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Consumer preference for apples: the role of attributes influencing the choice and consumption
Published March 25, 2009
37-43.

Consumers consider good quality fruits to be those that look good, are firm and offer good flavour and nutritive value. Nowadays, consumers are, however, increasingly  interested  in food qualities which  cannot  be discovered  by  looking, tasting or smelling  the products but their roles are not yet really c...leared up. Therefore the objective of this study was to explore the importance of selected kinds of attributes (taste, size, colour, cultivar, origin and price) in fluencing the choice of apples of customers. In accordance with several authors, fruit qualities (taste, size and colour) seemed to be the major attributics influencing the choice of apple independently of people's age and gender. However, the size of fruit had lower importance with increased age. Generally, females gave higher importance rating for most attributes than did male. The price was getting more important for consumer's choice with age which can be connected with their socioeconomic situation. The origin of fruit and the cultivar did not have important influence on consumer's choice. Authors also investigated the preference of consumers for six selected apple varieties ('Jonagold', 'ldared', 'Royal Gala', 'Golden Reinders', 'Braeburn' and 'Granny Smith'). and pointed out the role of the origin in fruit quality and in choice of apple in the case of 'Granny Smith' cultivar. Apple fruit samples from Austria, Argentina, Chile, Hungary and South Africa were involved in this study. Authors evaluated fruit quality parameters of above cultivars and compared them to consumer preference. Consumer preference usually represented the quality attributes of the fruit well. It is also concluded that degree of liking of apple cultivars varies through gender and age. Children and young consumers preferred 'Royal Gala', 'Granny Smith  and 'Braeburn' mostly. In spite of 'Idared' is one of the cultivars grown on the largest area in Hungary, the lowest preference ratings were given for it in both gender categories. Middle-aged consumers (between 25 and 50 years or age) preferred crispy apples with red or blemished skin color ('Royal Gala' and 'Jonagold'). 'Jonagold' and 'Idared' were the most preferred cultivars for the consumers above the age of 50 likely because of their relatively low price, as price plays a significant influencing role in the purchase of these consumers. The relatively expensive and soury 'Granny Smith' appeared not really preferred by this age group. In spite of the significant differences in instrumentally measured fruit quality parameters among 'Granny Smith' fruit samples from different countries, consumers did not give significantly different preference rating scores for those.

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Effect of postharvest on the economic viability of walnut production
Published June 10, 2018
28-38.

In this study we were studying the question whether walnut production under domestic natural and economic circumstances shall be considered a profitable activity or not. Our partial objective is to determine, what level of natural inputs and production costs are required for walnut production, what yield level, selling price and production valu...e can be attained, what level of profitability, rentability and efficiency may production have, is the establishment of a walnut orchard profitable on the entire lifespan of the plantation, and the production of which is more efficient: the dry shelled walnut production requiring postharvest activity or the raw, shelled walnut without postharvest activities. In this study, comparison of two systems is conducted. First version: producer establishes a walnut plantation and sells walnut raw and shelled. Second version: producer also invests into a drying facility, and in this case the end product is the dry, shelled walnut. If the producer sells walnut right after harvest in a raw bulk, total production costs in productive years reaches 974,011 HUF/ha. Attainable yield is 2.63 t/ha with 396.3 HUF/kg selling price, therefore the profit is 138,258 HUF/ha with 14.19% cost-related profitability. In the case when the producer sells dried, shelled walnut, production costs are 25% higher compared to that of raw walnut due to the cost of drying. By calculating with the postharvest loss, average yield is 1.84 t/ha, however, its selling price is way higher (882.84 HUF/kg), therefore the profit per hectare reaches 475,496 HUF with 39.01% cost-related profitability. Thus it can be stated that walnut production in an average year may be profitable even without postharvest, but efficiency is improved significantly when the producer sells the products dried. Investment profitability analysis revealed that production of raw, shelled walnut is not economically viable, since the plantation does not pay off on its entire lifespan (30 years), while walnut production with postharvest is efficient and rentable, since both net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR) showed more favourable values than in the previous case, and the orchard pays off in the 21th year after establishment.

