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Volume VIII |

The Changes of the Food Processing Industry in Western Transdanubia from the Time of the Democratic Transformation to Our Days

Abstract: During the nearly last two decades, the importance of the Hungarian food processing industry definitely declined. Nowadays, this sector employees altogether 101.5 thousand persons and the share of the production is below 10%. After the transition period, the sectorial structural and organizational troubles, as well as the technological and efficiency problems became more and more serious. Similarly to the nationwide trends, but with more powerful effects, there was a recession in food processing industry in the study area – the Western Transdanubia, a region having good quality agricultural potential. Nevertheless, according to the number of employees and to the value of production, the food processing industry takes the second place within the regional sectors. The importance of meat industry, manufacture and processing of poultry meat, manufacture of vegetable oils and manufacture of sugar declined the most during the transformation period between 1990 and 2007. Within these three subsectors, many big- and medium-size enterprises of considerable importance in Hungary having significant traditional background finally closed the production. The absolute winner of the transformation within food processing industry are the producers of beverages and baking industry. These two subsectors coped rather successfully with the period with lots of economical problems after the transition, just as with the term of the factory-close-downs at the beginning of the new millennium. According to the number of employees, the distribution of the working food processing industry enterprises can be expressed by the significant proportion of micro- and small-size enterprises. There can be only found 11 big-size enterprises altogether, employing more than 250 persons which have regional head office. At present, the most significant regional centers of food processing industry are the following: Győr, Mosonmagyaróvár, Répcelak, Sárvár, Sopron, Zalaegerszeg and Zalaszentgrót.