Belarus’ cheese export is projected to reach $1 billion in 2020, Aleksei Bogdanov, Head of the Main Department for Foreign Economic Activities of the Belarusian Agriculture and Food Ministry, announced.
According to him, Belarusian cheese makers have been working hard to make their products recognizable for many years.
“In 2018 we exported over 170,000 tons of cheese, increasing it by 62% over five years,” he said.
“I believe that we will achieve $1 billion in cheese export in 2020,” he added.
All Belarusian cheese makers are export-oriented, Aleksei Bogdanov noted. They try to introduce new types of certification in order to meet international standards and expand into various markets. Belarus exports cheeses to more than 20 countries, mostly post-Soviet states.
“We are working to diversify export. We export cheeses to the US, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and China. These are promising markets and we will try to boost export to these countries,” Aleksei Bogdanov said.
He stressed that this had been made possible thanks to the modernization of processing plants and farms, which supplied raw materials. Cheese making traditions, which developed for many years in various periods of the country’s history, also contribute to the success of Belarusian cheeses.
“We specifically focus on new products. In January-July we exported 500,000 tons of mozzarella, which was twice as much as within the same period of last year,” Aleksei Bogdanov said.
Belarus is among the top five exporters of dairy products. For example, it ranks third in the global list of exporters in terms of butter export, and fifth in terms of skim milk powder export. Belarus is also the fourth largest exporter of cheeses and quark after the European Union, New Zealand, and the US. According to Aleksei Bogdanov, export of meat and dairy products and other Belarusian agricultural and food products helps improve the Belarusian image abroad.
“I believe that Belarus’ image is associated with high-quality, safe and tasty products,” he noted.
Aleksei Bogdanov also spoke about plans to come onto new markets with other food products. For example, Belarus intends to certify beef for the Turkish market and may deliver first shipments to Turkey in late 2019. It also plans to resume beef export to Iran after a seven-year break.
“Our delegation has recently been to Vietnam because we aim to certify meat and dairy products for export to this country. At present, we supply these products via free economic zones. We are also working to start exporting beet pulp to China and are completing certification of dairy baby food,” Aleksei Bogdanov added. (BelTA/Business World Magazine)