A new campaign to support Czech-made food products will be launched this month. Funded by the Czech Ministry of Agriculture, the campaign - called České vánoce s regionálními výrobky, or Czech Christmas with Regional Products - is aimed to motivate consumers to buy locally-produced goods. Its costs are estimated at around 50 million crowns.
According to agriculture minister Marian Jurečka, the campaign is aimed at showing Czech customers the benefits of buying Czech products, such as supporting not only individual producers but also their regions, and the economy as a whole.
Consumers will be motivated to buy products with quality labels awarded by the Czech Ministry of Agriculture, such as Klasa, Regionální potravina and Bio. There are currently around 5,000 of these products available on the market.
Large supermarket chains are also set to take part in the campaign. Marek Toman, president of the Federation of Food and Drink Industries, said he is aware that most of the locally produced goods are sold through supermarket chains.
The marketing campaign comes in response to Russia’s retaliatory embargo on food imports from EU countries, which is estimated to cost Czech food producers between 250 and 300 million crowns. The Ministry of Agriculture ministry also estimates that food from other EU member states diverted to the Czech market because of the sanctions is costing domestic producers up to 1.5 billion crowns.
Some people, however, are questioning the efficiency of such campaigns. Speaking to Czech Radio, Radim Smetka of the Free Citizens’ Party argued that none of the previous campaigns had any effect on the sales of Czech food products, adding that the sale of fish actually went down following the campaign on promoting local fish consumption.
A few months ago, the Supreme Audit Office reviewed three major marketing campaigns aimed at promoting Czech food producers over the past six years, concluding that much of the money was spent without a clear strategy.
But Miroslav Koberna of the Federation of Food and Drink Industries says their analyses indicate a gradual rise in the sale of domestic food products, adding that a change in the shopping habits of the Czech consumers is unlikely to happen overnight.
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