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Astrakhan Vegetable Freezing To Increase Share On Russian Market Featured

20 November 2015

One of the largest in the region, the Astrakhan Canning Company will begin production and supplying frozen broccoli and cauliflower to the Russian market by next season, increasing the overall share of locally grown frozen products available on the market, as confirmed by General Director Khalid Al Khulaif.

Al Khulaif also said that following Russia's product embargo, the demand for locally grown food products increased significantly. Previously the Russian market had imported up to 18 thousand tonnes of broccoli and cauliflower. Imports of these products have now dropped by 76 percent, and as a result “there is a very large shortage of these products, companies are ready to sign prepay contracts to do so”.

Russian processors were previously only involved in the process of prepackaging raw materials that were at one time supplied by Poland, which is now subject to the embargo. So, production of these products fell behind and created a demand. Broccoli and cauliflower were two products that were not being cultivated on a large scale in Russia before the embargo, not even in the country's southern regions.

The Astrakhan Canning Company is largely focused on the creation of a facility to hold raw materials.

“Our climate allows (us) to harvest cabbage twice a year, it is not possible in all regions, even in Volgograd; in the Krasnodar Krai it's in the spring, but there is no harvest in the autumn,” Al Khulaif said.

The first trial cabbage harvest in Astrakhan grew this year and resulted in 40 tonnes of products. Broccoli yielded 5 tonnes of products. In the future, the grower expects to harvest 300-400 tonnes of cabbage and 100 tonnes of broccoli. A harvest this size would allow the company to take hold of up to 6-7 percent of the Russian market.

In 2017, the anticipated production volume will reach about one thousand tonnes.

By the end of this year, the Astrakhan Canning Company will have increased its production by 10 percent to a cumulative total of 20 thousand tonnes, of which 3 thousand tonnes are frozen vegetables. The company plans to increase its total production to 25 thousand tonnes in the future.

As a result of farmer and agriculturalists' seasonal labor in the Astrakhan region, the productivity indicator is expected to increase. The total yield for vegetables and melons in the region it to be 1.4 million tonnes. From January to September, 14 of the largest processors in the region produced 105 million standard cans of food, a 17 percent on-year increase.

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