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Economic analysis of up-to-date sour cherry or in Hungary
Published February 19, 2008
89-94.

In this study cost-profit analysis is carried out to up-to-date Hungarian sour cherry orchards. These orchards cover only 1 to 3 thousand hectares from the sour cherry territory of 16 thousand hectares. In a many-year-average a yield of 15 tons per hectare may be reached in up-to-date sour cherry orchards cultivated under high standard conditio...ns. Per hectare direct production costs take up of approximately 1000 thousand HUF, from which the major portion (60%) is accounted for the personal cost of harvesting. Regarding the above mentioned average yield and a selling price of 100 HUF per kilogram a revenue of 1 500 thousand HUF may be realized, which results in a per hectare contribution of 500 thousand HUF. To sum up, regarding the present extremely unfavourable selling price only reaching an average yield of 15 to 20 tons per hectare may lead to appropriate profit.

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Challenges of the vegetable and fruit market
Published March 15, 2011
83-89.

The situation of the horticulture sectors have been in the limelight of the professional and economic decision makers all over Europe. This article analyses the situation of the sector from economic point of view and reveals the main reasons of its low income and high risk. It concludes that one of the biggest problems is the trading uncertaint...y in the vegetable and fruit sector that is caused by the asymmetric market structure of the post-regime era. Since sizes of vegetable and fruit plantations do not allow producers to supply individually the extremely concentrated food retail trade or the processing trade they must find alternative ways for trading their products. The study introduces two alternative solutions. One alternative is foundation of modern multi-level producer co-operatives with the help of EU subsidies. Secondary and tertiary co-operatives may achieve better market position and lower trading price risk with managing production, professional marketing, and improving the information flow. The other alternative is searching for new trading channels such as local provision, restructuring of local markets, and direct trade (home delivery and pick-it-yourself programmes). The shorter producer-consumer distance means better quality at lower price for customers and income in the case of smaller amount of products for producers. It is concluded that both solutions together or separately may help individual producers in their trading problems. However, whichever way they choose, producers must co-operate.

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Economics of apple-storage I: Comparative time series analysis of apple producer prices in Germany and Hungary
Published August 16, 2010
75-79.

Based on standard econometric methods the article analyses the time series of fresh apple producer prices in domestic markets of Germany and Hungary. In Germany, as a consequence of high storage capacities the quantity offered in different parts of the season is relatively stable, that’s why only a rather limited price increasing can be detec...ted. In Hungary, as a consequence of the limited storage capacity this fluctuation is much more important. The modern methods of time series analysis (ARIMA models, stepwise regression) can be efficiently applied for forecasting of price movements.

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The comparative economic analysis of Hungarian and German apple production of good standard
Published September 2, 2009
79-85.

The profitability of the Hungarian apple production considering firms producing on high standard is not lagged behind significantly from that of German firms, moreover in certain cases it reflects a more positive situation. It is unfavourable, however, that this statement is true only for 8 to 10% of our whole apple plantation surface. The resu...lts of the investigations highlighted the fact that in comparison with Germany our farm business advantages manifest in three factors: in 70 to 80% lower wages, in 15 to 30% higher investment and subsidy intensity and in the fact that at present we cannot neglect the ice safety system which is rather expensive. By the increasing wages, the narrowing subsidy opportunities and incidentally the appearing harmful weather phenomenon, these advantages may be continuously ceased. Our definite disadvantage appears in the level of marketing price, considering the fact that producers in Hungary realize 30 to 35% lower marketing price, which is in connection with the probably much lower level of organization among farmers, in the market and in the logistical background.

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Consumer buying behaviour of fruit and vegetables in the Netherlands
Published April 25, 2012
81-90.

