Food & beverages
Wine production is a competitive market in the European Union –a world leader in the industry. Yet Croatia, Slovenia, Romania and Hungary are healthy producers and Bulgaria has seen significant sector growth, with three EU funded projects aimed at promoting Bulgarian and Romanian wine worldwide with a total budget of €5.2 million between 2012 and 2015.
Not only a great beer producer itself, the CEE is also a huge market in terms of consumption. In 2011, the Czech Republic registered as the highest beer consumers in the world, while Lithuania ranked fourth, followed by Poland and Romania at 5th and 6th place, then Croatia at 9th. Even of those that didn’t rank, Latvia, Slovenia and Slovakia still consume higher amounts of the 72.8 EU average, while only Bulgaria and Hungary fell below at 69 and 65 respectively. Polish beer production has enjoyed a substantial increase since 2010 to become the third largest beer producing country in the EU, with the Czech Republic and Romania following up at 7th and 8th place respectively.
The food industry is a key sector for the economies of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Croatia, while being one of the fastest growing sectors in Poland, with a sale value of the entire national industry amounting to 24 per cent. The organic sector is a steadily growing industry in Estonia, in terms of both production and consumption, while Serbia also boasts an area of 11,000 ha of organic land for cultivation. The sector in the Czech Republic is substantial and still growing, while the organic market is particularly dynamic in Romania.