Hungary’s poultry product council (BTT) and agricultural chamber (NAK) have called for the suspension of Ukrainian poultry and egg imports to the European Union, saying that the “unlimited amounts” of Ukrainian farm products “not only jeopardize future production in the EU and Europe’s self-sufficiency, but they are also worrying from the point of view of food safety “.
NAK and BTT noted that Europe’s stringent food safety, animal health and welfare regulations did not apply to Ukrainian producers, while recent European measures had allowed for a significant increase in imports from Ukraine. While the EU earlier limited Ukrainian poultry imports to 90,000 tonnes a year, the bloc has imported over 218 tonnes since June last year, the two organisations said. As for egg imports, 2022 saw a fourfold increase compared with the previous year, they said, adding that in March 2023 alone, 100 million eggs were imported, nearly as much as during the whole of 2021. Not even the war in Ukraine can justify the EU providing “political benefits” to Ukraine through which “products failing to meet EU requirements” could enter the community, NAK and BTT said. Moreover, the EU’s liberalisation of Ukrainian imports would “benefit a few oligarchs rather than the Ukrainian people”, they added. All rules applicable to producers of the EU must also be applicable to any imported products, they said, adding that “this is expected not only in the interest of fair competition but also from the aspects of food safety and the interests of consumers.”