Organic boom in Bulgaria and Croatia, but decline in Romania (IT)


Eurostat, the European Statistics Agency, has published data related to organic farming in Eastern European countries: very particular the situation of Bulgaria and Croatia , which have seen the highest rate of expansion in their organic farming sectors in relation to the whole of the EU 28 nations in recent years.

From 2012 to 2016, in Bulgaria the growth rate was over 310 % and in Croatia it was 193.4 %. The total area of organic production in the EU-28 grew by 18.7 per cent .

The statistics also show the potential for growth in the organic sector in these two states: they hold the largest shares of areas of land under conversion to fully organic land, which, in Bulgaria, was 77.5 %, while in Croatia it was nearly 69 %. “Despite these record growth rates, however, organic farmers in both countries still face challenges compared to their competitors in the older EU member states“, comments

Albena Simeonova, president of Bulgaria’s Association of Bioproducers, says: “In 2009, when we created the association, we were 25 people. Now, the number of registered organic producers is between 7,100 and 7,200 in Bulgaria“. However, Simeonova acknowledged that thousands of those people are just the owners of meadows that in reality do not produce anything organic. And this distorts the data. “The state has allowed the funding of farmers who do not produce anything.”  This situation limits the amount of funding available for genuine producers, which makes them less competitive against both conventional farmers in Bulgaria and organic producers in the rest of Europe.

Croatia had 4,751 certified organic producers in 2017, which was 20% more than the year before.

The situation meanwhile is quite the opposite in Romania, where the total share of organically farmed land dropped by over 20 % between 2012 and 2016, but there were still over 10,000 accredited organic farms in 2016, cultivating about 225,000 hectares in the country, according to the Romanian Ministry of Agriculture. In 2012 there were over 25,000 ecological farms in Romania but then the government lowered the subsidies from 1,500 euro per hectare in 2010-2012, to some 200 to 300 euro per farm now. This has discouraged entrepreneurs who face costs that are 30 to 40 % higher.


Source: Plaza