Bulgarian Pink Tomato Applies for Protection under European Quality Schemes

Bulgarian Pink Tomato Applies for Protection under European Quality Schemes

Bulgarian Pink Tomato Applies for Protection under European Quality Schemes

Sofia, December 30 (BTA) - The Kurtovo pink tomato will be one of the 30 products part of the campaign titled "Protect Bulgarian Taste". The main objective of the campaign is to inform more Bulgarian producers about the opportunities for applying under the European mechanism in support of Bulgarian products. This will enable farmers to use European funding in addition to the traditional "protected designation of origin", protected geographical indication, and traditional specialities guaranteed, both in and beyond the EU.

The hope is that the increasingly rarer Bulgarian taste, mainly due to loss of regional varieties and seeds, will be reintroduced and the emblematic pink tomato will rank along the two products protected so far - the Gorna Oryahovitsa sausage and Bulgarian rose oil.

"The pink tomato is an indeterminate variety with unlimited growth and requires caging that may reach over 2.0 m. The fruit are large, usually varying between 300 and 500 g, but they can reach a weight of up to 1.3 kg," says Emilia Shousharova who chairs the Presidium Kurtovo Konare Association. She also heads the local community centre in the southern Bulgarian village and is the wife of an experienced farmer.

"Kurtovo Konare is a village with rich traditions in Bulgaria's economic history," Shousharova said in an interview for BTA. "It is where the first early red tomatoes in Bulgaria were grown and one of the best Bulgarian varieties of paprika was named after it. Local varieties also include a peach and an apple. The first peanuts and the first persimmon in Bulgaria were also grown here," she added.

The unique quality of the pink tomato from Kurtovo Konare is the extremely high dry content.

Konare's old agricultural fame is also returning with the traditional festival, the eighth one this year. This helped the village achieve economic, social, environmental and cultural effect. There is increasing demand for local produce and some products have become popular far beyond Bulgaria's borders.

Part of the products were entered in the world treasury of Slow Food Bulgaria, which has been operating in this country since 2004. Inaugurated in Florence in 2003 with contribution from the Tuscany Regional Authority, Slow Food coordinates and promotes Slow Food's projects to protect food biodiversity across the world. Active in over 100 countries, the Foundation involves thousands of small-scale producers in its projects, providing technical assistance, training, producer exchanges and communication.

Source: Sofia