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Supermarket Shelves in St. Petersburg Empty of Imported Goods

Published: August 15, 2014 (Issue # 1824)

  • Imported foods are being replaced by domestically-produced product as stocks run out.
    Photo: Net_Efekt / Flickr

A week after Russian authorities banned the import of certain types of products from the United States, EU, Canada, Australia and Norway, St. Petersburg supermarkets that stock a large share of imported goods are showing the impact the ban is having. Imported fish, meat and dairy products have all but disappeared, reports, with many of the products remaining on the shelves the last of the current stock. As the foreign goods run out, many stores have begun to expand the proportion of domestically-produced products.

Udderly Gone

Many supermarkets in St. Petersburg no longer have any dairy products remaining on their shelves from the Finnish company Valio, whose cheese and butter have been available in St. Petersburg shops since the Soviet era. At the Prisma supermarket on the Vyborg Schosse, local residents have been scrambling to buy as much as they can before it disappears completely.

"The excitement began last Thursday,” said a worker in the diary department at Prisma. “Valio products are the most sought but people are even buying things they wouldn’t have given a second glance before. Finnish cheese will soon be gone. Everything that we have is on the shelves with a bit left in the stockroom."

Valio products manufactured at the company’s facilities in Finland and Estonia will no longer be seen in supermarket cold cases, with the products made at company’s Gatchina and Ershovo locations hard pressed to fill the void.

"Naturally, the two plants are not enough and we will have to make up for the shortfall somehow,” said the unidentified Prisma employee.

Empty shelves were seen where, until recently, Norwegian Jarlsberg, Latvian Karums dairy desserts and Tere Estonian sour cream once stood.

At the Metro Cash and Carry on Kosygin Prospekt, which mainly serves small-scale wholesale buyers, empty shelves remained where a week earlier Baltais sour cream from Latvia and puddings from the Swiss company Nestle, which has 11 Russia factories, could be found. Metro was also out of Italian Parmesan, Lithuanian Roxburgh, French Roquefort and Austrian blue cheeses. There was no Valio yogurt left among the few pots of Landlibe and Baltais product.

Shoppers have been snapping up Alterman cheese and Valio’s processed cheese, Viola. Cheese sold under the Finnish store-brand Pirkko has disappeared as well.

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Saturday, Sept. 20

Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.

Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.

Sunday, Sept. 21

Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during today’s “Djembe and Vuvuzela,” a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.

Monday, Sept. 22

Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.

Tuesday, Sept. 23

Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of today’s round table discussion on “Interaction with Trade Unions” being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.

Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.

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