Kola reindeer meat will be imported to Finland – Sami reindeer herders are worried about increased competition

Lovozero Reindeer Cooperative Tundra sent a trial batch of 8.5 tonnes of reindeer to Finland in the spring after the Russian company received a permit from the EU to export meat to countries of the European Union.

Previously, reindeer meat was supplied from Russia only from the Yamal region.

This year Tundra signed an agreement with the Finnish company Lapin Nahka Oy for the supply of up to 50 tons of reindeer meat. In the future, the companies plan to increase the volume of imports of reindeer meat up to 100 kg per year.

Also the second reindeer herding company Reindir from Lovozero plans to start exporting reindeer to the EU.

There are about 40,000 reindeer on the Kola Peninsula, but only a small number of animals are slaughtered annually, because locally there is practically no demand for venison in the market.

Sami reindeer breeders are concerned about the news

The year before last, Finnish reindeer breeders suffered losses due to a winter with little snow, and then due to the disappearance of tourists due to the coronavirus epidemic.

Chairperson of the Sami Reindeer Breeders Society Tiina Sanila-Aikio fears that reindeer imports from Russia will negatively affect the Finnish market.

– We have a good reputation in Finland and have made great efforts, to achieve it. And now the biggest buyers may not want to do business with us. Prices drop when the market becomes more competitive, says Sanila-Aikio.