The National Union of gardeners in Bulgaria (NSGB) was established in May 2003 as a nonprofit organization. Currently, the majority of the members of NSGB are major manufacturers of traditional and non-traditional country vegetables. One of the main objectives of the Union is to promote export growth and increase the competitiveness of Bulgarian fruits, vegetables and flowers in international markets.

Most of the members are major producers of traditional and non-traditional vegetables in the country, which are delivered to international chains hyper- and supermarket chains such as "Metro", "Billa" and "Hit" and local chains "Fantastico", "Family "and" Piccadilly "oriented for export or for companies processors.

 Approximately 40% of the members are producers of fruits managing the fruit plantations.

Union’s main goal is to expand exports and reinforce the competitiveness of the Bulgarian-produced fruits, vegetables and flowers in throughout the international markets.


Union (NSGB) has 200 registered farmers and cooperatives that produce cherries and in 2014 the total production amounted to 20,500 tons. NSGB covers more than 20% of the national production of cherries

In the country are distributed following varieties of cherry: early "Bigarreau Burlat", "Bigarreau Moreau" and "Early black coarse" by later ripening "Bing", "Wang" and "Kozerska." They occupy about 40% (30 000 ha) of total harvested areas with cherries in the country.                 

Modern introduced varieties with less administration in the country, "Sunburst", "Lapins" "Sylvia", "Catalin", "Korda" and others.

Bulgarian varieties bred at the Institute of Agriculture are large-fruited varieties "Inferior" Daneliya "," Stefania ", Bulgarian bigarreau, Kyustendil bigarreau.

Varieties bred in Fruit Growing Institute - "Kosara" and "Rosita," who are early varieties with large fruits and late maturing varieties "Vera" and "Thracian bigarreau."

The Group of Fruit Cooperatives is consisted by 7 Cooperatives leaded by ASOP Episkopis, Naoussa, Imathia. All Cooperatives are based in Central Macedonia and specifically in Imathia, Pella and Pieria the three main cherry producing areas in Greece. Members of the Group are the following:

  1. ASOP Episkopis - Leader
  2. AC Episkopis
  3. AC Rachis Agios Loukas
  4. AC Arnissas
  5. AC Archangelos Naoussa
  6. ASPO Rachis
  7. AC Mieza Naoussa

Short description, production and export data of each Cooperative are presented on the following pages.

ASOP Episkopis

ASOP Episkopis is a primary Cooperative Organization established by farmers’ members of the primary Cooperative under the trade name "Agricultural Credit Cooperative of Episkopi" which was founded in 1924. In 1987 it was renamed to its current trade name, under which it has been pre-identified as Farmer's Group under the regulations (EC) 2200/96 & 1432/03 for the category "Fruits and Vegetables". Today the cooperative has 500 members – farmers, and it collects more than 15000 tons of fresh fruits annually.