Excessive GMO levels in fish feeds: Russia lifts import ban imposed on Finnish firm

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages
© GettyImages
Russia reopened the market to Finnish fish feed supplier, Raisioaqua, part of the Raisio group, last week - on December 6.

A ban on the Raisioaqua's feeds had been in place since August 4 2018 when analysis undertaken by the Russian border authorities showed genetically modified (GM) soybean material, at unapproved concentrations, in some products made and delivered by Raisioaqua, the only Finnish supplier of aqua feeds to Russia, between June 11 and July 10 2018.

The Russian officials had detected GM material at levels exceeding the limit set in both EU and Russian labelling legislation, reported Raisio.

Only a percentage of its truckloads were impacted, and most of them were in order, said the company.

However, due to the exceeded GMO values, the Russian authorities interrupted the export of fish feeds by Raisioaqua.

Raisio avoids GM soy in its feeds and foods 

Pekka Kuusniemi, president and CEO, Raisio said the group does not use GM soy in its feeds or foods, as per policy.

A Finnish supplier it used was responsible for the ensuring the product was compliant with the contractual agreement.

The company has now severed ties with the supplier and is seeking reparation for lost earnings, he told us.

”Raisio continues to negotiate with the supplier on the compensatory damages.”

Financial hit

Northwest Russia is the largest market for Raisioaqua’s fish feeds, noted the company.

Raisioaqua said it has been in close contact with its customers during the export ban and will immediately resume negotiations to finalize supply contracts.

In terms of the financial hit that the ban had  the CEO said EBIT for Raisio’s Q3 was down from the comparison period, citing particular impact of the interrupted export of Raisioaqua’s fish feeds to Russia. The fish feed division’s EBIT decreased by €1.8m and net sales by €7.6m from the comparison period, according to the company's Q3 financial statement, issued last month.

Divestment of cattle feed business finalized

Meanwhile, in early November, Lantmännen reported its takeover of Raisioagro – Raisio’s cattle feed business – was complete.

It said the acquisition has been investigated by the relevant competition authorities and was approved, which means Raisioagro is now a part of its group.

An agricultural cooperative with grain at the heart of its operations, and owned by 25,000 Swedish farmers, Lantmännen said the move would strengthen its presence as a leading player in agribusiness in Finland.

The deal included two feed factories and sales of inputs for plant cultivation. Raisioagro had sales of with sales €74m in 2017 with a market share of 35%.

Lantmännen added that it would continue to operate the Raisioagro business in its current form. 

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