The Russian president after taking a whiff of 'Putin cheese' (just kidding, Vladimir, lighten up). Photo: Marko Djurica/Scanpix
Danish dairy giant Arla thought it had found a solution to the negative impact of Russia’s ban on Western goods: send it to Finland.
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.
Arla announced in August that it was cutting 79 jobs as a direct result of the Russian ban on Western food and agriculture products. The company has ten dairies in Denmark that produce goods for Russia.
“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.