But Finnish authorities have scuppered Arla’s plans to unload cheese produced for the Russian market onto the Finns.
According to Finnish broadcaster YLE, the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira rejected Arla’s proposal to sell Russian-labelled cheese in Finland. Arla’s Finnish competitor Valio, however, was given approval for a similar move. Valio, according to YLE, is much more dependent on the Russian market share than Arla.
The director of Arla’s Finland unit, Reijo Kiskola, told YLE that the dairy company would accept the decision.
“We would have liked to introduce our so-called Putin cheese products, but it was not permitted,” Kiskola said.
“Production for the Russian market has been experiencing strong growth over the past years so it can definitely be felt when a market like Russia is suddenly shut completely down,” Arla’s senior vice president, Lars Dalsgaard, said at the time.