If mandatory labeling is introduced in Russia (expected in 2023), beer production in Russia will decrease by 20–30%, while its cost will increase by 10%. This is stated in a letter from the Union of Russian Brewers to Vladimir Putin.
“In relation to brewing, labeling is an excessive control measure that runs counter to the previously announced course of the Government of the Russian Federation to create favorable conditions for Russian business,” the letter says.
The components of the marking system are produced in the USA, Germany, Italy, Japan and Taiwan, that is, countries from which supplies are blocked due to sanctions. Brewers note that labeling will reduce the efficiency of the industry:
“This is confirmed by the experience of introducing mandatory labeling for drinking and mineral water. These products are also produced by brewing companies, which, after the integration of labeling, note a drop in the productivity of water bottling lines by 20–30%,” the open letter says.
The Union of Brewers points out that due to mandatory labeling, breweries will be in “critical dependence on suppliers of labeling equipment and technologies” from countries that have imposed sanctions.
Labeling will affect not only beer, but also beer drinks, mead, cider and low-alcohol fermented drinks.
A labeling experiment is currently underway in Russia, the purpose of which is to test business processes and develop the most optimal solutions for manufacturers. Participants of the experiment submit data on the turnover of the drink to the Unified State Automated Information System and the state information system for monitoring the turnover of goods.
In March (after the Russian invasion of Ukraine), the Dutch brewing concern Heineken announced the termination of work in Russia. The company will transfer the Russian business to a new owner. Following him, the Danish company Carlsberg announced a complete withdrawal from the Russian market:
We have made the difficult and urgent decision to seek a complete exit from our business in Russia, which we believe is the right thing to do in the current environment.