METRO Bulgaria teamed up with 200 small agricultural producers across Bulgaria to sell authentic fruit sorts and vegetables to its professional HoReCa customers.
“The important point of our project is that we become a bridge between the local farmers and our customers”, says Atila Yensen, CEO of METRO Bulgaria.
The Bulgarian farmers will deliver directly from the field to 11 METRO Cash & Carry stores in Bulgaria. There are 150 authentic Bulgarian fruit and vegetable sorts listed in the new METRO Bulgaria assortment for 2017. 12000 tons is the minimum expected volume of fruits and vegetables that will be delivered to METRO stores annually. About 6000 Bulgarian restaurants will benefit from the fresh and unique METRO Fruit & Vegetables offer helping them to meet the expectation of their customers for good and delicious food.
METRO Bulgaria provides direct access to the market and sales opportunities to local communities of producers for the farmers taking part in this project. It helps Bulgarian producers to enhance their production knowledge and meet the legal quality requirements and provides packaging, logistics support, authentic seed and consultancy from science organizations to discover and recover local seeds, especially for rare and endangered species. On top of that METRO prepares and helps Bulgarian producers to export, to develop financial support models and to access easier the EU fund programs. As Todor Atanasov, a Bulgarian farmer from Plovdiv states: “What’s most difficult to us is that we produce goods which we cannot sell. This is why we choose METRO. They offer to buy our products directly from us, so they will be fresh when they arrive, and there will be no dealings with middlemen. Besides, METRO offers great terms and competitive prices which suit us very well. We have not given it a thought about exporting our production but with METRO we think this might be a viable option".
Not only small producers get support from METRO but also the Bulgarian HoReCa industry. METRO helps restaurant owners and professional chefs to improve quality of the food and enrich their menus with new recipes which in turn will help local tourism.
METRO as a social actor is responsible on the one hand for good products and low prices for the customers, fair conditions for the farmers and on the other hand for the maintaining of the food culture by keeping Bulgarian soil. They established a short distance from production to consumers, support Bio and integral production as well as a closed cycle for the packaging.
Along the production line – farmers, salesmen in METRO Cash & Carry stores, HoReCa and end customers – everyone’s special needs were recognized and transformed into being a part in the project “Nurtured with care in Bulgaria”.