Organic Farming in Poland as Example of Organic Farming in CEE Countries - from farm to plate", 25-29 July 2005, Warsaw and Culavia - Pomerania,
ENAOS 2005 - 4th ENAOS Summer Meeting

organised within the framework of the Avalon Network Project financed by

European Commision
Warsaw Agricultural University,
Faculty of Human Nutricion and Consumer Science,
Faculty of Agriculture and Biology
Dutch National Postcode Lottery Ministry of National Education And Sport
Country presentations

HUNGARY - Situation of ecological agriculture in Hungary

Melinda Mezei and Zoltan Pap (PhD students of Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary)

Hungary is located in Central-Eastern Europe, in the Carpatian basin. Its climate is temperate with less precipitation, the average rainfall is 594 mm and the annual average temperature is 9.7º C.

Hungary has a great potential of plant production. The majority (about 70%) of the total area is used as agricultural field. The amount of arable lands is 4.5 million hectares. Although there are lots of pastures and meadows, animal husbandry is less important in the country.

Agriculture has old traditions in Hungary, mainly in the southern and eastern part of the country. The importance of the agricultural sector is decreasing, nowadays the 7-8% of the population works full time in agriculture and for another 4% it means supplementary income.

Organic agriculture was started in the beginning of ‘80s by forming a group from enthusiastic amateurs and farmers. This club was called Biokultúra, later it formed into Biokultúra Association, the most wide-spreaded, best known organic organization in Hungary. Nowadays there are more non-governmental organizations connected to organic movement such as

  • Hungarian Federation of Organic Farming Associations
  • Péter Sárközy Foundation
  • Association of Hungarian Organic Farmers
  • Only two certification bodies operate in Hungary:
  • Biokontroll Hungária Kht. – registration number HU-ÖKO-01
  • Hungária Ökogarancia Kft. – registration number HU-ÖKO-02

According to the latest data there are about 133000 hectares of certified organic field and 1583 certified producers/farmers in Hungary. Figure 13 illustrates the continuous growth of organic area.

Figure 13 Growth of organic area in Hungarz

Utilization of Hungarian organic lands can be seen on Figure 14. About 50% of the total area is used as arable land, pastures and meadows represent the second biggest amount.

Figure 14 Utilization of organic lands in 2004

This figure demonstrates the ratio of crops grown on organic fields. The high ratio of pastures and meadows derives from the land utilization. The most common crops in production are cereals (with winter wheat on the first place), they mean almost one quarter of all organic plant production. Fresh vegetables and fruits are about 2.2-2.5%.

Figure 15 The distribution of organic land areas according to the crops grown in 2004

Organic animal production

160 farms deal with animal production altogether with 12 254 animal units (500 kg). The distribution of livestock is shown in table 5. The most important animal is the cattle, especially the famous Hungarian Grey Cattle, which is absolutely suitable for organic purposes.

Animal species

Animal units





















Table 5 Number of animal units according to animal species


Bee-keeping and honey production are quite important in Hungary, particularly in organic way. There are 169 inspected beekeepers. The most important data of bee-keeping are shown by table 6.

No. of bee-keepers

No. of in conversion’ bee families

No. of fully converted bee families

Total no. of families



13 374

14 284

Table 6 Number of inspected bee-keepers, bee families in 2003

Thank of the annual report of Biokontroll Kht. (they control the 95-96% of the certified areas) the data are considerably accurate.

Organic market of Hungary

About 5% of organic products are sold on the domestic market, mainly fresh vegetables and fruits, cheese and diary products and processed meat products. Organic bakery products, fresh meat, ready-to-eat food are rarer. The demand is increasing but not so many people can afford it. The domestic organic prices are very high compared to the salaries. The prices – depending on the type of crop – are higher by 40-200% than conventional prices.

Figure 16 Main exported products

Nowadays, in almost every big town have an organic market or a corner on the traditional town market. In Budapest there are three quite well-known and big organic markets, where consumers can purchase fresh organic food. Most of the super-, hipermarkets sell some kinds of organic food, mainly bakery and diary products, flours, eggs, but very rarely fruits and vegetables. There are many healthy shops where organic products can be bought.

The remaining 95% is exported. The main exported products are cereals, fodders, then beef, eggs, honey herbs. The majority of the products are exported to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Unfortunately, Hungary exports mainly raw materials, fresh products and imports processed products which activity should be changed in the near future for more income.



ENOAS Summer Meeting IV: Introduction | Organizers | List of participants | Meeting Plan | Lectures and presentation | Country presentation | Work groups | Excursions / Visits

Organizers; Warsaw Agricultural University (SGGW) | Faculty of Human Nutrition and Consumer Sciences | The Faculty of Agriculture and Biology | Education in organic farming at SGGW | Scientific Association of Agriculture Students - yesterday and today | Scientific Assiociation of Nutrition and Dietetics Students | ENOAS - European Network of Organic Agriculture Students - past, present and future | Avalon Foundation

Organic farming and market in Poland

Country presentations: COLOMBIA - General situation of organic agriculture in Colombia –organic food market in Colombia | HUNGARY - Situation of ecological agriculture in Hungary | ITALY - organic food market | SLOVAKIA – Ecological agriculture | FINLAND - Organic markets in Finland

Reports of visits: BIODYNAMIC FARM, Education Center of R.STEINER Foundation in Prądocin | ROLMIĘS | Bakery SŁODKA | FARM of THE KUJAWSKIS | FARM and MILL of THE BABALSKIS | BIOFOOD

Chosen papers on organic farming: Barriers of conversion into organic production | Barriers of conversion into organic farming | Barriers of conversion into organic farming  | Role of direct sale in organic farming  | Social aspects of organic farming  | Social aspects of organic farming  | Multifunctionality of organic farming in Slovak Republic  | Multifunctionality of organic farming | Multifunctionality of organic farming | Multifunctionality of organic farming  | Multifunctionality of organic farming

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