Posted 3 June 2015
An increase in investment, production and trade are behind the recent growth of Bulgaria’s poultry industry, explains Harper Adams Senior Lecturer, Dr Vasil Pirgozliev.
Poultry production is responsible for 16% of the country’s animal production trade, being worth approximately 188 million Euros.
Dr Pirgozliev, who moved to the UK from Bulgaria in 1996 to complete a PhD, said: “During the past few years, the number of small poultry farms has reduced considerably, whilst the number of larger farms has increased.
“In Bulgaria, poultry produced for meat accounts for around 54% of production, including chicken and duck.
Currently, around 6million laying hens are reared in industrial laying houses with around 2.5million reared through small family farms, mostly free range. All of which are reared in accordance to EU welfare standards.
For Bulgarians, Poultry is the cheapest meat on the market, followed by pork. Dr Pirgozliev, who was born in Ruse, North-East Bulgaria, believes these shopping habits are unlikely to change in the near future.
He added: “Poultry meat consumption in Bulgaria is high because of the industry and supplier’s abilities to offer a diverse range of low-end to high-end product choices.
“To satisfy this demand, Bulgaria imports poultry meat from EU countries such as Poland, Greece, Romania and the Netherlands. Brazil is the only non-EU exporter of broiler meat to Bulgaria.
“But in return, the country also exports poultry meat with the annual export for the past few years being around 31 MT. Within these exports, Greece and Romania being the primary markets, fresh chilled products are more popular than frozen ones.
“The poultry industry in Bulgaria is well equipped and I anticipate that production will continue to increase in time.
“I predict that the main priorities will lie within egg and meat production, and also the production of high quality duck liver as this is proving a popular product.
“I think an exciting time certainly lies ahead.”