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Bulgarian cheese is made in Poland with milk from Kosovo

Cheese and cheese producers find it increasingly difficult to find raw materials

A price of BGN 3.50 per liter of fresh cow is already considered quite normal

Ordinary cheese may soon reach BGN 40 per kilo

Farmers in our country massively refuse to raise animals for milk – especially cows. The negative trend is already bearing fruit – for several months, and especially with the onset of autumn, fresh milk in Bulgaria has been drastically decreasing. This has also happened in previous years during the autumn months, but this time dairy producers are faced with an almost complete lack of not only cow’s milk, but also sheep and goat milk.

According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, from April, when 62 thousand tons of cow’s milk were produced in our country, to September, when the quantity is already 52 thousand tons, there is a continuous decrease. The drop for these months is 16% and according to forecasts in the industry

the raw material will continue to

missing even more

because there is a process of massive refusal of farmers to raise animals for milk, especially cows.

According to the chairman of the Association of Milk Processors in Bulgaria, Dimitar Zorov, currently, farmers are slaughtering cows and sheep en masse because they cannot sustain themselves economically.

Support for breeding animals in the previous program period was 600 euros per cow per year, but in the new one, 200 euros per animal per year is set, and this, according to Zorov, guarantees even more refusals.

“For animal breeders, it’s already scary, farms are being closed en masse because

nobody wants to

operates at a loss

Only those who have taken out loans and cannot get rid of their debts continue to work, mostly medium-sized farms. Or those who also have dairies and hope to float to the surface, but this is less and less successful,” Dimitar Zorov commented to “24 Chasa”.

The problem is far from just subsidies, because feed has become more expensive by about 100% compared to last year at this time. Even those who have the opportunity to produce their own fodder feel the pressure, because fertilizers have also become more expensive, and if they don’t fertilize, yields are lower.

In the summer, when pastures can be used, there are also problems, since in our country the issue of the use of municipal pastures has not been resolved for years.

“There is definitely a shortage of milk, I haven’t calculated how much production has fallen, but for dairy farmers like us, it’s disastrous. It is not just a matter of its price, which inevitably rises. But when I can’t push my powers to the limit,

cost of production

I’m getting bigger

because I also have constant expenses, and the production is less”, Dimitar Madzharov, owner of one of the largest milk processing enterprises in Bulgaria, explained to “24 Chasa”.

One solution for some producers is to order certain quantities of dairy products for production outside. This has been done for years in such periods when milk in our country decreases, but this time the trend has intensified.

Production of native dairy products is usually ordered in Poland, less often in Romania and until recently it was made with local milk.

Recently, however, there is a shortage in almost all of Europe, and products are made with milk, wherever it is found.

“Colleagues have come to an impasse recently to go around the nearby countries in search of fresh milk. They go with the tankers to Kosovo, North Macedonia, Serbia, Romania, but the milk has started to decrease there as well. Only in Greece there is enough, but it is much more expensive”, said Zorov.

Dimitar Madzharov has not yet gone looking for milk abroad, but he has heard of his colleagues who do.

In August and September, the native producers imported certain quantities from Hungary, but it has already run out there as well. And at the beginning of October

Serbia imposed an export ban

of fresh milk

for the same reason – production has started to decrease.

The price of pasteurized fresh milk in stores has recently been approaching BGN 3.50 per liter, and types with a higher fat content are even more expensive.

Many small farmers sell their milk in large towns by stopping their cars between blocks and pouring the produce into plastic bottles. But even this milk is rarely below BGN 2.50 per liter.

The increase in transport costs and the war in Ukraine have dealt a further blow to dairy production. Increased transportation costs inflate final prices, even if everything else had remained the same.

And after the opening of the European Union for imports from Ukraine from there to our country

large ones have been imported

quantities of dry milk

It is already massively put into production and this is no secret, said Zorov.

And he predicts that as long as the war in Ukraine lasts, the current situation will worsen and it is no wonder that by the New Year Vitosha type cheese will reach BGN 40 per kilogram.

Its price is actually already approaching that figure. There are cities such as Vratsa, Plovdiv and Sliven, where the wholesale price of this type of yellow cheese already exceeds BGN 21, and there is no way that in the shops it cannot reach almost BGN 30.

Cow’s cheese in some places like Blagoevgrad, for example, is sold for BGN 15 at wholesale prices.

Recently, there has been another phenomenon on the dairy market – even substitute products that contain palm oil or those that contain dry milk are becoming more expensive. For example

the cheese with vegetable fat through

last week transferred BGN 5 per kilo

at wholesale prices, what cow’s milk cheese cost at this time last year.

The reason is that there is a worldwide shortage of palm oil and its price is also rising.

And according to Zorov, more and more manufacturers in our country are rethinking their recipes, and it is no wonder that consumers will soon feel that more and more dry milk and vegetable fats are being added to their products.

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