Ireland has the capacity and ‘know how’ to find alternative markets for its products that have been affected by the Russian ban, a Brussels source has said, ahead of tomorrow’s EU meeting where the effects of the Russian ban, and possible supports.

Dacian Ciolos, the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, has called the meeting of agricultural experts across Europe to discuss a the Russian ban on european food and look at possible support measures.

According to Brussels’ sources, Ireland has the capacity and know how through Bord Bia to find alternative markets, in comparison to other countries such as Lithuania. Also, the worst hit sectors are fresh fruit and vegetables, with peaches and nectaries already receiving support from the EU.

The majority of Ireland’s €235 million worth of exports to Russia last year was processed food. However, other countries such as Poland and Lithuania have been badly affected as they are heavily reliant on fresh food exports and Russia was a significant export market for them.

Commissioner Ciolos said he has already instructed my services to establish a Task Force to analyse the potential impacts sector by sector, and to assess how we can effectively provide meaningful support if and where this is needed.

Tomorrow, a meeting of senior agricultural experts from all EU Member States will take place to discuss the Russian ban and possible supports.

Last week, Russia announced a ban on all beef, pork, poultry, fish, dairy, cheese and vegetables from the EU and other countries including the US, Australia and Canada.