For the ninth consecutive year, Bulgaria ranks first among EU countries in the production of herbs and spices. According to Eurostat data, just over 71,000 tons of aromatic and medicinal plants and spices were harvested in the country in 2018. The harvest of the second in the ranking, Poland, is nearly twice as small – 39 thousand tons. This does not mean that Bulgaria has become the kingdom of herbs for 10 years. Since ancient times the use of medicinal plants and the cultivation of herbs have been part of the everyday life and traditions of Bulgarians, no matter if they live in cities or in the countryside.
Herbs require the right climatic conditions, special skills of the farmers who cultivate them, commercial flair and a good mastery of the intricacies of this delicate business.
“Bulgaria is one of the most suitable countries in Europe for growing herbs and medicinal plants, due to its soil and climate conditions. We have the Balkan Mountain range and our plains are also suitable for growing cultivated herbs,” said agriculture businessman Metodi Stefanov, who grows more than 300 ha of roses, lavender, chamomile, Lemon balm and other herbs in the Rose Valley and northern Bulgaria.
The Bulgarian flora is not only beautiful but is also a source of good health with about 200 species of medicinal plants. Today, when economic interests come to the forefront in almost every area of life, it must be said that herbs have their commercial and economic dimensions. A considerable part of them are harvested in the wild nature, but the big success is achieved by those who grow herbs and plants in industrial quantities for the market. Such plants are mostly the rose, lavender, chamomile, sunflower seeds, linden, etc. It is important to clarify that almost all herbs in Bulgaria are grown ecologically, in compliance with bio-standards.
This is highly appreciated in the countries where Bulgarian medicinal and aromatic plants are exported to. About 200 types of herbs of 140 plant species are exported to Germany (65%), Spain (10%), Italy (5%), France (5%), and other countries (15%). It is seen that Bulgaria remains first and foremost a producer of raw materials, not finished herb-based processed products. The Bulgarian export list is dominated by rose and rose oil, lavender, honey, thyme, various varieties of chamomile, white oregano, coriander, dill, and salvia.
Set Up a Company in Agriculture in Bulgaria
There are good natural conditions in the country for the growing of a large number of plants, fruits and vegetables and for livestock farming. Rural development programmes, along with several options for EU funding, have made investment conditions more attractive to foreign investors, and the government provides special incentives to invest in this sector.
Bulgaria welcomes foreign investments in agriculture, but it is advisable for investors to seek professional assistance with regard to establishing a business according to local laws.
BG Advise can help you open a company in the agricultural sector.
The food and agriculture sector in Bulgaria is important and attracts significant foreign investment. International firms target key industries like food, beverages, dairy, fruits and vegetables.
Roughly 50% of Bulgaria has a farm-friendly territory and good natural conditions to produce a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and crops. It is also advantageous for food and beverage farmers because of the geographic location of the country: it offers easy access to the rest of Europe, Russia and the Middle East.
Bulgaria has implemented EU food safety and manufacturing standards. Local regulation for the production of food and beverages allows companies to obtain special permits and operating licences.
Our team is able to assist you in providing you with information on the government incentives available and the laws and regulations currently in effect.