ANALYSIS OF FOOD QUALITY ASSURANCE SCHEMES IN THE HUNGARIAN HORTICULTURE
Food quality assurance schemes play an important role in current agri-food business all over the world. Most of them are private voluntary systems but they are quasi mandatory when exporting or supplying to food retail chains. The application of these quality schemes in the horticultural sector of Hungary has been analysed and evaluated. The quality representatives of the Hungarian Producer Organizations (PO) have been asked to fill in a questionnaire. Questions cover quality scheme usage, POs attitudes, judgements, demands and difficulties concerning quality schemes. The willingness-to-answer was approx. 62%, with higher ratio among the definitively approved organizations. Only 9 systems have been identified as used and well known among the Hungarian farmers as opposed to the more than 200 used in the Community. All of the definitively approved POs apply at least one scheme. The main reason to implement and maintain a quality system is to meet consumers demands in order to save their market. The second is to reach new, mainly international markets and be able to export their products. The real tangible effects have been also asked. Their ambition of saving their current market was widely succeeded. The other important aspect is the better compliance with official regulations. Extension of clientele and improving sales results has been slightly noticeable while many reported wider opportunities of international appearance. According to the respondents overall quality of products has been improved as a positive effect of quality schemes. Despite of the good results of quality schemes all POs consider these systems cost raising factors in the production. While operating a scheme remains an external requirement farmers will not consider or only partially the benefits arising from them. Govern¬mental support would be also necessary to facilitate the implementation of these schemes.
Czeglédi, M. (2012). ANALYSIS OF FOOD QUALITY ASSURANCE SCHEMES IN THE HUNGARIAN HORTICULTURE. Acta Hortic. 936, 417-422
private standards, food chain, producers' organization, fresh fruit and vegetables, agri-food system