The food industry employing some 135,000 people in Hungary is a strategic sector and its effective and continued operation is of national security importance, the minister of foreign affairs and trade said at an expansion ceremony in Foktő, in southern Hungary, on Thursday. Péter Szijjártó said that the food industry had proven “shock resistant” to economic hardships of the past years, noting that food supplies had not suffered any disruptions in the country.
The government’s aim is to guarantee steady supplies as well as to boost food exports, Szijjártó told the inauguration of a 22 billion forint (EUR 53.4m) expansion of Viterra Vegetable Oil Production Ltd. The government contributed 1.8 billion forints to the project, which added 40 jobs to the current 134 kept, he said. Szijjártó said that despite the economic crisis, the value of Hungary’s food industry production last year totalled a record 4,400 billion forints, up 17% from 2020. Its volume has this year already increased by 46% to total 4,000 billion by the end of August, he said. Hungary’s exports last year increased by 11% to over 10 billion euros, Szijjártó said, adding that although the country ranks 95th in terms of population globally, it ranks 32nd in terms of its food exports.