The Dutch Households bought in 2010 compared with the year before a little less vegetables and less fruit. However because of a higher price level the supermarket sales of fruits and vegetables increased with 7% to almost €3 billion. A Dutch household bought 72.4 kilo fresh vegetables in 2010. This is 2% less than in 2009. Tomatoes are the mo...st bought vegetable followed by onion and cucumber. Although the Dutch households bought less vegetables, the spending increased with 5%. The average price of vegetables was 7% higher than in 2009. In 2010 a Dutch household bought almost 88 kilo fresh fruit. Compared with 2009 this was 2% less. Apple is far out the most popular, followed by orange and banana. Also the spending on fruit decreased a little, specially on strawberry, kiwi and banana. The sales of vegetables is realized for almost 90% by the supermarket channel. Albert Heijn has a market share of 38%, followed by Superunie and C1000. Also for fruit the supermarket is the most important retail channel. However fruit is also sold for 20% in grocery stores and markets. The total turnover from supermarkets of vegetables was in 2010 over €2 billion, 8% more than in 2009. 85% of this is fresh product (fresh and pre-treated). Canned vegetables become less popular. The turnover was decreasing 2% to just under €200 million. Green beans are the most popular, followed by peas and carrots. However more money was spend on frozen vegetables (+5%) and pickles (+1%). Over 40% of the supermarket turnover of frozen vegetables is spend on spinach. The supermarket turnover of fruit increased in 2010 with 3% to €1,25 billion. From this 93% is fresh unprocessed fruit. The turnover of pre-treated (washed and sliced) is increasing, but still not more than 3%. Although with a modest share, the spending on frozen fruit also increased in 2010 to €5,5 million. The turnover of canned fruit however was decreasing with 6% compared with 2009. The supermarket turnover of pre-treated fruit was €35 million. Albert Heijn is the absolute market leader for pretreated fruit. In 2010 70% of the sales was realized by Albert Heijn. Mixed fresh pre-treated fruit, mainly fruit salads, account for 40% of the total supermarket turnover of processed fruit. Canned pineapple is the most important canned fruit in supermarkets, followed by fruit cocktail and peach. There is a high degree of awareness of consumers regarding the “must” to use enough fruit and vegetables. Despite of this, consumers do not always eat enough healthy products. Reasons for this are the busy life of the modern young people and the perception that vegetables are “not easy” to use. Therefore preparing a meal has to be easy and fast with suitable products Here is an important task for concept and product development.

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Economic figures of apple production at national level of Hungary
Published December 4, 2011
103-105.

Apple is the most important fruit in Hungary, despite of that, it is a paradox that during the last years, apple growing was the most unsuccessful enterprise among the prosperous ones in the country. The real cause of regression was unequivocally the low price, which could be obtained and the inadequate structure of apple varieties. A heavy pro...blem is still the overweight of the quality doomed to supplying the processing industry instead to the fresh consumption. In order to improve the conditions, we aimed the economic analysis of the five year long period, 2005-2009, to trace the changes involving values and costs of production, income and all conditions combined with this activity. The data presented in the paper are means of a heterogeneous population of values, which cannot be utilised for immediate use in management, but they may reveal the challenges and tendencies of that branch in economics.

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Work organization and economic analysis of the postharvest of an unique Hungarian product
Published September 26, 2006
11-14.

We have viewed a business in the south of the Great Plain Region from an economic point of view in 2004-2005. The main activity there is pear growing and storage. Four varieties of different time of ripening and storing are grown there. We have measured all the relevant activities, worked out a local normative and prepared a detailed technology.... The economic evaluation was based on this data. Activities, like disinfection, pre-storage disinfection and selection, in-storing and out-storing, classification after storage, packaging, as well as loading trucks, were monitored by variety. Storage loss was determined and widely varied according to varieties, length of storage and time of out-storing. Different varieties resulted in different quality classes after storage. Price depended on the quality classes. Economic evaluation was carried out when all the relevant costs and revenues were known. Fixed and variable costs of storage were determined, break-even point was calculate and the market position of the product was evaluated.

