Minister says Estonia increasing food stocks

  • 2022-12-14
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Where until now the state had about a three-day supply of ready-to-eat food, now a seven-day supply has been accumulated and plans are for the stocks to be increased further to equal 14 days' supply, Minister of Rural Affairs Urmas Kruuse said in Riigikogu question time on Wednesday.

This May, the government gave the Estonian Stockpiling Agency the task of forming a grain reserve of at least 7,500 tons in the context of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the agency also has a food reserve.

"It has to be acknowledged that Russia's aggression in Ukraine has changed certain background systems, including our perception of security," Kruuse said, admitting that Estonia's stock of grain has been zero under previous governments.

"Now we want to create a stockpile that's for one month. When it comes to the supply of other foodstuffs to residents, what we can say is that, until now, it was about a three-day supply. Now we have already reached a seven-day supply and we intend to go to a 14 days' supply. This is a very sensible approach," the minister said.

Kruuse added that the Ministry of Rural Affairs is preparing a legislative amendment so that the Estonian Stockpiling Agency would have greater duties related to stocking food in addition to stocking fuel and energy. 

The minister noted that, from the legislative point of view, the question of how big a supply must be in stock or how much food can be produced, for example, via advance warning, by keeping the industry running 24 hours a day during one week, is still open to debate and needs to be discussed in depth.