Food From Britain (FFB) is advising British bakery retailers to look to Russia as a source of "tremendous opportunity".

As Moscow is due to host this year’s national World Bread Day in October 16, FFB is organising a Russian Trade Development Visit to introduce British food and drink producers to the "high-potential market" and help them identify strategies to enter or grow their presence in Russia.

Food retail sales have been rising by 25.5% in 2006 to $141 billion, says FFB, and bakery sales have been increasing at a minimum rate of about 5% year-on-year.

According to FFB, the growth of the Russian middle class is a significant reason for international interest in the country. It said in a statement: "The middle class have considerable disposable income, which they are increasingly keen to spend on Western brands.

"Whatever disturbances are occurring in higher diplomatic circles, these consumers’ incomes continue to grow, presenting a great opportunity for British food producers."

The trip is due to take place over four days in Moscow from 17-20 September. Participants will be introduced to the Russian market through store visits and a market briefing, and will have the opportunity to meet with buyers and distributors. The visit is timed to coincide with the World Food Exhibition in Moscow, which is the largest food show in Russia.

In 2006, the exhibition was attended by 1,273 companies from 54 countries. International exhibitors came from 21 different countries including Argentina, China, Denmark, Italy, Ireland, Poland, the UK and the USA.