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According to data from the Bulgarian National Association Essential Oils, Perfumery and Cosmetics the price of the Bulgarian rose oil has reached EUR 6000 for a kilogram in 2012. The price of this product saw an increase of nearly 50% over the last 3 years, as it was around EUR 4200 in 2009. According to the General Executive of the association Nikolina Uzunova there are several reasons for the significant increase in the price of the rose oil. On one hand this is due to the increased expenses of the companies, which make this product and the higher price of the rose flowers. On another hand the increased price is due to the economic crisis and the difficulties the companies are facing when applying for bank loans to develop this business. The bank loans have become more expensive over recent years and this has reflected on the price of the final product, because expensive loans mean higher expenditures for the Bulgarian manufacturers. Another important factor which has influenced the price of the rose oil is the climate change, which led to lower yields, less oil produced and higher price of this product. Due to the good weather conditions the total output of rose oil in 2012 came to 1800 kilograms, which is 15% more than the oil produced in 2011.

Has Bulgaria managed to keep its traditional markets of rose oil and which are the new potential export destinations of this product?

“The export destinations of the Bulgarian rose oil are traditional", Nikolina Uzunova told RB. These are France, which is the biggest European importer of the Bulgarian product, the USA and Japan. The interest in the Arab region towards our product is definitely increasing and if we can speak of any market expansion, it is going in this direction. The interest of some European countries towards our rose oil is also growing”, says Nikolina Uzunova. In the past, rose oil was used mainly in the Perfumery and the Cosmetics in the making of day-time and night-time creams. Now we are witnessing higher increase in the usage of this oil in the pharmaceutical industry and the food industry. According to Nikolina Uzunova rose oil is becoming very popular in the making of food supplements. This trend is most visible in Japan and the countries from the Arab region. Bulgaria continues to be among the world leaders in the production of rose oil, which becomes popular in many industrial spheres.

“Fortunately, the Bulgarian rose oil continues to be the most popular one in terms of quality. Turkey is Bulgaria’s biggest rival in terms of rose oil output. This is due to the geographic position of this country, the traditions in making rose oil and the favorable climate in this country for this manufacture. I can not think of any other big rivals Bulgaria has in this respect.”

However, it may turn out in the future that the chemical industry, rather than Turkey is Bulgaria’s biggest rival in this sphere. This is so, because it can copy the scent of the genuine rose oil. According to experts in this sphere though, the real quality of this oil can be seen in the food supplements and cosmetics and all companies using rose oil in their business care not only about its scent, but about the product traceability as well, where they can analyze all its components.

According to Nikolina Uzunova Bulgaria has already taken steps to protect its rose oil business. The Bulgarian Association Essential Oils, Perfumery and Cosmetics is trying to protect its unique rose oil, because it falls prey to many fake products on the market. The association also aims at the verification of the product sold on the market. This means that there must be clear information about the production technology, the material used for production-i.e the Bulgarian oil yielding rose. All these components lead to higher quality of the final product, says Nikolina Uzunova.

“The Bulgarian National Association Essential Oils, Perfumery and Cosmetics is completing a 4-year project. We hope to see its positive results soon. We want to see this product registered as a protected geographical label in the EU geographical indications register. Thus, we will protect the Bulgarian rose oil as a unique product, which will be associated with its traditional production technology, the area of production of the oil yielding rose, namely the Rose Valley in Bulgaria”, reiterates Nikolina Uzunova.

If the procedure for protection of this product comes to a successful end in Brussels, the label “Bulgarian rose oil” will be issued by a controlling body at the association. Those companies which fail to put this label on their products, which means their product does not meet certain qualitative criteria, will not be allowed to use this name on their produce.

English: Kostadin Atanasov

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