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Bulgarian cherry, plum production much lower than expected

Megafruit is a Bulgarian company founded in 1995 by Mrs Liliana Dineva and devoted to the production and export of fresh fruits and vegetables, namely plums and cherries, as well as to the processing of walnuts and the cleaning, packing and export of sunflower seeds.

According to Dineva, the latest season was disappointing in terms of production volumes due to the impact of the weather. “We got maybe 40% of what we expected, so we couldn’t do much with cherries and plums. The last three years was very bad not only for us, but also for producers all over the country, although it also depends on the varieties.”

In preparation for the next season, “We are taking good care of the trimming, the fertilizing and looking after the gardens, but we’ll still depend on the climatic conditions,” she affirms. The Bulgarian producers desperately need investments in agriculture. In addition it must be noted that the European subsidies for the Bulgarian agriculture are substantially lower than those granted to Greece for instance .

As regards to global imports, she explains that Bulgaria imports mainly citrus fruits which cannot be grown in the country, and from time to time apples, pears, even though the country’s production is not small. Some companies import apples from Italy, for instance, and sometimes citruses from South Africa during the off-season. Cherry and plum imports, mainly from Greece, are small and only take place before their local production is ready.

Dineva explains that, during the Northern Hemisphere season, Bulgaria imports citrus fruits mainly from Turkey and Greece and demand is quite good and stable. “What is imported is sold out and the companies involved purchase volumes proportionate to existing demand.”

Import prices are also reasonable with 0.64 Euro per kilo for Turkish Meyer lemons or 0.72 Euro for the Eureka variety. All in all, she says that Bulgarian retailers are placing great emphasis on the marketing of fresh produce. “When you go into a store, the first thing you see is the fresh fruit and vegetable stands.”

For more information:
Lileana Dineva
Megafruit (Bulgaria)
Tel: + 359 2 981 3775; +359 981 3776
Fax: + 359 2 980 0440

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