Whether 28,000 dairy cattle destined for China, and currently held in quarantine, actually get to their destination is up in the air.
Now he’s on a mission to wean Russians off foreign food and to modernise the dairy industry, where milking is still often done by hand. And he’s getting help from Europe.
Five years after the food embargo banning Dutch gouda and Italian parmesan, Russian companies are trucking in thousands of black-and-white Holstein Friesians from across the border to state-of-the-art milking parlors built with German and Swedish engineering. Russia is now the biggest importer of cows from the European Union and its flagship milk company is German owned.
It’s part of an ambitious Government plan to transform Russia from a major milk importer to self sufficiency within eight years. In the longer term, Russia has set its sights on selling milk to the biggest market of all: China.