BULGARIA - The beef cattle market in Bulgaria is not well-structured yet and there are no solid tendencies in cattle rearing. However, the picture is gradually changing and an increasingly higher number of investors see the possibilities of a market that is about to develop, Andrei Chalukov, Executive Director of the Association for Growing of Meat Cattle Breeds, said in an interview for 'BTA'.
An increasingly higher number of farmers are aware that it is not one and the same just to export grain and process it and export produce with added value, said Mr Chalukov. The benefit will be greater, where the grain is transformed into meat or meat preparations along the chain.
He notes, however, that the sale of produce is still a problem. Export transactions are being concluded but everyone is seeking customers.
"As a whole, the market is not well structured and Bulgarian-produced raw materials are not attractive enough for our meat processors," Mr Chalukov warns. The enterprises have made a serious technological leap and operate with standardized produce, while locally-produced meat is not calibrated and assessed in terms of quality. This is the reason why 70 per cent of the beef meat in Bulgaria is imported, the expert said.
Mr Chalukov noted that veal is not very popular in Bulgaria, which may be attributed to the fact that high-quality veal has not been offered on the market so far. People are used to believing that dry veal should be cooked for a long time, etc.
He is confident that the entry of new technologies with clearly outlined growth cycles will contribute to the formation of a new taste among customers. "In fact, this process has already begun: there are already specialized steak restaurants in the country, which means that there is a demand for such meat, which makes restaurant keepers offer it.
The demand for beef has increased worldwide and the tendency will be preserved in the following years, said Mr Chalukov. This is a big chance for Bulgarian producers, who, unlike their other EU counterparts, can offer this commodity at comparable quality but a lower price.
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