Bulgaria Newsflash Week 25

Bulgarian greenhouse cucumbers and potatoes are on a raise; SmartOrganic becomes official distributor of Beyond Meat; latest dairy market trends and more Bulgarian Agri news in week 25


Production of greenhouse cucumbers and potatoes increases

In 2020, the area used for vegetable production totaled 36,500 ha, which was 9% less than a year earlier, Agrozona said quoting an analysis by the Agriculture Ministry. Open-air vegetable fields were 35,600 ha and 33,700 ha of those were harvested. Greenhouses with vegetables totalled 898 ha and those were used 1.16 times for vegetable production, the data shows. The vegetable harvest in 2020 totalled 651,600 t and 92,600 t of those were grown in greenhouses. The biggest output is reported for potatoes (192,300 t), followed by tomatoes (115,800 t), watermelons (87,300 t) and peppers (51,000 t). The figures show a considerable slump in tomato production, by over 20% to 115,790 t. The greenhouse production of vegetables also declined and the downward trend was worst for peppers (over 45% to just over 3,600 t). Only cucumbers showed a growth but it was insignificant (1.3%). 

Beeld: SmartOrganic

Smart Organic becomes official distributor of Beyond Meat in Bulgaria and North Macedonia

The largest distributor of organic foods and beverages in Bulgaria, Smart Organic, becomes the official distributor for Bulgaria and North Macedonia of Beyond Meat, the world leader in the production of plant-based meat substitutes, Capital daily reports quoting Smart Organic founder and owner  Yani Dragov. Smart Organic will start off with three plant-based “meat” products: Beyond minced meat, Beyond burgers and Beyond sausages. Apart from being the largest distributor of organic foods and drinks in Bulgaria, Smart Organic also has its own production. Its products are available in over 650 retail outlets across the country and 60% of its output is exported to some 60 countries. The company has its own chain of supermarkets for organic foods, Zelen, and sells online as well.


Organic cow’s milk gets costlier

The amount of milk purchases from producers in Bulgaria in January-March 2021 shows a downward trend, according to The Centre for Agri Policy Analyses (САРА). On the other side, the analysts expect the purchase price to remain unchanged at BGN 0.63/kg. They also expect the dairy animal population to decrease and the productivity to increase. There is an ongoing upward trend in the production of dairy products, including an increase of 11% for packed milk, 4.7% for cheese and, 6.8% for imitation cheese. The price of milk will likely follow the general European upward trends due to the growing production costs and rising demand, the CAPA analysts say. 


Forest rangers grow strawberries and invest in dairy farms

Forest rangers from the state-owned Southwestern Forestry Company grew an abundant crop of strawberries in fields of the Rila Monastery, AgriBG news outlet reports. Four years ago they created a strawberry garden in the Gerena tree nursery near the village of Stob and expanded it every year with voluntary work until it reached its present 0.7 ha. The manager of the tree nursery, Georgi Kabzimalski, says there is big demand on the market and the strawberries sell very well. The state-owned game farms Dikchan and Vitoshko-Studena have chosen dairy farming as their side business: they keep special breeds for production of milk and dairy products, and plan to start making cheese and other dairy products. Other popular side businesses for the forestry companies and game farms include growing flowers in hi-tech greenhouses.