According to Mr Ledó Ferenc, chairman of the Hungarian Fruit and Vegetable Interprofessional Organization and Product Board (FruitVeB), the first Hungarian vegetables have already hit the markets and retail stores, mainly those grown in greenhouses heated by thermal water. There are now larger quantities of peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers, as well as lettuce, Chinese cabbage and spring onions.
Thanks to the greenhouse and plastic production, most growers will manage to keep their production in the Hungarian market from mid-April to the end of November. Hungarian goods are also fresher because of the shorter shipping times, so they are of better quality than imports.
The start of the Hungarian campaign will be beneficial for the consumer, as the price of vegetables so far, especially for lettuce, had so far been more expensive than usual. According to the data of the Central Statistical Office, the wholesale price of imported lettuce had increased by 42 percent, and iceberg lettuce prices were up to 92 percent higher. This is due to the fact that the winter in Spain had been much colder, so the supply had been limited.
For their part, Hungarian lettuce growers have been producing more and more for both domestic markets and exports. Exports increased by 2 percent in 2016, reaching 4.82 thousand tonnes. Most of this lettuce is delivered to Austria and Romania.