It is in the common interest of the agricultural administration, consumers and producers for the use of trademarks that designate Hungarian products to become more widespread, the Minister for Rural Development explained at a professional event in Budapest on Tuesday.

Sándor Fazekas added that one of the priority goals during the elaboration of the product act in 2012 was for as many Hungarian products as possible to appear on the market and for foods to be traceable, high quality and reliable.

Photo: Csaba Pelsőczy

The three categories - Hungarian product, domestic product and domestically processed product - designated by the legislation clearly help consumers in product recognition and act as a guideline, he emphasised.

In the Minister's opinion, the fact that 75 percent of consumers now actively search for Hungarian products in the shops, while 5-6 years ago this ratio was only 50 percent, is a significant achievement.

According to Mr. Fazekas, 80 percent of consumers care about a product's origin and about food safety, while 50 percent of Hungarian consumers will still choose Hungarian products if they are more expensive than their foreign counterparts. It is this conscious consumer group that must be further reinforced, he added.

Photo: Csaba Pelsőczy

He also said that the voluntary food labelling system not only provides orientation to consumers, but also gives the authorities the opportunity to act against those who contravene the regulations. The authorities will continue to crack down on those who use product labelling without permission in future, he added.

At Hungarian Product Non-profit Ltd's event, the Minister for Rural Development declared that the labelling system was working successfully and the Ministry is committed to its continuation. 2600 products manufactured by 120 companies are currently authorised to use the Hungarian Product trademark. According to Mr. Fazekas, the success of the work performed so far is also confirmed by the fact that supermarket chains procure an estimated 75-80 percent of the food products they sell from domestic sources.

In his lecture, Managing Director of Hungarian Product Non-profit Ltd Attila Kecskeméti said that in addition to the 120 enterprises currently under contract, applications from a further 25 companies are currently being considered. Among the scheme's new partners, he highlighted Metro Cash and Carry Ltd. and Auchan Hungary Ltd., two of the country's largest hypermarket chains.