October 16, 2014


Finland rejects cheese meant for Russia



Finland has rejected the sale of cheese that the Danish dairy giant Arla originally manufactured for Russia.


Arla failed to deliver the dairy products to Russia after the latter stopped food imports from the EU in retaliation for the economic sanctions the US and its European allies had imposed against Moscow for its role in the Ukrainian conflict. 


Arla's Finland unit had applied for permission to import the Russian-labeled cheese for distribution in Finland, but the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira rejected the application. 


The director of Arla's Finland unit, Reijo Kiskola, said they had no plan to appeal the decision. 


Kiskola said the EU should grant subsidies to Europe's dairies because they were adversely affected by the Russian sanctions.


"The import ban has caused such big losses that subsidies are in any case necessary," said Kiskola.


Arla is the world's sixth-largest dairy company with a share of around 20% in Finland's dairy market.