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"The ministry’s team works for a final product that satisfies consumers not for the separate sectors of sheep or cattle breeding, but for the development of fruits and vegetables production, meat and milk, as well as honey. We work for the market success. The National Assembly has voted and assigned us a task to change the Strategic Plan for the development of agriculture and rural areas in Bulgaria, aiming to stimulate consumption of more Bulgarian fruits and vegetables, milk and dairy products, more meat and meat products, as well as bee products. We are working on these four strategic product groups. That's why these Advisory Councils have been formed, in order to put the problems on the table and solve them", emphasized the Minister of Agriculture and Food Kiril Vatev at the opening of the Advisory Council on Milk at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. "Let everyone realize their place in the agro-food chain and not be angry that we do not hold separate meetings with each organization, because we will not work on sectors as it was until now, but on agro-food chains", added the minister, emphasizing that the most important thing is the final product on the market.

“An analysis of the relationships in the agro-food milk chain, from field to table, should be the only item on the agenda of the next meeting of the Advisory Council on Milk. It is the Council's decision taken today”, Minister Vatev said. “Together, we all will search for the answer of how the chain is structured so as to identify where and how the value added in end prices is distributed. We are analyzing the path of Bulgarian products to the consumer's table, as well as imports, to find a way how the participants in the chain could create mutually beneficial and symbiotic relationship," stressed Minister Vatev.

Minister Vatev presented a comparative report data on milk production from the last few years, showing a negative trend of decreasing production of fresh cow, sheep and goat milk and increasing imports. The main goal of this Council is to find an approach to turn this trend in the interest of the consumer.

Representatives of 31 branch organizations and institutions took part in the work of the Council. Among  them were the National Association of Grain Producers, Bulgarian Union of Compound Feed Producers, Association of Manufacturers and Traders of Veterinary Medical Products,  different branch organizations of milk producers and processors, breeding and farming organizations, Bulgarian Veterinary Union, Association for Modern Trade, Agricultural Academy, Trakia University, Agricultural University, University of Food Technology, University  of Forestry.

"These are people, who have put their reputation and money at stake in the name of a single production, so everyone wants to share their opinion and the meeting format expands from the feed producer, milk producer to the processor, trader and distributor through whole way to the store-shelf. Let us all understand the problems in the sector. It is not a sector of milk processors or producers. It belongs to all of us," added Deputy Minister Alexander Iotzev. "After all, we are consumers and we need answers as for the price, as well as the insufficient milk production," the Deputy Minister pointed out.



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