10 Dec 2019 09:48

Producers, suppliers of eco-friendly products in Russia forming Green Club

MOSCOW. Dec 10 (Interfax) - Producers of mineral fertilizer, crop protection agents, farmers and retailers are forming an independent association of producers and suppliers of products with "improved environmental characteristics" called the Green Club.

The initiative to form the Green Club was approved at a meeting on preparations for the implementation of the law on "agricultural products, raw materials and food with improved environmental characteristics," the Russian Fertilizer Producers Association said. Such products will be sold under the national brand Green One on the Russian and international markets.

The club will include fertilizer producers PhosAgro , EuroChem, UralChem, Acron and Uralkali , agribusiness group's Rusagro and Efko, and retailers Magnit and Lenta, a participant in the meeting told Interfax.

While working on the bill on environmentally clean products the Agriculture Ministry decided it was necessary to introduce a separate concept: agricultural products with improved environmental characteristics. They will differ from organic products in that a certain amount of high quality fertilizer will be allowed in their products. Such products will be more affordable for consumers than expensive organic products, and their production will be safe for the environment.

The bill to put "green" products in a separate segment is expected to be submitted to the State Duma in early 2020 and could go into effect on January 1, 2021.

Six new national standards (GOST) have been prepared for production of agricultural products, raw materials and food with improved environmental characteristics. Two of them set requirements for mineral fertilizers used in the production of "green" products, including allowable levels of cadmium and arsenic content.

The Agriculture Ministry estimates that products with improved environmental characteristics could account for 10%-15% of total agricultural exports by 2024, which are expected to grow to $45 billion by then.