Despite a weaker rouble and challengingly low raw milk prices (2018 average €0.34c/kg), business conditions remain positive. The Russian government continues to subsidise investments in the dairy sector with low-interest loans and non-repayable investment grants.
Some of the 14 new state-of-the-art dairy farms (for 45,000+ animals) planned for this year are already up and running, and the company is on target to reach this year’s required production of 500,000t of milk.
Currently farming 467,000ha, during the first nine months of 2018, total EkoNiva herd numbers grew by a third to roughly 128,500 animals, with dairy cow numbers up 27% to 57,000.
The company plans to continue its expansion and build another 15 dairy farms for some 51,000 dairy cows in 2019. By the end of next year, the dairy cow herd will comprise 100,000 to 120,000 animals and raw milk output is forecast to top one million tonnes.
Ekosem-Agrar recently launched the EkoNiva dairy brand to sell fresh milk, yoghurt, curd, semi-hard cheese as well as long-life milk and milk powder to the Russian market.
“Our new brand will write a new chapter in our history and will hopefully convince Russian customers of the high quality of our ‘made in Russia with German quality assurance’ products,” said Stefan Dürr, main shareholder and CEO of Ekosem-Agrar.