RIGA - The situation on the Ukrainian-Polish border may cause at least EUR 30 million loss in export turnover for the Latvian food industry, Inara Sure, chairwoman of the Latvian Federation of Food Companies (LPUF), told LETA.
She explained that the blockade of the Ukrainian economy by Polish haulers has had a significant impact on the Latvian food industry. If the situation is not resolved, the Latvian food industry could lose EIUR 30 million within a month.
As Sure noted, Ukraine is an important partner for the Latvian food industry, both in exports and in the supply of raw materials. The situation on the Ukrainian-Polish border and therefore supplies to and from Ukraine are currently unpredictable, with transport schedules dramatically shifting from two days to several weeks. "Many transport units are paralyzed at the border between Poland and Ukraine, affecting the execution of other export contracts," said Sure.
Sure added that the federation has only identified the largest Latvian food producers, which are the biggest exporters and recipients of raw materials from Ukraine. The overall situation in the sector could be even worse.
"Of course, producers are looking for solutions, looking for new markets for raw material supplies, but it is clear that raw material prices in other countries will be higher than in Ukraine. This means that producers will be forced to raise product prices and drive up inflation because politicians are not doing their job," Sure said.
She pointed out that while the Foreign Ministry is expected to work quickly, decisively and efficiently, the industry does not currently see the responsible authorities looking for solutions.
"This is Latvia's economy we are talking about and our expert in European affairs and relations - the Foreign Ministry - must demonstrate its political power and find an immediate solution to this emergency situation in talks with Polish officials, as the damage to Latvia's economy is growing by the day," said Sure.
As reported, Polish haulers have launched a protest action, blocking the movement of freight at several border crossing points with Ukraine.
Foreign Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) in a telephone call with Polish European Affairs Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek on Saturday called for a solution to the situation on the Polish-Ukrainian border.
In the conversation with the Polish minister, Karins asked to seek a solution to the situation on the Polish-Ukrainian border, where trucks have to wait in long queues due to protests of farmers. Karins conveyed Latvia’s readiness to get involved and provide assistance in seeking solutions to the situation.