Mountainous areas in Bulgaria cover 53.3% of the overall surface and account for nearly 38% of all utilized agricultural areas. In light on the relevance of mountains areas for its national economy, Bulgaria has been more and more interested in implementing the European regulation on the optional quality term “mountain product”, it’s now a done deal.
On 28th of May 2019 the Bulgarian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry released the ordonnance N° 4/28.05.2019. The ordonnance transposes into the Bulgarian law the European regulation N°1151/2012 on the use of the optional quality term “mountain product” and sets the conditions and procedure for the use of the optional quality term in Bulgaria.
How can producers benefit from the quality term in Bulgaria?
The procedure requires farmers to submit an application to the Regional Food Safety Directorate. In Bulgaria, the control of the use of the optional quality term falls under the competence of the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency. After documentary and on-the-spot check, the farmer will have to be registered in the public Register of the producers of optional quality term “mountain product”, which is available on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.
Some derogations are allowed by the Bulgarian ordonnance. For instance, the slaughter of animals and cutting and deboning of carcasses may take place outside mountain areas, provided that the distance from the mountain area in question does not exceed 30 km.
A national logo to increase mountain products’ visibility
The ordonnance adopted in May 2019 also provides producers with a national logo. It must be used on the packaging of any product using the optional quality term “mountain product”.
Bulgaria joins other countries such as Italy and Romania, which have also adopted a national logo for the optional quality term and many more countries which are using the term at national level, even without a dedicated logo.
23 March 2020