- 12 Mar 2014 8:00 AM
Minister Fazekas indicated that food processing was a priority area for the Hungarian Government, and accordingly it had declared the food industry to be a strategic sector.
The realisation of the Government's goals requires the presence of well-functioning, competitive enterprises. For this reason, the administration supports and encourages progressive initiatives, acknowledges outstanding performance and regards it as especially important that high quality products with high added value that facilitate healthy eating reach the dinner tables of the people of Hungary, he explained.
The three-day SIRHA Budapest expo is a showcase for the Hungarian food industry and hotel and catering trade.
An important objective of the expo is to help domestic enterprises and companies reach the international market, Mr. Fazekas said, adding that the primary market for agricultural products produced in Hungary is still the food processing sector, as two thirds of agricultural output is utilised in processed form. Accordingly, it is a priority government goal to produce the highest possible added value in Hungary through the optimisation of the food chain, thus increasing the ratio of domestic products and services as well as exports.
The Minister also mentioned the fact that increasing quantities of food produced using traditional technologies, ingredients and flavours are appearing on the market thanks to the increasing popularity of local farmers' markets. This is the reason for the publication of the directive that provides detailed regulations on foods produced by cottage industries, he added.
In addition, Hungary applies several instruments, such as the Hungaricum and outstanding Hungarian Product trademarks, to protect and preserve the quality, origin and special characteristics of the country's unique foods and beverages. Trademarks and the certification systems also serve to strengthen the market position of Hungarian foods, Mr. Fazekas said.
The Minister drew attention to the fact that "we should always think about rural Hungary when choosing between two, foreign and Hungarian, products. A tiny gesture is enough to ensure that our shopping habits support the enterprises of Hungarian families living in rural areas and facilitate their success".
Visitors to the first SIRHA Budapest expo can sample the products of over 250 Hungarian food industry enterprises, in addition to which food industry experts can attend over 60 lectures and interesting presentation, including the Hungarian final of the Bocuse d'Or international chef's competition, Sándor Fazekas said.