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Sour cherry for fresh consumption in the retail sector A consumer aspect
Published August 16, 2010
81-84.

The basic objective of our study is the promotion of fresh consumption of sour cherry and the enhancement of necessary knowledge. Primer collection of data was planned in three groups of retail shops, always sour cherry being the matter of study. The sampling dates were adapted to the sour cherry season weeks in Hungary. Three samples per week ...have been taken. Every time a short interview and purchase was planned. Every time, it was stated that the commodity was held for a longer period on the shelf, which trespasses the optimum of the fruit. At the same time there was no concordance between quality and price. From the point of view of the consumer this cannot be accepted.

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Investment appraisal of a plantation establishment for intensive apple production
Published June 20, 2006
17-20.

For fruits, establishing intensive apple-orchards requires the highest amount of investment cost, while the returns depend on many factors. Based on farm and bibliography data we appraised an investment in a model in some variations that are the most used in practice (100% owner's capital and 55% owner's capital +45%o subsidies). The profitabil...ity of the investment has been analysed using the methods of NPV (Net Present Value) and DPP (Dynamic Payback Period). The essence of our analysis is a sensitivity analysis with the optimistic, pessimistic and realistic combinations of the yield and the market price. Plantation establishment financed by only own (corporate's) sources turns into profitable over 7-10 years in average and favourable cases, but the opposite is the case in unfavourable circumstances. By subsidy of 45% for investments, it is highly possible to return by the fifth or sixth year after the year of establishment, but it can return by the twelfth year even in unfavourable case.

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Farm economic evaluation of elderberry production
Published September 7, 2014
57-60.

In this present study the efficiency as well as the farm economic advantages and disadvantages of elderberry production are examined. Our objective is to determine the fact that under what conditions the elderberry production may be profitable regarding the present economic and market situations. Our analysis was carried out by a simulation mod...el based on a farm-level data gathering in production enterprises. The total investment cost of an up-to-date, elderberry orchard of traditionally cultivated without irrigation is between 1000 to 1700 thousand HUF per one hectare and turning to productivity is expected within 4-5th years. These orchards are able to produce yields of 8,0 to 9,0 tons per one hectare in the average of the productive years, which makes reaching a revenue of 800 to 1000 thousand HUF possible regarding a per kg average selling price of 80 to 110 HUF. By this a net profit of 200 to 400 thousand HUF may be realized in case of a per hectare production cost of 600 to 700 thousand HUF. At the end of the lifetime of the orchard (12-15th year) an internal rate of return of 10 to 4%, an NPV of 1500 to 2000 thousand HUF per one hectare are typical in an average case, and the payback may be expected in the 6th to 8th year. From the farm economic aspect the elderberry may be considered as an extensive sector, which advantages are low capital and labour need, early recovery, good-acceptable profit on capital and cost to profit ratios, but its disadvantage is low per hectare profit comparing to intensive fruit species and orchards. In this way in general farms of capital-extensive and avoiding risks choose elderberry production.

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Strategy of the sour cherry verticum in the Northern Great Plain Region Hungary (Analytic study)
Published October 11, 2005
7-31.

Sour cherry growing and consumption grows dynamically around the world. The present volume of 1 million tons will incerase within 10 years with 20-30, or even with 50%. In the world wide sour cherry production, Europe is a decisive factor, i.e. 2/3 of the volume is grown there. Prominent capacities are concentrated in East-Central Europe, mainl...y Poland, Germany and Hungary. In the future, new concurrent exporters are expected on the European market as Turkey, Iran, Serbia-Montenegro. Hungarian sour cherry production has rich traditions, so the growing techniques and the assortment of sour cherry varieties make Hungary a „Great Power" on this field. Fresh fruit and products developed from sour cherry represent values distinguished as „Hungaricum" on the markets. Sour cherry growing and the path of its products are one of the „pulling branches" of Hungarian fruit growing. Sour cherry occupies 15% of area for fruit growing and 40% within the stone fruits. Sour cherry was grown widely in Hungary, it was grown everywhere as for utilizing waste areas. This is the main reason that yields are low as a mean of 15 000 ha and the volume is low (50-60 000 tons) only. To that poor figure the heavy infections of Monilia contributed substantially in the last couple of years. The two most valid arguments of using the present varieties as the best solution are 1) the cross bred new varieties, and 2) the selections of local, traditional varieties, which substituted the earlier dominant 'Pándy meggy' variety, which had a good quality but yielded poorly. Sour cherry growing of Hungary shifted from the dry regions of the country toward the cooler and more humid regions, where the weather excesses secure a less risky production. The most decisive region is the Norther Great Plain Region comprising Szabolcs­Szatmar-Bereg county, where more than the half of the Hungarian sour cherry volume is produced, and which is bound to increase its production in the future. The majority of sour cherry produced in Hungary is processed, moreover, an important fraction of the exported fresh fruit is also used by the industry. The main importer of Hungarian sour cherry is Germany. The industry manufactures mainly canned products, a smaller fraction will be processed to other products. The expected volumes of sour cherry grown in Hungary in the next 5 and 10-year-period was estimated from data based on the ratio of young plantations, predicted consequences of the global climatic changes, phytosanitary aspects, furthermore, on the development of the technological level. In the region, the volume grown within 5 years, 40 000 t/year will increase within 10 years to 55 000 t/y. The processing in Hungary is not sufficiently differenciated, which is attributed partly to the characters of the varieties, partly to the weaknesses of the processing industry. One of the reasons is the suitability of varieties mainly for canning products. Processed sour cherry products could not be sold at the same price levels achieved by concurrent sour cherry growing countries. The vertical structure of the path of products of sour cherry disposes of adequate processing capacity being ready to be developed or there is sufficient intention of making investments for the purpose of manufacturing special sour cherry products. Significant tasks of development are actual in the field of the ecological and biological conditions of production. Volume and yield security as well as the maturity time and diversification of processing possibilities are the main endeavours in widening the assortment of varieties to be grown in the near future. The main objective in growing techniques is the modernization of phytotechnical procedures, and new solutions of methods of mechanical harvesting and related technical innovations are necessary in the sour cherry verticum. A key question is the effectiveness of phytosanitary procedures with special reference to the Monilia fungus and to the cherry fruit fly as the most important pest. There are two points of break through in the Hungarian sour cherry verticum. On the one hand, meeting the increasing demands in fuits for fresh consumption, on the other hand, the diversification of processed sour cherry products and their introduction to the markets. Both are aiming to increase the competitiveness of the Hungarian sour cherry. For that purpose, outstanding varieties and excellent as well as internationally recognised fruit qualities are ready to be utilized. The most susceptible problems of the Hungarian sour cherry verticum are associated with marketing, alliance of the grower-and processor organisations and their co-operation because no overall integration within the sour cherry verticum has been established yet. Most urgent necessity as well as possibility of changes are felt in the Northern Great Plain Region.

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The main properties of fruit offered on the retail market in Hungary
Published August 16, 2010
67-69.

The small enterprises of the Hungarian retail market of food and related commodities are in a dismal crisis, many of them got bankruptcy, whereas fruit and vegetables are offered in large shop-chains and supermarkets. Traditional small shops near to the domiciles are still highly esteemed by the population and their lack is regretted especially... because of commodities for fresh consumption. For the purpose to evaluate the situation, I planned the comparative study of fruits offered in the retail markets by tracing their origin, quality and prices. From the six shops selected for the study three represent department stores belonging to different chains. Independent entrepreneurs manage the next three shops of vegetables with own suppliers. It was stated that the retail shops offer mainly fruits of Hungarian growers. It is however worthwhile to state that the origin of the produce was frequently not marked. The fruits imported from abroad, apple, pear, peach, were sold at substantially higher prices than those of Hungarian origin.

