More than 50% of the goods in seven of the largest retail chains in Bulgaria are supplied by domestic producers, and in some categories, the share of the local production reaches 75%. This has been revealed by a poll conducted by the Association of Modern Trade, with members Kaufland, Billa, Lidl, dm, Metro, T-Market and Deichmann holding more than 30% of the market in the country.
Participants in the survey work with over 1,000 Bulgarian producers and this partnership is allowing some of the companies to export successfully to foreign markets. The chains have their own initiatives to support the business of their Bulgarian counterparts.
Billa, for example, has invested in the development of agriculture through its Billa Gardens program, through which it has partnered with more than 30 fruit and vegetable growers in the country. The chain has its own brand "Bulgarian Farm", which guarantees the products' Bulgarian origin.
Kaufland supports Bulgarian producers by providing funds and know-how for their certification under the Global GAP standard, ensuring that there are no pesticide and nitrate residues in the fruits and vegetables on offer. The company helps producers throughout the certification process by providing them a market for their products.
Lidl has held the campaign "Preserve the Bulgarian taste", focused on the protection of traditional foods. In 2010, the chain had 85 Bulgarian suppliers; this year, it is already working with 172.
For its part, Metro launched the "Bred with Care in Bulgaria" program, through which it buys produce directly from producers. As a result of the initiative, about 200 small growers deliver more than 400 fruits and vegetables directly to the retailer.