World Cup to cause meat supply disruption

By Vladislav Vorotnikov

- Last updated on GMT

Transportation restrictions could leave retail chains without meat
Transportation restrictions could leave retail chains without meat
Strict security measures are set to be introduced by the Russian authorities for the FIFA World Cup, which are likely to bring instability to the domestic meat market.

The regional authorities have been instructed to prohibit the transport of all chemical, biological, toxic, radioactive and explosive substances within a radius of 100km of the football stadiums and other relevant sports infrastructure from 25 May to 25 July.

The authorities have not specified yet how exactly the security measures would be implemented, and what goods it would affect.

However, there are strong concerns on the market that the transportation restrictions could leave retail chains without meat, as well as meat processing plants without raw materials.

The Russian Association of Retailing Companies, the National Meat Association (NMA) of Russia and several other food industry organisations filed an appeal to the authorities in the 11 host regions, asking them to specify the planned transportation restrictions.

Sergey Yushin, chairman of the NMA, told GlobalMeatNews​ that to assess the impact of these restrictions on the meat market in different cities, a thorough study should be carried out, including taking into account the locations of the key trade shopping facility in these cities.

“NMA is confident that the regional authorities will make a detailed forecast on the consequences of the introduced restrictions and will avoid the serious inconvenience for the citizens and losses for the business,”​ Yushin said. “One way or another, meat will not disappear from the shops.”

There are chances, however, that the trade restrictions could cause a knock-on effect, with problems firstly hitting meat producers then aggravating through the supply chain, a source in the Russian retail industry told local newspaper Kommersant​.

It was a similar situation during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, when there were incidents of some suppliers reportedly having to break the security regulations, trying to avoid losses from food spoilage, according to Kommersant​.

In that case, only one city was involved, whereas now the transport restrictions would affect 11 regions, the major cities of Moscow and St Petersburg and at least one federal highway.

A spokesperson for a Russian meat producer who wished to not be named told GlobalMeatNews​ that the meat industry was concerned over the lack of transparency of the regional authorities as to when and how the transport restrictions were going to start.

“Businesses located in the major meat-producing regions, like, for example, Belgorod Oblast, fear that the security measures will catch them by surprise and not enough time will be left to adjust supply schemes,”​ the source said.

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