Battle of the tomatoes
The Rosselkhoznadzor is gradually lifting restrictions on the import of tomatoes from Azerbaijan and other countries whose products were previously found to have dangerous viruses. Starting from December 24, 2020, the Ministry opened tomato supplies from 12 Azerbaijani enterprises.
According to Deputy Head of Rosselkhoznadzor Anton Karmazin, these enterprises are located in areas where tomato moth virus was not detected in 2020. Because of this virus Rosselkhoznadzor banned import of Azerbaijani tomatoes from December 10. The ban was lifted for 12 enterprises under the guarantees of the Food Safety Agency of Azerbaijan. From December 17, the agency also allowed supplies to five other enterprises of the country.
Due to viruses Rosselkhoznadzor has also banned imports of tomatoes from several regions of Uzbekistan, Turkey and Armenia since late November. But in mid-December the ban was partially lifted - seven Uzbek enterprises confirmed the safety of their products.
Azerbaijan's share in the total volume of tomato supplies to Russia is about 30%. But Russian consumers will not notice their absence in shops now. And they should not fear a shortage of tomatoes, said Tamara Reshetnikova, director general of Growth Technology. According to her, the bans are short-term and concern only individual companies or regions. Besides, in Azerbaijan tomatoes are grown either in open ground or in spring greenhouses. And in December and January they are almost not supplied to Russia as it is. At the same time such actions of Rosselkhoznadzor will be a lesson for the companies that do not meet sanitary requirements. After all, whole plantations of tomatoes can die because of pepin mosaic or tomato moth viruses.
Author of the article: Tatiana Karabut
The full text of the article can be found in Rossiyskaya Gazeta №292 of 24.12.2020