One cannot imagine a celebration without the colorful and aromatic atmosphere created by flowers. Flowers have always been a desired gift, while the beauty of city parks and gardens is great when professionals take care of the ornamental plants.
The Bulgarian Association of Ornamental Plants Nurseries was established 2 years ago. 35 of the biggest producers in the country participate in it. Some of these companies are partly Dutch or German-owned, chairman of the association Trifon Trifonov explains. One of the goals of the organization is equalizing quality standards in Bulgaria and Europe.
The last state owned plant nursery stopped functioning in Bulgaria in 1993. Shortly after that this country started applying the common European standards in the sector. Mr Trifonov told Radio Bulgaria that the economic crisis has negatively affected the sector in the past years. The demand for tall plants has also dropped. Here is more from Mr. Trifonov.
“It is natural that bigger plants cost more, as more time and care is required. We are agricultural producers but do not receive any subsidies,” Mr. Trifonov says. “We are not allowed to apply for European financing and this issue exists in other EU Member States too. We can hardly talk of export. It consists mainly of roses to the Dutch market. There are a number of Dutch companies that have been working here for years. Most of them work in the region of Pavlikeni, where roses are traditionally grown. Our produce is very competitive but we lack good marketing. It is difficult to reach the EU market. Most of the Bulgarian export goes to Turkey, Macedonia, Albania, and Serbia.”
One of the rose nurseries near Pavlikeni
The grey sector in the business turns out to be a problem for the members of the association. There are merchants selling low-quality produce or even stolen plants. Producing high-quality flowers and plants for the market requires some serious investments too.
“One needs a huge area and good soil. There are special methods used for growing flowers. One must find a market for the production and that is why quality is of great importance. All members of our association produce plants of great quality, sometimes even better than that of other EU producers,” Trifon Trifonov concludes.
English: Alexander Markov