The bureau, a promotional organisation that operates through Hungary’s Ministry of Agriculture, took a UK delegation to the Foodapest trade fair, which was held in Budapest last month.
Among them was Scott Davies, account manager for Janic Import and Export. He confirmed his company was interested in several crops, including cherries, apricots, plums and watermelons.
“There could be a big opportunity, if growers can come up with the right packing and grading,” Davies said. “The quality
as far as we can tell could be very good.”
The majority of crops would be available between late July and early September, he added.
Hungarian Food and Wine Bureau director Patrick Gooch said he believed there was considerable untapped potential for other crops, in particular Hungarian-grown apples, which the UK used to import about 30 years ago. However, Hungarian growers were adapting their crops to suit modern tastes, added Gooch.
“Apples, for example, are now generally based on bicoloured varieties such as Jonagold. These are supported by Red Delicious and Ida Red, and all are available virtually year round.
“Total apple production in Hungary is more than 600,000 tonnes a year, which means the fresh produce industry will be looking to increase its export potential now the country is a full member of the EU.
“There are also substantial quantities of strawberries, raspberries and asparagus. Planting of these is increasing as growers switch from arable production,” Gooch said.
Hungary’s traditional export customers have been Germany and Eastern Europe.