Bulgarian Lavender Oil Producers Concerned About EU Regulations
As the successful harvest season of several hundred tons of lavender oil comes to a close in Bulgaria, a leading global producer, the future of the industry appears uncertain due to impending EU regulations.
This is reported by AFP.
With a surplus of worldwide production already affecting prices, Bulgarian distilleries fear that new EU rules will further worsen their business prospects. While the European Union has suggested a halt in the implementation of revised regulations pertaining to harmful chemical substances, the clock is ticking.
Nikola Nenkov, the head of the "Galen-N" distillery, one of the largest in Bulgaria, is troubled by the prospect of soon having to affix labels containing health warnings and sensitive slogans on bottles of lavender oil. "We fear that such measures will lead to reduced consumption, production constraints, and, as a result, the potential disappearance of this sector in some regions – a concerning outcome given its long-standing tradition," he told AFP.
In an industry already grappling with low prices, labor shortages, climate change, and pests, these upcoming revisions will only add to the strain, he added.
From the renowned lavender fields around Zelenikovo in central Bulgaria to France's Provence, producers and farmers have united to shield their products from what they view as unfair regulations from Brussels. Other significant producers include China, Moldova, and Greece.
Throughout the EU, essential oils are governed by two key chemical laws known as REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals) and CLP (Classification and Labelling). The upcoming review of both laws aims to provide consumers and companies with better information about potential endocrine disruptors and components that cause cancer or allergic reactions in products.
The review of REACH, which deals with the registration, evaluation, authorization, and restriction of chemical substances, has been postponed until the fourth quarter of 2023. However, the EU Commission's proposal to refine the classification and labeling of substances under CLP, particularly for online sales, is expected to be presented for a plenary vote in October.
Facing resistance from producers, the EU Council has proposed a four-year exemption from the effective date of the text. According to Nenkov, this delay of four years doesn't fully solve the problem, but it marks a significant step forward.
As reported by The Gaze, influenced by culinary trends from the West, East, and the Mediterranean, Bulgarian cuisine impresses with its richness of colors, flavors, and aromas.
Earlier, we named five traditional dishes worth trying during a trip to Bulgaria.