The main elements of food policy in Hungary
I. Fehér, R. Fejőshttps://doi.org/10.17221/5052-AGRICECONCitation:Fehér I., Fejős R. (2006): The main elements of food policy in Hungary . Agric. Econ. – Czech, 52: 461-470.
Hungary has recently become a member of the European Economic Union (EU) and most of the economic benefits are expected to come from expanded trade with other EU nations. While some variation in agricultural policy continues to exist between EU members, all countries generally, benefit from lower tariffs and expanded trade opportunities. However, Hungary must also be able to compete on the basis of quality and price in order to maintain current domestic markets and sell more to other EU countries. In order for the Hungarian agriculture and food industry to contribute to economic development it must continue to focus on efficiency and competitiveness. Hungary benefits from many natural features, which provide favourable conditions for agriculture: fertile plains, an advantageous climate and production experience, which makes possible a total yearly agricultural and food products trade surplus fluctuating between 1.5 and 2 billion US $ for the last 12 years. However, after the EU accession, the Hungarian internal market has become fully open and domestic products have to compete with the products of other EU members. This is why the renewal of food regulation and policy was indispensable. This article examines the Hungarian food policy (1) before the transformation to a market oriented system, when the policy was quantity orientated, (2) during the pre-accession period, when quality policy became more important, and (3) after accession to the EU where food safety has become more important.Keywords:
food policy, food safety, EU accession, quality, food consumption, privatisation, food industry, foreign trade