International Hop Growers’ Convention, Secretary General, Brumath, France
PAVLOVIC, M., 2012. Production character of the EU hop industry. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 18: 233-239
Hops are essential for the brewing industry, as they supply considerably to the organoleptic qualities of beer, including taste and flavor. A study of the structure of hop farms in the EU based on an expert questioner’s survey and a review of the literature available was carried out in 2009. The hop-producing countries included in the survey were members of the International Hop Growers’ Convention (IHGC). The results demonstrate that the production structure in the hop industry sector varies greatly across EU countries. In addition, the structure is changing due to a market-driven structural adjustment aimed at being more competitive. The number of farms growing hops in the main hop-producing countries in the EU declined significantly during the 2000-2008 period. More than an estimated 1,350 farms in the EU-27 stopped growing hops during the period 2001-2007. As a result, the average farm size increased in almost all EU member states. The rate of specialization of hops farms is generally increasing. Briefly, hop farmers are slowly becoming entrepreneurs, and most try to attain a farm size that makes production more profitable.