State Opportunities to Help Food Industry Limited, Says Minister ({{commentsTotal}})

Agriculture Minister Ivari Padar said Estonia's resources to help the food industry after Russian export band are limited, and focus in on seeking new markets and EU aid.

Russian sanctions against food imports from EU nations has hit the dairy and pork industries the hardest.

Pig farmers are slightly safer as Russia already exerted bans on live pig imports a few years ago, and the government set aside 2.6 million euros of aid to pig farmers.

Milk prices have dropped, with raw milk exported to Lithuania costing 270 euros per ton, down from 400 euros in April.

Toomas Laos, head of a dairy farm near Pärnu, said world prices dropped before the Ukraine crisis deepened, but recent events have caused prices to dwindle faster.

The head of another dairy company, Ludmilla Tammer, said the company will have to begin cutting staff salaries and numbers in a few months, if the current pace of price changes continues.