Monday, May 21, 2012

Hungarians to buy local!

Editor's Note: Hungary was once the breadbasket of Europe, producing more than enough food for its own population as well as the rest of Europe. Today, Hungarians are forced to buy foreign food products.

Since the collapse of communism back in 1989, Hungarians have now been given a vast number of grocery stores to shop from. Unfortunately, many of these stores of foreign-owned or sell products (produce, prepared foods) that are imported into Hungary. Many of the supermarkets in Hungary are large multinational companies from Western Europe. The bad thing about this is that many of the food products originate from outside of Hungary and are produced by farmers in other countries. In addition, the profit from the sales of the products eventual leave Hungary as the grocery stores are foreign owned.

Basically, it is a double loss for Hungary and Hungarians. First of all, Hungarian farmers lose as their products don't even end up in the stores for Hungarians to buy. Second of all, the money generated from the sales doesn't stay in the country but ends up leaving the country. A new Hungarian store will feature and sell only Hungarian-made goods and products. The Hungarian Flavours Trade Association "Magyar Ízek Kereskedelmi Szövetség", has founded an all Hungarian supermarket chain. The food chain company is fully Hungarian owned and will sell Hungarian-made products only. Even the most popular foreign made brands will not appear or will not be sold in the company's stores.

Krisztián Pap, the CEO of the new company, believes that the sale of Hungarian products are essential for the Hungarian economy. He believes that the consumption of Hungarian food products contributes to the national values of Hungary and that Hungarian-made food products represent Hungary's future.The first store will be opened in Szeged later this year with more stores to follow afterwards. Krisztián Pap also added that the company's portfolio has also received serious inquiries from many other countries such as Canada, the United States, Russia, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Romania and Dubai. 

This news is a great step forward for Hungary. Since the fall of communism in 1989, Hungary has seen her agricultural, food, retail and industrial sectors destroyed. Much of the Hungarian economy today is dominated by foreign-owned companies that sell food products from other countries. The Hungarian owned grocery store will give Hungarian farmers and food producers the chance to sell their goods to Hungarian buyers. Hungarians spend about half a trillion Hungarian forints on basic food products per year. Much of this goes to the foreign owned grocery store chains.

Hungary has basically become an economic colony for the larger EU countries whose stores operate in Hungary. This is a great shame as Hungary at one time was the breadbasket and one of the largest agricultural producers in Europe. It is a travesty that Hungarians can't buy Hungarian-made food products but must be forced to buy food products originating from outside of the country. We wish the Hungarian grocery store all the best and we hope that they are successful in their venture. Hopefully, Hungarians will support this chain and buy Hungarian-made food products. This is one step forward in regaining our independence and sovereignty.