Bulgaria Newsflash Week 10

Bulgarian organic farming, new legislation against unfair commercial practices in the trade in farm produce and foodstuffs, AgriTech developments, Food prices trends in the Bulgaria Newsflash Week 10


Bulgaria is close to the bottom in the EU list of organically cultivated areas

It registered a 27% contraction of the farm land certified for organic production in 2016-2019: from 160,620 ha at the beginning of the period to 117,779 ha at the end. 42,841 ha have lost their organic certification. The statistics from recent Eurostat figures reflects the problems in the sector, caused by wrong decisions, underfunding and poor management in 2017-2019, which caused the world’s first protests of organic farmers, said Bioselena foundation for organic farming.

The number of certified organic operators (farmers, processing companies and traders) has been declining steadily since 2016. The total land in Bulgaria, which is certified for organic farming drops by 9% a year. A decline is seen in most crop groups but it is most dramatic for vegetables, by 19.3%. There is, however, an increase of the area for organic farming of oil-bearing crops (by 18.5%) and the area under grains has remained unchanged. The livestock population has shown insignificant fluctuations. Bee colonies have decreased by 6,956 but Bulgaria still has one of the world’s largest bee population.


Bulgaria is adopting legislation against unfair commercial practices

30 days after the contracted delivery date, the buyers are obligated to pay for the produce or foodstuffs they have received. They may not refuse to accept an order of perishable products unless they have sent a 30-day notice. The buyer may not change unilaterally the conditions of the delivery contract with regard to the frequency, method, location, time or volume of delivery, the quality standards, etc. These and other rules are being set in place by revisions in  revisions in the Competition Protection Act which have been published in the Official Gazette. The key text is in a new Chapter 76, Unfair practices in the supply chain for farm produce and foodstuffs.  The Commission for the Protection of Competition may impose a fine of up to BGN 300,000 (EUR 150,000) on a buyer for unfair practices, reports AgroPlovdiv.

Large supermarkets see a threat for the economy in these revisions. They argue that no impact assessment has been done for the revisions and that there are no clear motives for some of the texts. The Association for Modern Trade, which includes most large supermarket chains, says that the revisions overshoot the targets of the EU directive for unfair commercial practices and will hurt the national economy.

Bulgarian AgriTech company won the premier award for a start-up

Bulgarian AgriTech company won the premier award for a start-up at the 10th edition of the competition of the Bulgarian IT Association, AgroClub  reports. Ondo Solutions develops smart systems for precision irrigation, fertilization and climate control for all kinds of crops. Its Ondo system is suitable for greenhouses, grain fields, vineyards and orchards, among others. It promises a sizeable economic effect from the first harvest by significantly cutting the costs for water and energy resources, increasing the yield and minimizing the human error.

Foods in Bulgaria are seeing the highest increase in prices in six years

The prices of staple foods, including sugar, flour, cooking oil, rice and legumes have gone up considerably in 2015-2020, according to the 2020 annual analysis by the State Commission for Wholesale Markets and Commodity Exchanges. Among the factors this year is the COVID-19 crisis, the temporary restrictions on exports, the logistical problems and heightened demand for some foods, Agrozona reports.