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It was proposed to sell agricultural products with the help of intermediary aggregators – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Date: April 12, 2024 Time: 20:13:56

The bill provides a definition of agricultural products, which does not yet exist. Today, almost any producer can claim that their chicken was raised on a local farm when in fact it comes from a large poultry plant located on the other side of the country. To prevent the buyer from being deceived, the authors of the amendments propose to refer to agricultural products only as agricultural products from micro and small businesses, as well as self-employed workers with personal subsidiary plots. If desired, manufacturers may indicate on the product the region where it was created.

The Northwestern Federal District, due to its geographical location, is not one of the most agricultural areas of the country. However, according to the latest agricultural microcensus, 878 small agricultural businesses and 2,629 peasant farms operate in the northwest. The leaders in number are the Leningrad, Kaliningrad and Vologda regions. In the polar regions and in the suburbs of St. Petersburg, agriculture is not so developed.

Sales are one of the main problems for small agricultural businesses. Attempts to break into federal retail chains have not resulted in the permanent presence of agricultural products on the shelves. To buy them you have to look for rare specialized stores or go to the market. Today, “agricultural islands” (stores within a store) are opening in supermarkets in pilot cities. But not all farms can prepare their products for release; for example, calibrating, washing and beautifully packaging potatoes or carrots.

According to the bill, aggregator organizations must facilitate the path of agricultural products to stores: they will buy, process and sell. Basically, these intermediaries will take care of all the pre-sale preparation.

Experts see innovations as both rational elements and debatable points worth thinking about.

“The bill certainly meets the interests of farmers, but it is unlikely to allow their products to occupy a leading position,” says lawyer Alexander Levikov. – The criteria according to which it is proposed to classify products as agricultural products – by type of producer – do not yet guarantee that they are of higher quality than those produced by large companies. But distribution through aggregators who will make centralized purchases and make them marketable can bring positive results. This is especially true for self-employed workers who run private farms: they find it difficult to meet all product safety requirements.

The association “Farmers of Northern Russia”, on the other hand, doubts whether small rural businesses need such intermediaries. The organization believes that retail sales, which everyone talks about, are not what farmers need at all.

– It is necessary to ensure small-scale wholesale sales, and to do so, farmers must be freed from excessive demands on the supply of products, at least within their municipalities. It is necessary to stimulate the creation of agricultural cooperation. The state has long understood this and allocates large funds in the form of subsidies, but subjects often do not participate in such programs. Or they allocate five million rubles for each.

In small farms it is difficult to meet all product safety requirements.

It is clear that with such funds you cannot develop a cooperative: a simple tractor costs three million, and lines for bottling milk, meat processing or something similar cost tens of millions, explains the association.

Cooperatives can also buy milk from farmers, process it and sell it. Furthermore, they will do it according to the market principle, and the aggregators, according to the administrative and distribution principle, some experts believe. In essence, they will be new collective and state farms, while the largest producers of agricultural products in the world are multi-level cooperatives.

As for distribution channels for agricultural products, small shops, seasonal fairs or farmers’ markets are still preferable to large retail chains, agrees marketing specialist Maxim Oganov.

– It is important that farmers have personal contact with buyers, explain the benefits of their products and control prices and quality. At the same time, they face problems such as limited access to financing, high equipment and transportation costs, certification difficulties, and competition from large suppliers. That is why they need help from the State in the form of subsidies, benefits and educational programs, says the expert.

The increase in sales of agricultural products is also hampered by their cost, which cannot always compete with the price of products from a large company, emphasizes Alexander Levikov. In his opinion, the state support provided for in the bill can help optimize the cost of agricultural products.

At the same time, the need to label such products practically does not raise questions. Experts agree that it will help farmers get rid of unscrupulous competitors and that buyers will not make a mistake in their choice.

The distinctive mark is expected to appear on agricultural products starting March 1, 2024.

By the way

According to the Association of Retail Trade Companies, more than 65 thousand stores have already opened throughout the country. In this context, markets are becoming fewer and fewer. Today there are only 484 universal markets, 32 specialized in the sale of food products and 208 agricultural ones, including cooperatives.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.
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