todays Zaman reports that Turkish poultry producers are hopeful that the inspectors, who will visit 12 facilities next month, will approve of the imports.

Aegean Livestock and Fishery Exporters' Union President Sinan Kiziltan told the newspaper that Russia recently stopped buying poultry products from the US, its main supplier, due to the Georgian conflict, providing an opportunity for Turkish poultry exporters.

Mr Kiziltan asserted that the Turkish poultry sector will recover if Russia agrees to import.

Turkish poultry exporters have long been suffering due to sanctions imposed by the European Union. Turkey ceased red meat imports from EU following the emergence of mad cow disease, and in return, the EU stopped buying all meat and milk products from Turkey. Turkish exporters say the EU has already inspected and approved the 12 facilities the Russians are to inspect. The EU sanctions on Turkish poultry are still in effect and will be lifted only if Turkey agrees to import red meat from the EU. Turkish exporters complain that this is unfair.

Turkey's poultry production amounts to 1 million tons annually, 52,000 tons of which are exported. Turkey mainly exports poultry products to the Turkic republics, the Balkan states and the Middle East.

Russia imports 1,200,000 tons of poultry each year, a fact that has not escaped the attention of Turkish poultry exporters and the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture. The ministry, seeing the potential for exports to the country, suggested last month that their Russian counterparts send inspectors to facilities in Turkey.