In an attempt to boost domestic sales by engaging with the buyer through their patriotic sense of being, The Ministry of Agriculture came up with a new strategy that is essentially sticking flags into pork cuts. The new legislation asks all meat sellers, be it small shops, markets, supermarkets etc. to put the country of origin on the pork they sell.
The legislation came into force on the 15th of January and has since garnered mixed reviews. The process is bound to be confusing and awkward for butchers and small shop owners because if the pork was raised in Austria and cut in Slovakia, both the countries will have to be mentioned.
Hungary’s Ministry of Agriculture told Euro News in a written statement, “Customers want more information about food products because this way, they can make an informed decision.”
“But our goal is also to promote and popularise domestic food products,” the Ministry said.
However, Supermarkets say that it won’t make too much difference because they usually offer specific cuts of pork meat from only one country at a time — they will order Hungarian pork shoulders only after running out of the Slovakian ones, for instance.
Additionally, packed meat products are not concerned because the country of origin is already mentioned on the plastic package. While Farmers and the Association of Hungarian Meat Industries have welcomed the new policy, hoping it will push consumers to pick Hungarian meat.
The Authorities also told Euronews, “The ministry will evaluate the experiences and feedback and will consider extending the law to other meats as well.”
According to the Ministry, Hungary produced 583,000 tonnes of pork to cut in 2018.