Czech farming has seen huge changes since the days of communism, when the majority of farmers were forced to work on collective farms. Now all that has changed, and more and more farmers are choosing to follow the international trend towards organic farming, partly in response to worries over food safety. Martin Hrobsky reports.
Czechs are the worlds biggest beer drinkers and breweries are doing good business - so why should they try to change anything? The answer is "ethics" says Ivan Sima secretary of the association of Prague breweries. Czech brewers want more people to drink their beer "in moderation", and they have worked hard to present the golden brew as something more than a pub drink. In this week's Magazine DL talks to Mr. Sima about a new code of ethics which the country's leading brewers have adopted, Czechs drinking habits, why most Czech pubs sell only one
The country's five leading brewers are setting a new trend in the business - they have drafted and adopted a strict new code of ethics that goes beyond the regulations set by the law on advertising. Commitment to this new code of ethics is voluntary and the smaller brewers in the country - of which there are many - have so far failed to respond to an appeal to support the initiative. Its advocates claim that although sales and profit margins are important there are certain boundaries that should not be crossed. Czechs are the world leaders in beer
New Year's Eve always reminds you that a lot of us like a good drink. As I walked through Prague's Old Town Square this New Year's, the popping of corks and the crackle of broken glass mixed with cheers in Czech, English, German and Italian. Prague's historic centre was filled with revellers from all over Europe, so it was not only the Czechs who were drinking. But do the Czechs in particular have a problem with alcohol consumption, as statistics suggest?
With the EU's Copenhagen summit approaching, accession talks with the candidate countries are drawing to a close. However, many Czech official representatives are reserved about the outcome of recent negotiations between the Czech delegation and the European Commission, and are hoping the Czech Republic will be able to negotiate better deals at the Copenhagen summit. One area Czechs hope to get a better deal in is agriculture.
Czech farmers are planning to stage another demonstration in Prague in protest at conditions set by the European Union for farmers from candidate countries. Speaking to journalists on Monday, the head of the Czech Agricultural Chamber, Vaclav Hlavacek, said that between 5,000 to 10,000 farmers are expected to flock to the Czech capital to gather in front of the Agriculture Ministry and head for the seat of the European Commission's delegation. According to Mr Hlavacek, talks on the "agriculture" chapter with the EU are unsatisfactory as farmers need a full volume of direct payments in order to be able to compete on the EU market. EU officials, on the other hand, stress that farmers of the candidate countries, including the Czech Republic, would not be worse off after EU membership than they were before.
It's one of the most beautiful regions in the Czech Republic, dubbed the Czech Switzerland, an area of extensive quiet forestland, hilly countryside and unique sandstone cliffs and river gorges that were captured by Romantic painters in the 19th century. Two years ago the region was officially declared a national park, and, as Jan Velinger reports, it is an area that has been much enjoyed by tourists from all over the world.
Drinkers of Czech Budweiser beer in Great Britain have nothing to fear as the brewery gets the go ahead from a British court to continue selling the famous Czech lager. The Budweiser Budvar brewery in South Bohemia, has been locked in a lengthy battle with Anheuser-Busch, the world's largest brewer, over the well-established Budweiser name. The trademark dispute has been going on for almost a hundred years and continues to be fought in courtrooms throughout the world.
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