Food Processing Industry

FOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRY

BASIC DATA

The Slovak food processing industry is one of the most dynamically developing industries. The food processing industry in the Slovak Republic is at present entirely in the private sector after difficult transformation processes. A thorough restructuring of this industry took place in recent years, while its main objectives were as follows:

  • to decrease excess capacities which had no perspectives for withstanding a competitive or international market,
  • to modernise the production process, mainly in order to achieve higher productivity of labour and to improve hygiene of foodstuff production,
  • to increase the competitiveness of the food processing industry

POSITION OF THE FOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRY IN THE NATIONAL ECONOMY OF THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC

According to the latest statistical data, there are 285 enterprises with 20 and more employees in the Slovak Republic whose type of business of is in the area of production of foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco processing. These enterprises presently employ around 41.1 thousand employees at present, i.e. is almost 10 % of employees in industries in the SR. Thus the food processing industry participates in the industrial production of the SR at a 13 % level. After the restructuring, the typical feature of the food processing industry in the SR is increase of production, and there are possitive assumptions for its further growth.

INVESTMENTS

In the year 2003, strengthening of the investment activity reflected in the year-to-year increase of acquired investments at 17.7 %, mainly due to adaptation to standards of the European Union. In year-to-year comparison, the highest increase was recorded in investments in wine-making (278 %), starch (227 %), mill (199 %), meat (191 %), sugar-making (140 %) and poultry (132 %) industries, while companies operating in meat, dairy, brewery, non-alcoholic beverages, starch and poultry industries invested the most in the year 2003. Year-to-year share of investments in the environment increase saw a 117% rise. The most considerable increase of these investments occurred in meat, poultry and dairy industries, however, also entities of bakery-confectionery, mill and frozen-fish industry invested to a considerable rate.

In the period before the accession of the SR in the EU, the food processing industry effectively made used of pre-accession support of the EU, mainly from the SAPARD Programme and this for implementation of directives of hygiene practice and hygiene measures leading to food safety.

Development of Acquired Investments (mil. Sk)

Indicator Year
2002 2003 Index 2003/2002
Acquired investments in total 5 769 6 788 117,7
- buildings and constructions 1 015 1 968 193,8
- machines, machinery, equipment 3 747 3 997 106,7
- investment in environment 19 41 216,7

FOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRY

Investments in the food processing industry in the year 2003 were acquired mainly from own funds (75.7 %), domestic bank credits (19.7 %), as well as from subsidies of the MoA of the SR (4.0 %), from support investments in agriculture and food industry (2.89 %) and from foreign funds (0.11 %). However, investments from foreign capital decreased by 76.4 % year-to-year.

SAFE FOODSTUFFS:

PRIORITY OF THE FOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRY IN THE SR

Food safety is the priority of the agro-food processing complex in order to secure high protection of human health and consumer protection, protection of animal health and welfare and of health of plants. An integrated and comprehensive approach is applied to the entire food chain in the system “from stall to table”, whereby all aspects of the food production chain, including agricultural inputs, are accessed, and attention is paid to the health harmlessness of all its elements in order to secure safety of the final foodstuff. Blanket long-term monitoring of extraneous substances in the food chain is performed, which includes agricultural farms as well as the retail chain. Contaminant, pesticide residue and veterinary drug residue monitoring are continuously implemented. Within its competence, the MoA of the SR performs state administration and professional supervision of control of quality and health harmlessness over agricultural products, foodstuff, tobacco products in the segment of plant cultivation, animal breeds, plant-medical and veterinary care, veterinary drugs, preparations for plant protection and extraneous substances in the food chain, as well as in the system of swift information exchange for foodstuffs and fodders. The control over legislation observance in this field is arranged by a control organisation of the resort - the Central Controlling and Testing Institute of Agriculture and State Veterinary and Food Administration of the SR. Development of laboratory capacities of the resort secures objectiveness and reliability of analyses for the purposes of control activities performance. An active policy of the resort is focused on securing consumer trust and the protection of consumers against health harmful foodstuffs and on protection of consumer interests. Operators of food and fodder enterprises, who are primarily responsible for the safety of foodstuffs and fodders, realise safety programmes focused on traceability and procedures of proper hygiene practice based on principles of hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP).

QUALITY POLICY

Activities of the resort are aimed not only at the production of safe foodstuffs, but also at the pro-duction of quality foodstuffs which will contribute to assortment enhancement and, due to their diversity, to maintenance of cultural heritage and traditional production. With the continuously increasing importance of foodstuff safety, in the SR is also constantly increasing the importance of application of legislation in the field of Quality Policy (indication of origin and geographical indication of agricultural products and foodstuffs) as an indicator representing quality of the product with certification of its origin, composition, features and observing of determined pro-duction methods.

Demand for quality products is an asset for producers, as well as for consumers. Since the year 2001 the Ministry of Agriculture of the SR has systematically informed the entrepreneurial pub-lic on the options provided by relevant legislation of the Community. Via their use, rural commu-nities may be preserved since producers will be able to make their living in their own domestic regions. The use of the quality policies in practice contributes to a development of quality, as well as to a combination of the quality and geographical origin or of the traditional method of production of the relevant product. Products with protected indication of origin, with protected geographic indication or of a specific nature are a guarantee of the observance of the special conditions which provide the product with the specific features expected by the consumer. Typi-cal Slovak products which comply with these criteria are e.g.: “Slovenská bryndza”, “Slovenský oštiepok” or “Skalický trdelník”.

QUALITY MARK

In August 2004 the Ministry of Agriculture of the SR put into practice the programme of a national quality mark for Slovak agricultural products and foodstuffs. Its objective is to focus the attention of the consumer public on the issue of safety and quality, as well as on the origin and tradition of agricultural products and foodstuffs. The “quality mark” on a product is a guarantee for the consumer that this product was produced in compliance with requirements of national legislation and legislation of the EU, while the determined technological process was followed during the production. Observance of the requirements regarding product marking is being controlled by foodstuff control bodies in all phases of its production, including the processing of raw materials, transportation and sale of the product. Quality agricultural products and foodstuffs are identified in this manner on the domestic market, with the specifics of the Slovak consumer taken into account.

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