Bulgaria Newsflash Week 40

Bulgaria’s approach in circular economy; animals transported concerns at EU border; update on local livestock breeding and ASF; organic agriculture and mountain food products ... all in our latest Agri Newsflash in Week 40. 

Circular agriculture
Beeld: ©Ministry of Agriculture, Nature & Food Quality

Bulgaria starts its first circular economy platform

Bulgaria’s first and so far only circular economy platform, CEMIS, has been put into operation. It integrates information about the locations where household waste materials can be handed in and where they can be recycled and utilized. CEMIS will enable people to share, borrow and use pre-owned products and materials, thus extending their life cycle. The platform also provides useful information about the advantages of the circular economy, the types of waste and the applicable legislation. The platform is designed for all societal groups: residents, small nighbourhood businesses, non-government organizations, the recycling industry and the administration.

Animal transport

EC concerned by welfare of animals transported from EU through Bulgaria

A nine-member delegation of the European Parliament visited Bulgaria to discuss the implementation of the EU rules regarding the conditions for transportation of animals and ways to improve them. “Despite efforts of local authorities, it is unfortunately clear, also thanks to the relentless work of animal welfare NGOs on the ground, that breaches of Regulation 2001/05 are common for journeys passing through Kapitaan Andrevo. Transport durations are often too long, animals too young to travel safely, with a lack of adequate water or food supply, and issues with heat stress, due to the high temperatures the region experiences during the summer months,” said the Chair of EP‘s committee of Inquiry on the protection of animals during transport (ANIT), Tilly Metz. Meeting with the delegation, Deputy Agriculture Minister Krum Nedyalkov said that the standards for human treatment of animals should be applied across the EU. The EU has some of the highest standards for animal welfare globally but these standards are not applied by third countries and it is important that EU-level support be provided for their enforcement, he added. The Bulgarian Agriculture Ministry is adamant that reciprocity should be sought to make sure the competitiveness of European producers is not undermined.


Bulgaria made significant progress in the recovery of the national swine herd after ASF

In 2020 and 2021, Bulgaria made significant progress in the recovery of the national swine herd after African swine fever (ASF) hit the country in 2019, writes a report of USDA, the United States Department of Agriculture.  Most backyard farmers have stopped raising pigs while the national herd is rebuilt, and commercial pork production has increased. It is estimated that in 2021/2022, the recovery will further expand if the authorities successfully manage the epizootic situation.  Consumer demand softened in 2020 due to the pandemic but has rebounded steadily in 2021 due to the stabilization of the hotel, restaurant, and institutional industry.  It’s expected the Bulgarian market for pork meat to grow further in 2022.  Beef production and consumption followed a similar trend and declined in 2020, however, it is recovering in 2021 due to higher animal inventory and better trade prospects.

Organic Farming Day
Beeld: Bioselena Foundation

Bulgaria marks European Organic Day for the first time

On September 23, Bulgaria marked for the first time the European Organic Day. It was initiated by the Bioselena Foundation for organic farming and the Bulgarian Association of Organic Products (BAB). The two organizations organized a visit to an organic farm and a kindergarten where they created a mini vegetable garden, reported Balgarski Fermer weekly. In a separate development, the European Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission signed a joint declaration to mark the day of organic farming as the European Organic Day. It follows up on the action plan for development of organic production adopted by the EC on March 25, 2021.
Back in Bulgaria, Bioselena and BAB insisted that the National Recovery and Resilience Plan should provide resources to enable kindergartens and schools to start providing organic food to children, which will be in keeping with the EC recommendation for the Member States to adopt measures to make sure more organic produce is used in public organizations. This commendation is not reflected in the Bulgaria’s draft plan.

Photo of the Serbian landscape near the Tara mountains.
Beeld: ©Pixabay

Producers show increasing interest in “Mountain Product” designation

Producers are showing increasing interest in the “Mountain Product” designation, said Deputy Agriculture and Food Minister Georgi Subev. There has been an increase in the resignation of producers using the “Mountain Product” logo, he said adding that his ministry attaches topmost importance to the production of top-quality and healthy products and foods. He was adamant that a new approach is needed. “We need better coordination between agriculture and the related policies: climate and environment, scientific research, innovations and technologies, energy and resource efficiency, and foods,” the deputy minister argued.