Bulgaria Last in EU by Production, Consumption of Organic Foods

Bulgaria in EU | September 28, 2012, Friday // 18:11|  views

Photo by newthraciangold.eu

Only 0.5% of the arable land in Bulgaria is used for organic farming, which places the country last in the EU by production and consumption of organic products.

The figures were presented Friday at a press conference on ecological agriculture at the Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA).

Dimitar Hadzhinikolov, PhD in Economic Sciences, argued that consumption of organic products in Bulgaria amounted to 0.7% per person a year, "or almost nothing", compared to Denmark's EUR 140 per person a year.

He attributed the low consumption of organic foods in Bulgaria to their high prices, adding that they were 60-85% more expensive than conventional products.

Hadzhinikolov added that the Bulgarian market was very small.

The expert insisted that Bulgaria had to aim at exporting to the EU and US where there was a scarcity of organic products.

The expert added that the EU and the US mutually recognized their certificates for organic products as of June 2012, meaning that Bulgaria was free to export organic products there.

"We are wasting our chance to set foot on the international market of organic farming, which has increased three-fold over the past 10 years and currently amounts to USD 60 B. Some time from now, the niche will be occupied," he emphasized.

To illustrate his point, he noted that China, which had initially shown no interest in producing organic foods due to their high prices, had increased its exports 100-fold over the past 10 years.

Hadzhinikolov claimed that Bulgarian organic farmers faced a number of obstacles, one of which was the lack of a union.

He said that there were many small organic farms in the country which found it hard to sell their products separately and to apply for EU subsidies.

The expert pointed out that while Bulgaria had its modest share in the production of organic products, there was no processing of such items in the country.

Hadzhinikolov attributed the current situation, among other things, to the fact that organic products had to be processed separately from conventional products, meaning that the producers would face a period of lower outputs and would have to get subsidies.

He made clear that there were only five registered producers of organic milk in Bulgaria and only one producer of organic meat.

The economic expert informed that Bulgaria had produced 144 tons of organic cheese in 2011, compared to Poland's 1200 tons.

He added that livestock breeding at organic farms was almost nonexistent in Bulgaria, with as few as 7000 organic sheep, or 0.005% of the total number of sheep.

Georgi Shivarov, Depurty Chair of BIA, suggested that Bulgaria had to develop and adopt a new strategy for the production and export of organic products for the next programming period.

We need your support so Novinite.com can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!

Tags: organic farming, organic farm, organic food, Bulgarian Industrial Association, BIA, EU, programming period


» Related Articles: