Organic box schemes available in Bulgaria
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
So far, there is only one organic inspection and certification agency in Bulgaria yet – Balkan Biocert. However, one thing was lacking from the organic guide on these pages – fruit and vegetables. Tamara Lev felt the need to make an important step toward opening the Bulgarian market to organic products, since these are hard to find in the country. Therefore she started the organic box delivery scheme Gaia in Sofia in August 2006 as the first and so far only home delivery service of organic vegetables. Gaia’s boxes are filled with produce from two villages. A summer box would contain tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, courgettes, green onions and dill, for example, but other organic products like honey or herb tea are included at times as well. All products originate in Bulgaria and are certified organic by QC&I, IMO and Balkan Biocert, says Ms. Lev. So far, schemes were only available last summer and will be re-launched in April this year. But this would change, Ms. Lev mentioned, since her company plans to supply during the winters, starting the next winter season. Deliveries will be based on products from green houses which are currently planned. A warehouse is available only for storing packages and packing, since vegetables are sent fresh at the day they are picked. Mrs Lev states that their first season was based on mouth-to-mouth advertisement, brochures and articles in local magazines. A high percentage of the clients are foreigners living in Sofia, which were addressed directly. But Bulgarians are getting more interested in organic produce as well.
Since Gaia had a limited quantity of produce, the numbers of clients served during their first season was also limited. Ms. Lev expects to be able to serve more clients in the future. The reactions to the new box scheme very extremely positive. Customers were surprised of the taste of the organic produce. Unfortunately, it was hard for the company to supply the clients’ demand. As Bulgaria joined the EC, Gaia is now checking the possibilities to cooperate with companies which can offer us products missing in Bulgaria or are interested in their produce. Gaia is currently working on their web site, which will be launched in a few weeks.
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