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Farming Insider: Family Vukudinov, Bulgaria
About Vuki Ltd.
Since 1993, the family firm Vuki has been producing high-quality grain and oilseeds in addition to its trade in agricultural machinery. A total of eight members of the Vukudinov family are currently employed at the company, which cultivates an agricultural area of 17,000 hectares. Company manager Angel Vukudinov and his son Dimitar gradually began using no-till technology to grow their crops back in 2018.
Family-run farm where two generations work together
Location: Saedinenie, Plovdiv oblast, Bulgaria
Crops cultivated: wheat, barley, corn, sunflower, coriander, rapeseed, triticale
Special features: Founded in 1990, the company originally made its money selling Chinese and Russian tractors as well as spare parts for these and accessory equipment, and servicing agricultural machinery.
Working with your own father means that you always have a wiser man with you to support you and look up to.
Angel, you are one of the owners of Vuki. Its foundation more than thirty years ago would never have been possible without the political upheaval in Bulgaria at that time.
Angel: That’s right. Vuki was founded immediately in 1990, originally as a service company for tractors and agricultural machinery. Since 1993, we have also been active in agriculture.
And since then, many family members have found their way into the company..
Dimitar: Eight people in total, including my mother and my aunt, who originally founded the company – and each family member works in a different area of business.
Given the different areas of business you operate in, it’s also clear that you have never stood still. What changes were formative for you, Dimitar?
Dimitar: I have been working to get us more involved with cutting-edge digital technologies, including the software we use for logistics and harvesting.
Angel: That’s what’s special about our company and our way of working, that we’ve never stopped innovating. That’s what sets us apart from others.
Dimitar: New technologies appear every year, so I’m also confident that our business has a very stable future. There’s plenty of scope for development.
It sounds like there are good prospects. Does that mean, Dimitar, that you would also advise your children to choose a career in agriculture?
Dimitar: My son is only two years old, but as long as there are stable, normal conditions in our country and in the world, I will indeed. Then I will recommend my son go into agriculture as well.
It seems like working with your own father is not challenging for you at all.
Dimitar (laughs): My father can be pretty stubborn. But when you consider that a family business inevitably brings together different characters, the change of generations is going pretty smoothly. My father and I spend a lot of time together, but I think that’s an advantage because we can maintain a constant dialog. At the end of each day even, we can look back at what happened to see if there were any mistakes and how to avoid them in the future.
Does the family bond also have specific advantages for collaboration?
Dimitar: Working with your own father gives you the feeling that you always have a wiser man with you who supports you and whom you can look up to. Support is the most important thing I get from my father as a farmer. Even today, I am still learning from him and I hope that one day I will have that knowledge and those capabilities, too.
Paving the way. For a fruitful tomorrow.
Farm life is often characterized by family cohesion and traditions that have grown over decades. Around the world, many generations live and work on farms under one roof, and at some point the question of farm succession comes up. Our new Farmer Portraits focus on this generational change that many farmers are facing. Young and old alike - we visited farmers on their farms to have them tell us about their stories, their challenges and their hopes.