Germany and Austria have always been the most important sales markets for the Central European growing regions. This is also true for Hungary, where tons of plums, sweet and sour cherries, and fruit vegetables - such as tomatoes and peppers - are produced annually for the German-speaking market. Hungarian exporters have now also opted for sustainable packaging and hope to meet the increased requirements of the German trade in the future.
The bilateral relations between Hungary and Germany have been considerably intensified, especially in the last 10 years. As a result, Germany is today by far the most important market for agricultural products from Hungary's orchards and vegetable gardens. It is not without reason that every year during Fruit Logistica numerous Hungarian exporters are represented in Hall 21 to present their latest products and services.
Rácz Bertalan at the Hungarian stand during Fruit Logistica 2020
Putting environmentally friendly packaging strategy into practice
Again this year, Hungarian export companies exhibited at the joint stand set up by the umbrella organisation Agrarmarketing. The main focus of today's Hungarian export industry is the targeted implementation of a sustainable packaging strategy, emphasizes Bertalan Racz, Managing Director of export company PREMIUM KERT ltd. and pioneer in sustainable packaging. "We export our main products almost exclusively to Germany, supplying mainly tomatoes, as well as modern varieties of peppers, such as Sweet Palermo and pointed red and yellow peppers. We have recently started offering our sweet peppers in flowpacks of 300g or 500g."
According to the experienced major supplier based in the south-east of Hungary, sustainable packaging alternatives are necessary to meet the continuously increasing market requirements in Germany in the future. Racz: "That is why we are currently investing fully in innovative packaging technology and we are already able to save up to 73 percent plastic waste. So far, there are only a few companies in Hungary that are actually able to implement the plastic renunciation. However, we are convinced that sustainable packaging management will also be decisive for us exporters in the future.
New in the portfolio of PREMIUM KERT ltd. are snack peppers. "In view of the limited quantities, we have not yet switched to environmentally friendly packaging here," says Racz. However, a future changeover is planned.
Vegetables: Quantity reduction for red pointed peppers
Finally, Mr. Rácz also commented on this year's campaign in the loose vegetable category, which started in May and will probably continue into October. The uncertainty in times of Corona as well as the acute shortage of labour have only slightly affected the vegetable harvest. "For tomatoes, we expect normal yields. For sweet peppers, on the other hand, we are already seeing a change compared to the previous year: we will probably be able to supply yellow sweet peppers and Sweet Palermo in the usual quantities, while we expect a considerable reduction in the quantity of red sweet peppers (Kapia)."