High Quality Hungarian Ground Paprika under Threat from Cheap Chinese Competition

  • 12 Sep 2023 1:11 PM
High Quality Hungarian Ground Paprika under Threat from Cheap Chinese Competition
Hungarian producers of superior quality ground paprika can stay in the market if they differentiate themselves from cheaper competitors in the EU, said Zsolt Feldman, Secretary of State for Agriculture and Rural Development at Hungarian Paprika Day in Hajós, Bács-Kiskun County.

Feldman was encouraging the producers present to update and modify the product descriptions that have remained unchanged for a decade or more in order to promote quality production.

Feldman went on to stress that the European market had been flooded with cheap Chinese paprika powder, so the Hungarian variety needed to distinguish itself with its quality and protected designations.

Hungarian producers shouldn't long for the conditions of 20 years ago because the market has changed, the era of mass production has ended, and consumer habits have changed, stressed Feldman.

How to beat cheaper competitors

The new origin protection regulation, processing of one's own products, and post-harvest investments to reduce production risks, as well as support for developments, direct sales and opportunities for small-scale producers, could help meet market demands, said the Secretary of State.

He also promised to support co-operation, focusing on the production rules for paprika powders to ensure even better quality products and provide a means to challenge those who misuse the designations of Kalocsa or Szeged.

Over the past ten to 20 years, the European and Hungarian paprika powder markets have been transformed due to non-EU imports, so those who cannot produce and sell in an organised manner and strengthen their production efficiency will find it very difficult to survive.

This autumn, the Ministry of Agriculture will announce the schedule grant applications for the next 18 months. The good news for Hungary’s horticultural sector is that it can provide assistance for investments from raw material production to processing, from the technology behind powder production and drying to the renewal of packaging technology, said Feldman.

What is Hungarian paprika?

Like coffee, paprika was brought to Hungary by the Ottomans in the 1600s. First used to decorate dining tables in well-to-do households, it became the symbol of Szeged’s revival after the terrible flood of 1879, the nation rallying round to buy local paprika to reinvigorate the economy.

Hungarian paprika is the spice that results from grinding dried red peppers like those you see hanging in clusters at market stalls and tourist shops. Hungarian paprika is generally not smoked as they do in Spain to create pimentón.

It’s used for flavouring and colouring, particularly in traditional Hungarian dishes such as goulash and spicy fish soup. Here, it comes in eight grades, from the standard, sweet édesnemes to the strong erős, along with the aromatic (rózsa) and the mild (csipősmentes).

Original source: index.hu 

Words by Peterjon Cresswell for Xpatloop.com
Peterjon has been researching the byways of Budapest for 30 years, extending his expertise across Europe to produce guidebooks for Time Out and his own website liberoguide.com

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