Bulgarian Cheese Is Made of German Milk Concentrate - Expert

Business | December 29, 2011, Thursday // 15:08
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Cheese Is Made of German Milk Concentrate - Expert Photo by news.expert.bg

Bulgarian cheese is made of German milk, warned Gospodin Gospodinov, Chair of the Branch Union of Stock-breeders in Bulgaria.

In a Thursday interview for Standard daily, he said that Bulgarian dairy plants had no other option for coping with the shortage of quality raw material but to rely on import, most often from Germany and Hungary.

Gospodinov explained that the cost of German milk concentrate with a 0.1% fat content was as low as BGN 0.50 per liter, while the price of Bulgarian cow milk varied between BGN 0.72-0.75.

What is more, Gospodinov noted, it was predominantly major dairy processors who had access to high-quality raw material, leaving smaller companies no other option but to import.

He stated that the huge scarcity was caused by the persistently dwindling number of animals.

The Chair of the Stock-breeders Union said that the entire dairy processing industry had experienced a several-fold decrease over the past 20 years, with the most tangible decline in the number of sheep, which dropped from a total of 10.5 million to 1.3 million.

Velichko Vasilev, owner of a dairy plant near Dobrich, claimed that the shrunken market had forced dairy products manufacturers to sell below market value.

"Quality cheese really costs BGN 8-10 but we sell it for BGN 6-7," he said.

Several days ago, Food Safety Agency inspectors uncovered a new fraud scheme deployed by cheese traders which involved buying one type of cheese, unpackaging it and selling it under different brand names and at different prices.

In the meantime, news arrived from Brussels that the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ) had published a decision for extending the deadline for ensuring compliance with European regulations concerning the dairy sector.

Under the decision, Bulgaria will have to bring its dairy products in line with European standards by December 31, 2013.

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Tags: cheese, dairy farm, dairy plant, dairy products

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