As a consortium partner, University of Debrecen, Hungary, has been conducting a European four-year project with the acronym NetGrow financed within the Framework Program 7 under the auspices of the EU focusing on network behaviour of food SMEs and the performance of networks. The overall objective is to reveal more evidences and facts on innova...tion, learning, and networking in the food sector of the EU. Whithin the scope of the project, special attention was paid to reveal how network attributes were evaluated by the main four stakeholder groups of the food sector such as food SMEs, public bodies, research institutions, and network management organisations. The respondents differ in ranking the attributes, while but we got a clear order of attributes, of which the top five can be explicitly selected. Taking the next three ranks into consideration, the attributes behind them have clear meanings and they seem to be complementary for the top five. The stakeholder groups were significantly differ in scoring openmindedness and external relations, the importance of network rendered services, and the goals relevance of the network to the firms.
The objectives are (1) to reveal some current issues on organisations founded by fruit and vegetable producers and (2) to stress upon those factors that should be highlighted in the very next future. In Hungary, POs have been accounting for bigger share of fruit and vegetable trading in Hungary, which refers to a better organisation in the sect...or. Bargaining force and level of experience on running such businesses, although, are still much behind the level expected. Flexibility and speed of a running business are highly determined by the legal form of Pos. The most favourite form is cooperative that is not flexible enough as a business form, especially for starting businesses. Low yearly turnover and weak market power feature the POs, preferring short time solutions to strategic thinking. It is macro environmental factors that generate short term thinking, but coupled with mismanagement on different levels of corporate management.
In the Hungarian agro-food sector SMEs have a key role but regarding the tendency of the performance of SME sector, comparing to EU-28 average, the performance of Hungarian SME sector has gradually worsened between 2008 and 2015 while the EU average has an increasing trend. ICT can help enterprises and this article is an overview of the ICT sit...uation of Hungarian SMEs. It is important to analyse in detail the ICT usage characteristics of agro SMEs in the food supply chain because these ICT devices, tools and services are crucial to smooth the information flow within the chain. For all these reasons our work aims to find out how Hungarian agro-food SMEs use ICT and how ICT adoption affect their business procedures, performance and development. A striking observation to emerge from the data comparison is the difference among SMEs and large enterprises regarding the usage of the different basic and advanced ICT solutions. A much bigger percent of large companies use advanced ICT then SMEs and mainly small enterprises are lagging behind as the attitudes of medium sized enterprises are rather similar to the large ones. In Hungary small enterprises in agro-food industry are in difficult financial state and for them free Cloud Computing services can offer good opportunities as they do not have initial costs. ICT adoption is very important to them as ICT sector is a dynamically growing sector and if customers and partners of an enterprise adapt faster to these technological innovations, it may have a negative effect on the different processes, performance and financial results of the organisation. In this article our aim was to determine the main question groups for our questionnaire which focus mainly on ICT solutions supporting the quality of communication and relationship between partners. As the basic IT tools are available in the major part even in the SMEs besides large companies, the two main issues will be the usage of advanced online services and the usage of high quality ICT solutions.
JEL Code: M15