Western sanctions make Russian cheese

Private cheese dealer Elivella Kovtun from Russia, a “Besherme” brand of cheese, Recently won the “Gold Award” of the World Cheese Awards. The previously unfamiliar Russian cheese was able to win this “Oscar” of the cheese industry in one fell swoop, thanks to the “import substitution” policy of 2014.

Russia suffered Western sanctions after the Crimean crisis in 2014. In order to counter the West, Russia began to stop importing agricultural products and food from some Western countries. This policy not only did not cause a shortage of goods rendered by some media, but also brought development opportunities for the Russian agriculture and food industry.

Although cheese is a traditional food often eaten by Russians, Russian cheese in the world has not been as well-known as France and Italy. In an era of rising oil prices, a strong petroleum dollar, and a strong ruble exchange rate, Russia has relied on petrol dollars and has always taken the “cheaper than cheaper” shortcut. The restrictions imposed by the sanctions have forced Russia to increase investment and policy support, and independently develop food and small commodity production. At the Valdai Forum last year, a participating dairy owner confessed “thank you” to Western sanctions. In recent years, dairy processing factories like him have developed rapidly.

In addition to cheese, Russia’s grain output has increased rapidly in recent years, becoming a world food exporter. It can be observed in Russian supermarkets that the proportion of locally produced foods is getting higher and higher, and the variety is getting richer. On the streets of Moscow, food festivals such as “Russian Fishing” and “Russian Season” are organized by the government and sponsors in prominent places such as Red Square. At the 2nd China International Import Expo held in Shanghai not long ago, Russia also promoted its honey, flour and other products to the world through the huge exhibition hall in the food exhibition area.

Audi Automobile announced on Tuesday that the company plans to lay off 9,500 employees by 2025, accounting for 10.6% of the total number of employees. In order to save about 6 billion euros in costs, it is used for the transition to electrification.

According to the agreement reached between Audi and the German Labor Board, the layoffs will include ordinary employees and management positions. The layoffs will be carried out through natural layoffs and voluntary early retirement measures. After the layoffs, Audi will extend the employment protection of the remaining 50,000 German employees to the end of 2029. At the same time, Audi will create 2,000 new jobs to strengthen its technological capabilities in electric vehicles and digital products.

Investigating the reason, Audi has not completely got rid of the “diesel door scandal”, and at the same time, it is also facing great pressure on the transformation of electrification. Agence France-Presse reported on the 27th that Audi was fined 800 million euros for “diesel door scandal” last year. The sluggish global auto sales, coupled with the chain reaction of Sino-U.S. Trade tensions and the uncertainty of Brexit, put Audi’s electrification transformation under tremendous pressure. Data show that in the first three quarters of this year, Audi’s revenue was about 41.3 billion euros, a decrease of 6.8% compared with the same period last year. Earlier, Audi has announced that it plans to invest 40 billion euros in technology research and development by the end of 2023. About 14 billion euros are used for electric mobility and digitization. In 2025, Audi plans to launch more than 30 electric models, including 20 pure electric models.

“Audi is not the first car company in Germany to implement a major layoff plan.” The German “Business News” said that on the 14th of this month, Daimler announced that it would reduce 1,100 leadership positions worldwide. Volkswagen also said in March this year that it plans to lay off up to 7,000 people by 2023, aiming to save 5.9 billion euros annually to accelerate electrification and digitalization.