Bulgaria Leads EU in Lavender Production

 Bulgaria Leads EU in Lavender Production

Bulgaria Leads EU in Lavender Production

Sofia, October 4 (BTA) - Since 2015 Bulgaria has become a EU leader in terpeneless oil exports with an output worth of 10 million euro. Together with France Bulgaria accounts for two thirds of EU exports, said Inteli Agro after a sectoral analysis of lavender production in Bulgaria. It has been implemented under a project for analysis and monitoring of agricultural policies supported by the America for Bulgaria Foundation.

One of the reasons for the rise of Bulgaria is that former leader France has been long plagued by problems related to disease and pests. In recent years some 3,500 ha have been under lavender and in 2015 France produced 80 tonnes of oil. In France lavandin is more popular.

Europe is the main market for lavender and lavandin oil, mainly France and Germany, Key markets are the US and Switzerland. Lavender oil is exported also to Southeast Asia, Latin America, Australia and Canada.

Since 2008 lavender has become more popular in Bulgaria and sown areas have tripled reaching 7,000 ha between 2012 and 2015. Lavender is grown in many parts of Bulgaria and Dobrudzha is among the leading lavender producing regions in the world.

According to industry estimates Bulgaria produces 200-250 tonnes of lavender oil, which for the most part is exported. In recent years large foreign clients invest in their own distilleries in Bulgaria. The industry highlights a need to support investments at the expense of subsidies per unit of sown area in order to achieve better oil quality.

This considerable rise in areas under lavender in Bulgaria has inevitably led to lower prices. The first indications were observed during the 2016 campaign. Young crops are yet to achieve their full potential and France has increased its production which will put even more pressure. The industry says that investments are needed for research in order to select new local varieties resistant to pests and disease, adaptable to various locations and meeting demand for a certain quality of oil.

Source: Sofia