Fruit and vegetable sector: It’s time to go to Bulgaria

Open for novelties, Bulgaria has still a “hidden” potential in the fruit and vegetable production, which is to be discovered by Dutch entrepreneurs.

Horti webinar

The dynamic webinar: Opportunities in the Bulgarian Horti Sector – organized by RVO and the Netherlands Embassy - lifted the curtain to opportunities in the horticultural sector of Bulgaria.

Horticulture is important for Bulgaria and for the Netherlands and several Dutch companies are very successful here. But there is space for more –innovations, automation and knowledge to help Bulgarian producers to satisfy growing domestic demand and to be more competitive on the export markets!

Netherlands Ambassador Simon van der Burg and Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Agriculture Georgi Sabev invited Dutch companies to come to Bulgaria in 2022 to taste the business opportunities.

Bulgarian horti webinar

Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Georgi Sabev:

Bulgarian fruit sector is very important for the agriculture as a traditional sub-sector. The country has extremely favourable conditions for the development of a relatively large number of fruit species. For the period 2007 - 2017, the total area with fruit species increased, due to the gradual growth of new plantations, which represents about 48% of the total area of harvested fruit species in the country. The total fruit production in 2018 is 228,501 tons - an increase of 3.9% compared to 2017. In 2020, the production of 202,579 tons registered a decrease of 13.6% compared to 2019 (234,589 tons). In 2019 and 2020, plums and cherry plums have the largest share with about 25%, followed by cherries with about 24% and apples with about 19%.

Vegetable production is among the most affected agricultural sectors by economic transformations in the last 30 years. At 15% of the gross agricultural production before 1989, in 2013 it reached its lowest level - only 3.4%. The average yields from vegetable production in Bulgaria are about twice lower than the yields in developed European countries. The main reason for this is the fragmented and relatively small production, insufficient irrigation, lack of modern equipment, etc. The production develops in open and closed areas, with field production predominating. The fluctuations in the harvested areas by main vegetable crops are significant.

The Bulgarian agricultural sector has the potential to produce affordable, safe and high quality products, but still lags behind the European average in some important indicators, such as factor productivity, security of tangible assets, digitalization of production structures. 
Despite the difficulties that the Bulgarian Fruit and Vegetables Sector has encountered over the years, there is a gradual growth. Favourable climatic conditions in the country, biodiversity, existing traditions and competitive advantages in production, combined with the possibility of support from the EU and the state, make the sector promising for investment.

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Bulgarian horticulture market scan

Nikolay Valkanov, analyst from the independent InteliAgro Foundation


Bulgaria enjoys solid growth of demand for major fruit categories: apples, watermelons, peaches, plumps and cherries and vegetables: potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and cabbage. Retailers are focusing more and more on local sourcing: the share of modern retail in retail sales of foods ~44%, projected to increase due to expansion of retail parks.

  • € 820 mln. in F&V fresh sales retail sales (6% cagr. since 2011).
  •  44% of F&V sales are through modern retail and are projected to rise

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InteriFresh 2022

The 4th edition of the InteriFresh regular event will have a Dutch highlight complemented by business meetings on side where the Dutch agri business can introduce itself and witness the They are thinking to organize something: 4the edition of the IntelliFresh event + business meetings on side: NL business to introduce itself and see the opportunities on location.

Bulgaria Horti Webinar studio

Netherlands Enterprise Agency – Tools for doing business abroad

Online from the Hague Johannes Kirpestein and Astrid den Besten from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RvO, out the final touch of the discussion with explanations what kind of support the Dutch companies can receive heading to Bulgaria.

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CdP and Bulgarian Dep minister of agriculture

The Netherlands Ambassador Simon van der Burg made the commitment the Embassy to facilitate the process and “something beautiful to be born”.

“I see many opportunities and the Ministry can facilitate them”, said Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Agriculture Georgi Sabev.

It’s time to come to Bulgaria!