Searching for quality Hungarian products – the operation of the Hungarian Food Codex

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Authors: Ágnes Szegedyné Fricz, Marianna Dömölki, Beatrix Kuti, Tekla Izsó, Dávid Szakos, Lajos Bognár, Gyula Kasza


Keywords: Codex Alimentarius Hungaricus, directive, regulation, notification, consumer behavior


1. Summary

The Hungarian Food Codex is presented in this article, and the role it plays in market regulation and the evolution of consumer awareness, and in addition to a historic over­view, the cardinal aspects of its operation are also discussed. Following this, through the results of our primary research, it is shown on what basis price-sensitive Hungar­ian consumers give their vote of confidence to Hungarian products. In this light, we consider how changes in quality requirements might affect in the future the attitudes revealed, since it is a fundamental task of the regulations in the Hungarian Food Codex that customers regard domestically produced foods as being of excellent quality.

2. Introduction

The Hungarian Food Codex is a collection of rules regarding foods and their test methods. It is based on the Austrian Food Codex and the international Codex Alimentarius, operated by the FAO/WHO. Its creation was ordered only by the Food Law of 1976, even though the concept of the ancestor of the Hungari­an Food Codex was born already at the beginning of the 1900s. In its current, three-volume form, it pro­vides support to food producers, authority staff and conscious consumers at the same time. In the first volume, mandatory requirements are listed, followed by guidelines and advanced level requirements, while in the third volume test methods are found. In recent times, two regulation amendments were completed, one for meat products and one for bakery products. In both cases, new elements and changes have to be taken into consideration, which are aimed at pro­ducing better quality foods. According to the survey of NÉBIH, conducted in 2015, the majority of Hun­garian consumers pays attention to buying Hungar­ian foods, and this is also true for meat and bakery products. Among the reasons for the preference for Hungarian products, good quality is prominently mentioned. This attitude is strengthened further by the professional work related to the food codex and the easy-to-understand communication of the new elements of the regulation.

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