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Hungarian food safety is above EU average, ministry says

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Agro+Mashexpo exhibition, Rural Development Ministry’s State Secretary Endre Kardeván said that the safety of Hungarian food products is still above the European and world average.

The state secretary for food product chain supervision and agricultural management said that the ministry is planning on strengthening the position of Hungarian products, and is working on establishing a multifunctional agriculture model, whereby the production of valuable and safe food products is accompanied by the protection of the natural environment, water resources and soil, and ensuring rural sustainability. Guaranteeing employment opportunities for people and their families living in such areas is equally important, he added.

The protection of the country’s consumers is still vital, however, Kardeván demonstrated the safety of Hungarian food products by mentioning that according to the European Union’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed, alert notifications for Hungary represented only 0.5 % of the total numbers in 2010, and that countries with significant food exports to Hungary have worse positions in the statistics.

Kardeván stated that the key area for Hungary’s success in the future is not the production of low-priced mass products. “We have to identify high quality product chains, which can be successful in the international market if the government is working together with entrepreneurs. This is a common interest of companies, consumers, and workers and of the government, consequentially” he said. The notion of “Hungarian products” has been disputed by experts in the past. Therefore, the ministry plans on a regulation that would provide a precise definition. This is to ensure that only justifiably Hungarian products can claim to be so.

Agro+Mashexpo is a major event with 220 local and international exhibitors, representatives of the Hungarian Garden and the Viticulture & Viniculture exhibition, and over 60 professional lectures. (DK)