Top managers at the table

By: trademagazin Date: 2007. 03. 28. 08:00

The most important event among the activities of Lánchíd Klub so far was the first Business Dinner organised with the participation of Trade magazine. The dinner was attended by top managers from manufacturing and retail companies representing total annual revenues of over HUF four thousand billion. 115 top managers from the Hungarian food and retail industry met József Grág, Minister of Agriculture and Sándor Csányi, president and CEO of OTP Bank and a major investor in the business, in Hotel Corinthia Aquincum on 22. March. Most of those present agreed with László Hovánszky, that good retailers, good brands and good professionals are abundant in the domestic supply chain. He also spoke about the joint responsibility borne by market players, investors and the government for ensuring fair conditions in the business environment. József Gráf spoke about recent developments in Bruxelles. He said that regardless of personal conflicts, he is going to work on Hungary becoming a leader in food safety. He admitted that the appearance of organised crime in the food supply chain came as a surprise for him. He was shocked by the results of the intensive inspections carried out before Christmas. Authorities responsible for food safety will be placed under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture by the end of this spring. He also spoke about the changes in EU agricultural policies coming between 2007 and 2013, especially the radical reduction in subsidies expected after 2013. He emphasised the need for making the best use of the HUF 1500 billion subsidies still available till that date. Sándor Csányi spoke about his experience as a banker and the owner of food manufacturing enterprises. He mentioned the damage caused by investors who bought food manufacturing companies from loans and intend to repay loans from profits. He does not believe that this industry can make fast profits. He also spoke about the negative effects of abandoning the use of tax seals on wine bottles. József Gráf emphasised that the wine industry will be able to set up a HUF 1,5-1,7 billion fund for marketing and quality assurance projects. The fact that it does not function yet is not only the fault of the government, since wine makers have not reached an agreement about its use. All of those present agreed that prompt and tough sanctions are needed to eliminate illegal activities in the food market. Endre Fazekas, managing director of Sió-Eckes Zrt. spoke about the responsibility borne by retailers for the food scandals. He said, that retailers should be required to audit their suppliers.

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