The Hungarian fruit and vegetable cooperative Szatmár Régió, based in the eastern part of the country, said that, due to long-term contracts, they are reasonably covered from external shocks, such as high energy prices. They specialize in exporting sour cherries, gherkins, apples and pears.
According to Attila Szórádi, director of sales of Szatmár Régió, the higher energy prices did not affect them much. “We have long-term contracts in place for our electricity costs. So while it has gone up a bit, the prices remained stable.”
Szórádi says their supplying producers have basically sold out the apple and pear stocks. “Due to a lower harvest last season, we did not have as many apples and pears in storage. Producers sold all the stock in storage. We are now waiting for the new season to start in April to refill stocks.”
The cooperative has facilities and a logistics center in Hungary with multiple warehouses and dedicated cold stores. They are a permanent supplier to several large food factories in Central and Western Europe.
Their supplying producers in the Szatmár Region are waiting for the sour cherries season to start in April. The gherkin season will start at the end of May. “The warm winter weather did not affect us because we have open field gherkin production. The only challenge is the lack of availability of local workers. We have some from the Ukraine and Romania, but the majority come from the local area,” says Szórádi.
“Overall, the demand for sour cherries and gherkins remains stable. There is not much expansion while the market demand does not fluctuate much,” concludes Szórádi.
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