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27 Feb 2015

Belarus, Rastelli Foods Group mull over Belarusian beef supplies to Middle East

MINSK, 27 February (BelTA) – Belarus and Rastelli Foods Group, Inc. (United States) are considering the possibility of Belarusian beef supplies to the countries of Middle East, head of the main foreign economic activity department at the Agriculture and Food Ministry of Belarus Alexei Bogdanov told BelTA.

With a view to diversify export, the Belarusian delegation led by Deputy Agriculture and Food Minister Igor Brylo is in the United States on an official visit.

While in New Jersey, representatives of the Belarusian delegation held talks with owner of Rastelli Foods Group Anthony Rastelli. According to Alexei Bogdanov, the company is a big beef processer. It comprises four meat processing plants and a trade and logistics center. The company’s annual production exceeds $1.2 billion. The company sells into 80 countries (mainly the markets of the United States, Middle East, North Africa, and the European Union).

“Anthony Rastelli has been to our country several times and hails the level of the Belarusian agricultural production. He would like to strengthen business cooperation with our country, set up a joint company to produce and process quality varieties of beef, help advance Belarusian products to international markets,” Alexei Bogdanov said.

Three months ago Rastelli Foods Group signed a business agreement with the Grodno Meat Processing Plant to jointly advance Belarusian beef products to third countries. New types of beef products (both raw and cooked) have been jointly developed especially for foreign markets. Their presentation was held as part of the international exhibition Global Food in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates on 6-15 February. The American booth was visited by nearly 20,000 people. The Belarusian products raised a genuine interest among visitors.

“We have agreed with our American partners that UAE and Rastelli Foods Group representatives will visit the Grodno Meat Processing Plant in March to inspect the products and take a decision on the access to the market of the UAE and Middle East in general,” Alexei Bogdanov said. By that time the company plans to commission a new workshop to produce raw smoked sausages with the total capacity of 500 tonnes of products per month. The products will meet the international standards.

The Belarusian delegation will work in the United States until the end of the week. The agenda of the visit includes meetings with the Minister of Agriculture of the State of Indiana, American businessmen, representatives of the legal, processing and trading companies to discuss the advancement of the Belarusian foods to the American market, investment in the Belarusian agriculture.

According to the Agriculture and Food Ministry, the ministry’s companies sold agricultural products into 46 countries in 2014. The Customs Union market accounted for 96% of Belarus’ meat exports.

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