With nearly 250 billion euro per year, the growing consumption of fruits and vegetables brings many opportunities and impetus for changes around the entire world. Expected to continue rising, the trend is mainly based on the non-traditional foods like nuts and berries. The international trade of only avocados and blueberries has been grown fivefold over the past 10 years. The production of plumps, cherries, nuts raises to record high numbers in Bulgaria, with a large potential for export and Dutch-Bulgarian cooperation in various fields: production & trade, transfer of knowledge and share of experience and technologies.
These were the highlight of the second edition of InteliFresh - 2019 that brought together on 22 February in Plovdiv (south Bulgaria) Bulgarian vegetable and fruit growers, large supermarkets, processors, local retailers and foreign dealers, as well as suppliers of equipment and technologies of the chain “from the garden to the shop”. Global trends of the vegetable and fruit markets, export opportunities for the Romanian market, international quality certification and funding new veggie and fruit endeavours, as well as news technologies for plant protection, procession and storage were in the forum’s agenda.
The talks and the B2B meetings were sparkled with the opening discussion about the trade through the new modern channels, with the special participation of METRO Bulgaria, Kaufland Bulgaria and BILLA Bulgaria. In 2018, the three large supermarket chains experience an increase of sales of Bulgarian fruits and vegetables with nearly 50 %. Since 2012 they have first-hand experience about growing interest of Bulgarian consumers in local, healthy, new and organic produce.
Bulgaria has a potential in the export of melons, which is an appealing niche at the West European fruit market, said Reinoud Nuijten from CBI (Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries) in his presentation “Export opportunities for fruits and vegetables on the EU markets”. Nikolay Valkanov from InteliAgro put the stress on cultivated blueberries, with their high export potential for Bulgarian producers. In a couple of months. InteliAgro will organize a blueberries share-of-experience meeting between Bulgarian producers, seedlings dealers and Dutch companies, including a trip to Serbia.
Inge Ribbens from the Netherland’s Fresh Produce Centre presented of the story of success of the Dutch approach in the international supply of fruit and vegetables. One of the key factors of the Dutch agriculture, which could be a beneficial lesson for Bulgarian producers is the setting-up of organizations, as more than 80% of all farms are united in producers’ organizations, with 12 in the field of fruits and vegetables.
Among the business speakers were the representatives of the Dutch company Aweta on modern AGF packing and sorting technologies and the Dutch-based Tradin Organic on the organic fruits and seed market opportunities.
More than 250 participants attended the event, which is an increase of 25% compared to the first edition in 2018. B2B sessions provided an excellent platform for networking and liaising growers, dealers and partners of the chain “from the garden to the plate”, with opportunities for concrete deals and signing contracts.
InteliFresh 2019: from the garden to the shelf was organized by InteliAgro in partnerships with the Embassy of the Netherlands in Bulgaria, DSK Bank, ЕuroFert, METRO, Kaufland Bulgaria and Billa Bulgaria. The event enjoys a huge media interest, with several media – Bloomberg TV Bulgaria, Agro TV, AgroCompass news magazine, Balgarski Fermer weekly and AgroNovinite, Fermer, Sinor and AgroPlovdiv agri news outlets – as committed media partners.