At present, the technical regulations of the Eurasian Economic Union provide mandatory requirements for the safety and organization of the production of baby food for children of three main groups: up to 3 years, 3 to 6 years and 6 to 14 years old. At the same time, it should be noted that products (or raw materials and components for their production) of imported production comply a significant share in the Russian market of child food products for younger children.
The development of domestic production of products for child food is possible only if there is a constant demand, which should be formed, first of all, in the organization of nutrition of children in educational organizations, and in the case of children under three years of age when providing specialized products in established cases through the health authorities.
The main problem is that there are no mandatory requirements for the use of such products specifically for the nutrition of children when organizing feeding based on state and municipal orders. In most of the regions of Russian Federation, there are no requirements for compulsory state registration of technical documents for the production of baby food products in the organization of supplies. With rare exceptions, there is no proper, including laboratory, control over the safety and quality of products and its application.
In addition, there are no specific powers of executive authorities at various levels in the organization of child nutrition, which would constitute a system that ensures the fulfillment of the task of providing children with safe and high-quality products of domestic production.
The proposed concept of the federal law was supported at the annual meeting of the Chairman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation with state secretaries - deputy heads of federal executive bodies. In its most general form it includes the following:
The first is the obligation to establish the requirements for the use of food for children of all age groups for safety in accordance with the requirements of the relevant technical regulations, quality on the basis of technical documents that are publicly available to all manufacturers. The duty to justify such requirements, as well as to ensure their fulfillment in the acceptance of products, still lies with customers, but they interpret this duty differently in the absence of a corresponding law.
Thirdly, the powers of federal and regional executive bodies should be established in relation to the approval of mandatory standards for providing children with food, tariffs for services, the amount of payment, the definition of mandatory requirements for food products used, the formation of a quality control system and security of supply. At the same time, establishing the obligation, and not only the ability to control the quality and safety of baby food when accepting products (compliance with the requirements set in the bidding documents, in no way violates the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union in the area of technical regulation).
Fourth, the definition of measures to ensure the creation of a sufficient production base for child food and its sustainable development.
In this regard, should be determined the production development stages for domestic food for children up to one year of domestic raw materials. These stages should be based on the permissible share of imported raw materials (components) for the transition period, the use of direct and indirect preferences for domestic producers, long-term contracts and public-private partnership.
It seems necessary to increase the very status of the sphere of child food and the production of products for its provision. We conducted a brief analysis of the measures that could help this in comparison with other branches of the agroindustrial complex. We consider it advisable:
- to establish a food security indicator for the production of child food products (taking into account the use of domestic raw materials and components), which determines the level of the country's food security;
- to consider the products of child food, raw materials and components for their production to the products on which it is necessary to achieve maximum import substitution in the near future.
It is important to note that in 2017, in accordance with the order of the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia from 25.12.2016 No. 558, import of raw materials for the production of child food products in the volume of about 1 thousand tons was allowed, with most of this raw material being produced in Russia. This is mainly about ordinary products: meat, potatoes, vegetables. For 4 years of existence of import substitution programs the issue has not been resolved.