The Bulgarian programme “European cheese, please” has concluded successfully. It was the first EU approved program for promotion of Bulgarian dairy products abroad. For the programme’s three-year duration, SFA paid out 3 079 449 BGN – both national and EU resources. The contract activities were implemented 98%. The programme gave milk producers and processors the opportunity to advertise Bulgarian cheese and yellow cheese in foreign markets via participating in the most prestigious dairy product expositions. Bulgarian products reached the Russian and Ukrainian consumers through a large-scale promotional campaign – ads in newspapers, magazines, specialized publications, clips in movie theaters and TV channels. The qualities of Bulgarian dairy products were demonstrated at international trade fairs, production plant visits, formal dinners, business seminars, sampling sessions at leading supermarkets, culinary schools and universities and others.
At the moment, SFA has 6 contracts for financing promotional programmes with an overall budget of 25 million BGN. The advertised products include white brined cheese, yoghurt, chutney, roasted long peppers, rose jam, hip marmalade, bottled peaches and wine. They target the markets of five continents and particularly Spain, Germany, Poland, Romania, Great Britain, Brazil, China, UAE, Russia, Ukraine, Australia and the USA.
The Promotional Programmes scheme advertises Bulgarian agricultural production and aims to stabilize the economy and stimulate export. The programmes can be developed by producer associations, producers and merchants. They must submit an application in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. A dedicated unit will process the documents and send them for approval to the European Commission (EC). SFA will sign the contract within 90 days of the EC approval. Half of the budget comes from the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund, beneficiaries contribute at least 20%, and SFA provides the remaining part.