Arla Foods has confirmed it will cut 79 jobs in Denmark as it readjusts production in the wake of Russia’s ban on dairy imports from the EU.

Forty-eight hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree blocking the import of a range of foodstuffs from markets including the EU, Arla has told just-food between 50 and 75 jobs would be axed from its dairies in Denmark that supplied Russia.

The Castello cheese and Lurpak butter maker has confirmed 79 staff working across six dairies in Denmark will be affected.

Russia only accounts for just over 1% of Arla’s annual turnover but it was one of the overseas markets on which Arla was focusing to drive its growth. Sales had increased at a double-digit rate over the past three years. Arla’s annual sales in Russia stand at around DKK180m (US$32.3m).

Arla started local cheese production in Russia earlier this year but that only accounts for 1% of its sales in the country.