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RDP project database

Rural Innovation Boosts Bulgarian Business Competitiveness


The RDP supported a Bulgarian agri-food firm to modernise its operations through state-of-the-art berry freezing equipment.



Bulfruct Ltd. is a Bulgarian agri-food firm specialised in freezing soft fruits. The frozen fruit sector continues to be very competitive on a global level with imports from countries in Asia, South America, and Africa exerting increasing pressures on European companies to innovate in order to retain their market shares. Thus, Bulfruct was aware of the need to introduce more cost-effective freezing processes for its soft fruits and it used RDP funds to help cover some of the investment costs involved in purchasing new high-tech, highly efficient, berry freezing equipment.


The aims of the RDP project focused on improving the productivity and competitiveness of the company. This would allow the firm to continue its growth plans as well as safeguard a significant number of jobs (direct and indirect) in the regional supply-chain of fresh soft fruits.

Main activities

RDP co-finance was used to part fund the purchase costs of a new piece of high-tech machinery for freezing soft fruits. The machinery was sourced from Scandinavia.

Results & Benefits

Results of the investment saw the company’s productivity increase by 50% in the first six months after the new machine became operational. The new equipment not only freezes more berries in a shorter time but it also preserves the shape of the berry better than Bulfruct’s previous freezing methods. This provides an additional competitive advantage. In addition to improving its work flow efficiency, the company was also able to expand its workforce.

Lessons learnt

RDPs can provide an effective source of investment support to help agri-food firms to innovate and implement modernisation plans in order to develop their businesses and compete in globalised markets. Outcomes of such RDP support create benefits for the businesses involved as well as employees and EU consumers seeking secure supplies of high quality food that is affordable, healthy and tasty. Projects like this can also hold useful demonstration value to encourage more rural firms to innovate.

Project location and other information

16 Borovets Street Kostenets, 2030 Sophia provence Bulgaria



RDP Territory


Total project cost (€)

404 713

EAFRD contribution (€)

161 885

National contribution (€)

40 471

Private contribution (€)

203 556

Project website

Contact name

Krasimir Kichukov


+359 7142 2165

Languages for contact


At a glance



Final beneficiary type

Non-farm or non-forest entreprises

Budget range

> €500 000

Start date:


End Date:


Theme / Measure:

• Competitiveness of Agriculture & Forestry
• Restructuring, developing physical potential, and promoting innovation
• 125. Infrastructure related to the development and adaptation of agriculture and forestry


Food quality , Fruit, Quality control, Innovation, Competitiveness

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