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Hungarian cucumbers rejected in Europe

Western European countries have stopped receiving deliveries of cucumbers from west Hungary’s Szatmár county due to the E.coli outbreak in Germany. Unless exports are resumed next week, both producers and processing companies could face serious difficulties, managing director of canning company Szatmári Konzervgyár Kft Sándor Szórádi said.

Szóradi told MTI that cucumber growers are having almost a record harvest under the current weather conditions in the county. However, the biggest recipient countries of Hungarian cucumber exports, Germany, France and Austria have effectively stopped Hungarian cucumber imports.

Processing companies are not taking the extra volumes either. The communication is about cucumbers in general and has affected both fresh and canned products, Szórádi said.

Szatmári Konzervgyár had sales revenue of HUF 4.5 billion last year and its Rege brand is the second best known in Hungary after Bonduelle.

The European Commission raised to €210 million on Wednesday from €150 million on the previous day the EU budget spending earmarked for compensation of vegetable farmers for their revenue losses due to the E.coli outbreak. This could provide compensation for up to 50% of the farmers' losses. This can be increased by subsidies from national vegetable growers' associations, Brussels sources added.

The Commission's proposal still awaits approval from the member states' Council of Ministers.

EU vegetable growers have been unable to sell up to two-thirds of their produce in places in recent weeks due to the health scare in Germany.