The National Union of Beef Producers, a partner of the AGROFARM Exhibition, is currently preparing technical specifications for introduction of voluntary identification of large cattle that would lay a foundation for the system of industry standards. Today the Union includes over 100 enterprises from 31 regions of the Russia. Roman Kostyuk, Head of the Union and a member of the AGROFARM Exhibition Council, tells about a need for such a program and prospects of development of competitive beef production on the territory of the Russian Federation.
- Today we can see unprecedented government support for the AIC, and it’s not just another campaign. Our President, Prime Minister and all Heads of branch departments say that the AIC is one of the critical tools in development of the national economy. Two years ago we managed to rationalize the importance of beef breeding on the federal level positioning it as the industry that completes vital social and economic tasks: enables territory development, creates new work places, increases fiscal revenue. Essentially, today it’s the only industry that can claim and develop dozens or hundreds of thousands hectares of inarable land due to small personal subsidiary plots and family farms.
I’d like to emphasize that it’s not a Russian innovation - today it’s a global trend. The countries we look up to in terms of gross and per capita income, such as Australia, Canada, the USA are mostly focused on small businesses involved in the AIC. That’s why we claim that involvement of thousands of entrepreneurs in development of the industry and creating of related industries is a government mission associated with certain steps of the country’s economic development.
Resources in possession of our country are unprecedented on a scale of development of the agro-based industry. According to all forecasts, the global food market will grow, and the population of the planet will increase. Despite rapid development of artificial product reproduction technologies, nothing can replace natural food stuff manufacturing.
Today the Russian state is ready to finance the global food market. It will allow using hundreds of thousands hectares of land we still have not made effective, involving dozens of young people in the industry. And the export problem will be solved! Focusing our enterprises on export, we automatically raise the bar of products for ourselves. Entrepreneurs who plan to produce for export start thinking in a different manner; they pay more attention to the quality, traceability, responsibility to consumers. So I think, now it’s not that important what share of products is to be exported. The matter is that while focusing on export we will change our attitude to the product within the country at an accelerating pace.
One of the main challenges our Union faces nowadays is drafting of regulatory documents – specifications for introduction of the large cattle voluntary identification system. As a member of the Technical Committee No. 226 of the Federal Agency on Technical Regulating and Metrology, in the end of the year our Union together with the Gorbatov Federal Research Center for Food Systems will launch the registration procedure for the voluntary beef cattle branch standard of the Russian Federation. This standard is agreed upon with the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance; we’ve prepared it for two years together with the branch community to give everyone a saying. Together with the Gorbatov Institute of Food Systems, a list of 28 standards has been developed that are required at the initial stage to create uniform rules, uniform terminology, uniform principles. Together with all the community the Union will gradually introduce all the set of standards, so that clear rules of the industry’s development could be created and both producers and consumers could feel comfortable within the system in any region.
Why is it necessary? First of all, untraceable, unidentified cattle have no chance to be sold abroad at a good price. Secondly, it will undoubtedly provide an opportunity to get a fair price in the domestic market. There will be cattle from safe enterprises, while unmarked cattle will make one consider their origin and conditions of production. The third - and the most important - reason is that we want to improve the quality of all the industry, not at breeding enterprises only. With a clear cattle identification available, we’ll be able to trace its genealogical qualities by weight gain and other important characteristics. It is understood by responsible breeders and farmers, so currently the Union is designing a cloud benchmark accounting base for cattle identification together with the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance.
That’s why it’s vital for such reputable venues as the Golden Autumn Exhibition or AGROFARM at VDNH to include discussions of these issues in their Business Programs.
Any industry that wants to develop needs a dialogue, not a virtual only, but a living, human one. All of us are extremely busy, it’s so difficult to find time to talk to various representatives of the industry. But a specialized exhibition, when manufacturers, heads of departments and our consumers gather together on one venue, we can focus on getting answers to our questions, discuss our shared goals and establish necessary contacts. It’s impossible to talk about development of the AIC in Russia without visiting such largest venues as the Golden Autumn and AGROFARM. Therefore, it is impossible to overemphasize the role of these exhibition venues that give people a chance to move forward, share their knowledge, gain energy and see prospects for further growth.