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Farm economic evaluation of raspberry production
Published September 7, 2014
53-56.

Hungary was considered as one of the most significant raspberry producers in the 1980’ies. The acreage and the produced quantity, however, reflected a decreasing tendency during the past two decades: the 7 000 hectares existing in the year of 1990 reduced to 1 500 hectares, the current territory does not reach the 500 hectares. The annual yie...ld is only 1 to 3 thousand tons. The level of domestic fresh consumption is very low, due to the fact that it is a relatively expensive fruit for Hungarian consumers. The requirement of the processing industry is satisfied by raspberries from mainly Polish and Serbian import. These two countries belong to the biggest raspberry producing countries in the world by producing raspberries of more than 50 thousand tons. Comparing to the Hungarian production costs and yields they are able to transport their products here at a very low price, consequently they hold the prices at a low level. The profitability of the domestic raspberry production is rather unfavourable, production often shows a deficit even in orchards of good standard; furthermore the lack of labour causes an extremely great difficulty, which is an important component of the decline of the production independently from cost conditions.

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Comparison of light yellow fleshed pepper varieties grown on rockwool under unheated forcing conditions
Published March 16, 2004
108-110.

Experiments are going on all over the world assisting the joint effort of researchers and practicing specialists to identify the methods which can help either in the reduction of production costs or in the increase of yields.

The task of the growers is to make profitable use of the forcing facilities and to satisfy market demands at an ...acceptable price by means of improving production technology and applying new scientific, technological and technical information.

For the last few years, rockwool based forcing has been gaining in importance. The subject of our scientific work was the analysis of an important question of this technological variant, the selection of the variety. Besides, we also tried to identify the most suitable pruning technology for the varieties studied.

In Hungary, the highest demand is commonly known to be for the light yellow fleshed varieties which are suitable for stuffed dishes. In the future, due to their special quality and appearance, as well as to the Hungaricum character, they could become important export goods on the European Union market. It was within this variety type that comparison between varieties already common in production (HO F1, HRF F1, Danubia F1) was carried out, trying to get an answer to the question which of the three varieties could be produced with the greatest success. Considering the quantitative and qualitative indicators, it was H6 F1 that proved the best out of the three varieties tested under unheated forcing on rockwool. It excelled the other two varieties both in quality and in average fruit weight, preserving this advantage until the end of the growing period.

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Scheduling of ornamental plant production
Published April 18, 2000
76-86.

The production of ornamental plants represents an important branch of our horticulture. The growing area is relatively small (round 2800 ha), the production value, however, a rather large. Notwithstanding, its financial balance is inactive because the demand surpasses the supply copiously.

The most popular plants are as follows: carnati...on, gerbera, rose, bulbous flowers, chrysanthemum, other cutflowers, cutgreens and Gypsophyla — their total production value makes up to Ft 8-9 billion. The area of ornamental nurseries — about 800-900 ha — is to be found mostly on the western part of our country.

Our accession to the EU will have undoubtedly an impact on our ornamental plant production. We must take into account, that in greenhouse production the specialization extends all over the world, field production over a limited region. Our chances will not deteriorate by joining the EU. The buyer — chiefly because of ecological purposes — will prefer the domestic product to the foreign one. By the way, our products will be competitive, as far as quality or price is concerned, with those of western Europe. Last but not least, we may hope a greater saleability of home-bred, special varieties and cultivars, the so-called "hungaricums", both in the domestic as well as export markets. It is anticipated that we will have a good turnover with potted ornamental plants and flower seedlings. Our nursery products will become marketable too.

To exploit the opportunity, of course, the necessary conditions are to be created. First of all, we need development in research, with special regard to breeding, at the same time in education, in extension service, in the training of experts, on a high level. Some tasks can be solved, no doubt by improvement of the organisation within the branch. At the same time the state subsidy is indispensable in order to promote both the technical and the research activities. State subsidy is also necessary to build up more advantageous conditions of sales like in some foreign countries (e.g. the Netherlands).

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