The FINANCIAL — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is extending a €2 million loan to Smart Organic, one of the leading Bulgarian producers and distributors of organic products.
Smart Organic focuses on the distribution of organic foods and the production of energy-boosting snacks such as protein bars. It exports almost 70 per cent of its production. Roobar is Smart Organic’s most successful brand, selling in over 40 countries and across five continents, according to EBRD.
To meet the growing demand in international markets, the company is consolidating production and packaging operations, as well as storage, in one location. The EBRD is financing part of the firm’s €3.3 million expansion programme.
Larisa Manastirli, EBRD Director for Bulgaria, said: “With its energy-boosting, healthy snacks powering people in over 40 countries, Smart Organic has seen exceptional growth this year and is keen to expand further. Now that the company seeks to boost itself to meet growing demand, the EBRD is delighted to lend a hand. We hope that our investment will help Bulgarian energy bars conquer the world.”
Miljan Zdrale, EBRD Regional Head of Agribusiness in South-Eastern Europe, added: “Smart Organic has all the ingredients for success: healthy recipes and in-house research and development capacity, a unique marketing strategy and a smooth distribution network that also serves as a supply chain. We see huge potential in this dynamic Bulgarian producer with a growing international presence.”
Yani Dragov, Executive Director of Smart Organic, commented: “We are delighted to cooperate with the EBRD and with their help we will be able to reach our goals for expansion in the years ahead. Investing in the consolidation and extension of our production and administration is a step we had to take. Now we are confident that we can meet the growing demand we face. The quality of our products is another area that will see further improvement due to this investment.”
Helping successful Bulgarian companies become more competitive locally and abroad is among the EBRD’s priorities in Bulgaria.
In 2016 the EBRD has invested close to €600 million in the Bulgarian economy. In the years ahead, the Bank will aim to keep its level of investment at about €200 million annually in response to local demand.
To date, the EBRD – one of the largest institutional investors in Bulgaria – has invested over €3.4 billion in more than 230 projects in the country. Some 80 per cent of the Bank’s investments in Bulgaria are in the private sector.