Main players of the food market of the Russian Federation have exchanged their opinions on the export perspectives of Russian produce. Top managers of the leading enterprises have answered the question, if the country needs a national brand.
Mr. Aleksandr Rudakov, the president of the agricultural holding Eco-kultura was one of the invited experts. The leader of the biggest Russian agricultural company has shared that the own cost of tomato produced, for instance in the greenhouse complexes in Stavropol region is lower than that in Turkey, the traditional tomato supplier to most European countries.
This means that the agricultural holding can successfully compete with the Turkish tomatoes on sales markets all over the world. Even though Turkey has a more advantageous geographical position in terms of logistics, this issue can be easily tackled. For instance in the nearest future, the company are planning to begin the construction of the greenhouse complex in Mineralnye Vody, where they will be exported from to the United Arab Emirates and other countries of the Persian Gulf.
The marketing experts of the company are already working on these territories and are having certain success. They have studied the local market and are aware that there are perfect opportunities for establishing permanent trade relations. Currently Dutch producers are the leading ones in Arabic counties markets but they will soon feel the competitive pressure of the Russian companies. According to Mr. Rudakov, Eco-kultura has perfect chances for overcoming the competitors as “we are angrier, more efficient, want to earn more and we have very serious plans and commitments”.
What concerns local markets, the consumers traditionally prefer own produce. Mr. Aleksandr Rudakov considers that the best way to gain this niche is by building small greenhouse complexes in several locations: in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and the countries of the Persian Gulf. Thus, the holding would become an international player and the consumers would not see the produce as an imported one.
Mr. Neil Sturrock, the president of PepsiCo in Russia, Ukraine and the CIS has mentioned that the Russian Federation needs the acknowledgement of the fact that “Russian” means “quality one” or “good price for the quality”. “The consumer need the goods that he or she wants... That is why we create “the right products”. The company create products from local ingredients catered to the tastes of the consumers in certain locations.
Mr. Stefan Duerr, the president of the EkoNiva company believes that the Russian brand is needed. With international companies, the quality of product and reputation is known to meet certain expectations but real local products such as cheese or tomatoes need to build their reputation abroad. “The Russian produce has different attitude to worldwide. For instance in China, the image of Russia is not any worse than that of Germany. Talking about China in particular, they love what Russia has, i.e. biological fresh green produce. This should be accounted for”. Mr. Stefan Duerr added that every company can develop this image individually but if certain measures were taken in this direction by the government, it would be beneficial for all parties.