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About the benefits of the organic food

The benefits of organic food – aimed toward both, consumers and producers, was the main focus of the interview on TV Bulgaria on air by Martien Lankester, director of the Dutch Foundation Avalon and associate professor Vladislav Popov, coordinator for organic farming in the “New Thracian Gold.”

The interview was  part of the three days of cooking with organic and local products from the Eastern Rhodopes, organized by the project with the help of the Dutch embassy and the Restaurant “Soul Kitchen” (June 7 - 9).

Lankester and Popov answered numerous questions about the wealth of the Eastern Rhodopean kitchen and the advantages of cooking with organic and local products.

Increasing the use of organic products is a gradual process Martien Lankester said. Experience in the Netherlands shows that it takes more than twenty years to engage more farmers in organic farming. This in turn leads to increased consumption of organic food and gives many restaurants the opportunity to offer organic meals. The efforts of the “New Thracian Gold” are pointed in this direction , in order to transfer Dutch know-how about the partnership between wildlife, ecotourism and organic food to the Eastern Rhodopes . This concept is already working successfully in the Netherlands, Latvia and Croatia, but it is a long process and we can’t expect results overnight, added Lankester.

Summarizing the situation in Europe, Martien Lankester said that consumers value  organic production more and more - not only because it offers food without chemicals, but also because the industry contributes to the conservation of biodiversity.

There are nearly 220 stores, which offer organic products in Sofia alone, said Prof. Vladislav Popov. A second step in the organic development of Bulgaria is the saturation of the market with more organic products. Currently 85-90 percent of Bulgarian exports are raw organic products. A part of that is returned to Bulgaria in the form of processed products, but they are considerably more expensive, according to Prof. Popov this imbalance interferes with the growth of consumption. Another problem is the low purchasing power of many Bulgarians. Obstacle is also the insufficient awareness of the benefits of organic products for the health of the consumera and for the nature conservation in Bulgaria.

Watch the interview here.

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