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RUSSIA: Russian Brewing could depend wholly on imported materials

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An all Russian conference of beer and soft drink producers in October will discuss what steps can be taken to stop the country's brewers from soon having to depend totally on imported raw materials.A meeting of directors from the Union of Beer Producers held in Moscow is concerned if the government does not take steps to strengthen the country's domestic resource base and related production, a marked rise in production could leave brewers fully dependant on imported raw materials.With prices for imported materials continually rising (around $200m is spent annually for purchasing malt) and brewers already importing around 85% of their supplies, the Union is calling for strengthened State support.A proposal by some board members is that a percentage of tax transferred by brewers to the budget, should be directed to farms for producing barley and hops for brewing purposes.Members are also calling for a federal target program aimed at developing the beer brewing market's resource base.


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