9/7 Tass 79
MOSCOW, July 9 (Itar-Tass) — Fish prices in Russia might be brought down by 15 percent, head of Russia’s Fisheries Agency Andrei Krainy said on Saturday at a meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
According to Krainy, “fish harvests have been on the rise for the past three years in a row,” but domestically produced fish and sea foods account only for 77 percent of those sold at Russian retail outlets. Last year, in his words, saw a record-breaking fish catch and in 2011 this level is likely to be topped. “It means that, if the industry develops in the same pace, the task of ensuring 80 percent of domestic products by 2020, which was set in Russia’s food security doctrine, will be reached in 2013-2014,” he said.
He also said his agency employed “such a market measure as intervention.” “But it is not an intervention the Ministry of Agriculture is doing with budgetary funds, but rather a commercial one,” he noted. “Traders were issued bank loans and we helped them to obtain credit resources. They are now entering the market to buy the fish from commercial agents flocking around fishermen,” he explained. “In 2010, fish prices went up by 2.3 percent. Now, as on June, the prices rose by one percent. We now we use a commodity intervention and open a chain of Ocean stores as an alternative trading system, fish prices to end consumers might be brought down by 15 percent, while fishermen will retain their profit.”
The chain of such stores is now being established, he noted. “Now we have 70 Ocean stores in 34 Russian regions. In fact it is a federal network, although in legal terms they are independent small businesses operating under a common brand name,” Krainy said. “The main thing is to see to it that there is no monopoly. These companies are in no way affiliated to one another. Each region has its own small and medium-sized businesses, which open such stores.”