The launch of the new brand is a “milestone” in Hungarian fish production. The “Balaton Fish” designation includes EU-protected products that will become available in Hungarian restaurants in the upcoming months. Additionally, another Hungarian product, the apple of Derecske has also received EU protection.
According to the Agricultural Minister, despite the initial criticism regarding the closure of fishing in the country’s natural waters some years ago, things turned out for the better. This has been proved by the increasing quantity and quality of fish stocks and the fact that the Hungarian fishing community has grown to 800,000 people – reported by MTI.
The Balaton Fish brand is intended to promote the products on the market. “We are standing at the gateway to a new opportunity, because we have succeeded in making fish from Lake Balaton available again, and with this brand, we can raise public awareness,” the Minister said.
He also added that the Agriculture Ministry had been working for a long time to stop certain types of fish, including hake, that are not indigenous to the lake from being referred to as Balaton fish. The main goal is „to restore the status of fish from Lake Balaton and to draw attention to the fact that we have excellent indigenous fish, which are worthy of any gastronomic recognition,” he said. Accordingly, only carp and fish from Lake Balaton or the catchment area that are put on the market can benefit from the EU protection.
The packaging of the newly introduced product bears a symbol of EU protection that will make it clear to consumers that they are buying a high-quality, controlled and strictly specified domestic product, and will help producers to promote their goods and prevent market abuse.
Thanks to the cooperation agreement between Balaton Fish Farming Nonprofit Plc. and Halker Ltd., Balaton fish labelled products can now also be offered in restaurants and other catering establishments. In the upcoming months, the primary task will be to expand the consumer base and satisfy the needs of the public.
Zoltán Gödri, the founder and managing director of Halker Ltd. revealed that the fish processing plant had been developed in several stages with self-financing. The 32-year-old company produces protected products and has been constantly developing, with an office extension project and the construction of a 2,000-square-metre meat processing plant currently underway. The company has three sites, 540 employees and operates more than 100 trucks a day.
As the Hungarian news portal Turizmus.com reports, the fishing activity puts 500-600 tonnes of fish directly from Lake Balaton on the tables every year. In addition, the fish farming company can supply 150-200 tonnes of fish from its pond farms for the production of Balaton fish products, which are marketed as processed finished products, pre-chilled and frozen.
Meanwhile, there is another Hungarian product that has recently received EU protection. The European Commission has approved the inclusion of Derecske apples in the list of products whose names are protected in the European Union. As a result of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Geographical Indicators Programme, the number of protected names has now risen to 80, with 29 Hungarian food products, 38 Hungarian wines and 13 Hungarian pálinka names protected in the EU.
The cultivation of ‘Derecske apple’ is linked to the town of Derecske in Hajdú-Bihar County as well as to the villages of Hajdúbagos, Konyár, Sáránd and Tépe. Although the name refers to several different varieties of apples, they all have the same characteristics: high calcium content, high flesh firmness, crispness and long shelf life – reported by Dehír.
Thanks to the soil and climatic conditions in Derecske and its neighbouring region and the dedication and expertise of the producers, the cultivation culture and unique quality of ‘Derecske apples’ have been recognised in the past with a number of prestigious professional awards.
Source: mti, turizmus.com, dehir.hu