1. ITV Report

Somerset cheese maker disappointed by Russian food ban

Wyke Farm has spent 5 years breaking into the Russian market Photo: ITV News West Country

A Somerset cheese maker says his company has been hit hard by a Russian ban on importing dairy products from Europe. Richard Clothier spent five years trying to break into the lucrative Russian market, only to be told that his products would be banned amid a political crisis.

It's a huge blow because everyone has put a lot of work in both sides as well, you know, the people in Russia have shown it to customers, have done tastings. It's a big blow and it's worrying for the EU dairy markets at a time when, in the new year, the milk quotas will be coming off and it could have a really damaging effect on the dairy market.

– Richard Clothier Managing Director, Wyke Farms
All dairy has been banned from entering Russia Credit: ITV News West Country

All dairy and other food items from Europe and the US has been banned from entering Russia. A response to restrictions placed on the country over its role in the crisis in Ukraine.

Wyke Farms had just sent 5 tonnes of cheese to the country. The lorry load is now missing having been impounded by customs.

We think it's in Belarus at the moment with some other products consolidated in a store so hopefully in time we will get it back again. But the supermarkets in Russia can't afford to have empty shelves so they will fill it with other products quite quickly. The problem then is how do you get the space back and then how do you get the sales back so we're almost back to square one really.

– Richard Clothier Managing Director, Wyke Farms

While the import ban is a small part of an increasingly complex conflict. It's a big set back for this Somerset firm