At a briefing following the Consultative Council on Fruit and Vegetables on Friday, Agriculture and Food Minister Kiril Vatev said that checks will be conducted along the fruit and vegetable supply chain for the pricing and the origin of the produce.
Vatev noted that changes to the 2023-2027 Strategic Plan for Agricultural and Rural Development were on the agenda of the Council held on Friday and added that written proposals on the subject are expected from the participating representatives of the branch organizations.
In response to a question about the Plan in the fruit and vegetable section, Minister Vatev pointed out that there is a lack of market analysis for this sector, which now urgently needs to be prepared. The goal is to establish the share of imported products in the country, said the Minister and referred to data from a branch organization according to which currently 40% of fruits and vegetables sold in the country are of Bulgarian origin and 60% are imported. “I think this is very worrying. The goal that we should set next year is for this ratio to be 50 to 50,” said Vatev.
In response to a question whether Bulgaria would follow the example of Switzerland, which in the active season introduces a moratorium on the import of fruits and vegetables which are produced in the country, and introduce a similar restriction regarding imports from non-EU countries, the Minister pointed out that this is a possibility.
This is the subject of deeper analyzes related to trade relations, as well as to whether Bulgaria is able to 100% satisfy its consumption, added Minister and expressed the opinion that Bulgaria is currently not ready for such a step.