An interview of A. Mordovin to the portal (2015-06-25)

The President of Barley, Malt, Hops & Beer Union Alexander Mordovin granted an interview about introduction of USAIS system and its impact on the brewing industry to (the largest Internet-portal of the agricultural complex of the RF).

How matters stand in the Russian grain sector? How did tough economic situation influence on the industry development?

– I can only estimate malting barley and malt production. Rise in the euro is good. I mean that it is unprofitable for Russian companies to purchase imported malting barley, so I predict zero import from far-abroad countries and high demand of Russian malting barley. Industry-wide demand is approximately 1,5-1,8 million tons. It was just the thing our Union strove for.

– What share of malting barley is accounted for import?

– Import has always existed in Russia. It is linked with a policy of the largest transnational brewing companies purchasing raw materials abroad if a price, including delivery, is equal to Russian or just above. If the price is 20-40% nobody will purchase imported material.

– One of the problems for Russian brewers is a lack of hop. What are the results?

– Unfortunately, hop problem is open. Our Union is interested in renewal of hop production but it is still in “stop” position but this topic will be key for us in future. Due to rise in the euro, hop price (it is imported for 99%) has been also jumped. Now we have all opportunities for hop renewal.

– As a creator of “Beijing Program” what can you say about project improvement? (the program of agricultural products to the countries of Shanghai Cooperation Organizations)

– Almost 10 years, we have been convincing China to buy Russian grain. But they don’t purchase because it is legally impossible. Even since the Soviet period, from 80-s, something was found out in Russian seeds, so China prohibited purchasing it. Our purpose is to start from the top. We believe that we’ll manage to get permission for grain export to China.    

– What is your opining about USAIS system for beer?

– Introduction of USAIS system is necessary for controlling of illegal beer market.

– What is the main purpose of USAIS introduction: prevention of illegal alcohol market?

– Firstly, USAIS system is created for alcohol accounting from a producer to store shelves; then protection from counterfeit products.

– Shall the Government refinance beer producers due to USAIS system? So, if a producer switches to a new system, he’ll need modern equipment, technologies, training etc?

– The Government shall support companies by introduction of diversified taxation. A small brewer shall pay less than middle or large companies. This system is practiced in many countries. For example, in EU, 19 countries of 27 use this method.

– Tightening of brewing industry regulation led to reduction of beer production. Can USAIS system paralyze brewing industry activity?

– Soon beer production will be reduced. There is an alcohol and drug abuse policy approved by our Government. So it will touch on brewing sector.

– Will a beer price change after USAIS introduction?

– Our country produces great beer volumes. Introduction of USAIS system is rather expensive but a consumer will not feel price difference.

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