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Volume 19, Issue 3 - December 2020 Special Issue: Covid‐19 Pandemic Impacts on Agri‐food Systems, Pages: 53-59 , First Published: 07 February 2021

The Kings of the Corona Crisis: The Impact of the outbreak of Covid‐19 on Small‐scale Producers in Hungary

Les rois de la crise de Corona : l’impact de l’épidémie de Covid‐19 sur les petits producteurs en Hongrie

Die Könige der Corona‐Krise: Die Auswirkungen des COVID‐19‐Ausbruchs auf Kleinerzeuger und Kleinerzeugerinnen in Ungarn

Zsófia Benedek – Pál Géza Balogh – Lajos Baráth – Imre Fertő – Veronika Lajos – Éva Orbán – Gábor G. Szabó – Gusztáv Nemes


The Covid‐19 pandemic has fundamentally reshaped our lives. Its effects on the sales and use of marketing channels of small‐scale Hungarian producers are addressed here. Based on the level of proximity, sales channels were classified into three types. Due to local regulations concerning restrictions on movement, it was only impersonal (online) channels that survived, or the opposite type, i.e. very personal ones involving the face‐to‐face meeting of producers and consumers in the private spaces (mostly homes) of one of the parties. Results from the survey of 136 producers reveal that 60 per cent suffered an economic loss due to loss of sales, while 10 per cent increased their sales. Successful producers were those lucky enough to be operating within the fresh fruit and vegetable sector, within which consumer demand increased significantly. The parallel use of several sales channels before the virus outbreak increased subsequent chances of success by increasing the probability that some of the channels would remain operational. Furthermore, successful producers had invested a lot of work pre‐Covid into maintaining private relationships with their customers; a situation that proved vital during times of restrictions. Also, the former moved fast, and were open enough to learn and make use of the opportunities modern technology offered them.