The Visegrad Four states have joined forces to address a common problem that has plagued them for years: a double standard in the quality of food products sold by supranational companies around the European Union. The leaders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary have urged the European Commission to acknowledge the problem and take legal action.
Czech farmers made a record profit in 2016, according to preliminary figures released by the Czech Statistics Office on Friday. Agricultural earnings increased by nearly 26 percent on the previous year, to 20.22 billion crowns, which represents the second best result since 2000. The value of agricultural production increased by 1.8 percent year-on-year to 129.3 billion crowns. Revenues from cultivation of crops reached 77.3 billion and livestock production dropped slightly to total 51.6 billion.
Jakub Krejčík, 33, is the head and co-founder of Heaven Labs, the producer of the MANA nutritional product, which went from being a hobby to a major business. MANA is specially-designed food in liquid form for people on the go, rigorously-tested to provide the nutrients the body needs. One bottle serves as a single meal for anyone with a busy schedule. Last year, Heaven Labs had a turnover of more than 50 million crowns and is looking to expand its existing network in Europe and newly to the United States.
The leaders of the Visegrad Four have issued a joint statement calling on the European Commission to take action to eliminate double standards in quality of food products sold by companies in Eastern Europe and in the West. Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and leaders of Poland, Slovakia, and Hungry met in Warsaw on Thursday to make a joint motion on a problem that has plagued all four states for years now. The four leaders are angry that European producers are often selling lower quality foodstuffs under the same label in their countries compared with richer neighbours such as Germany and Austria. Czech Agriculture Minister Marian Jurečka has commissioned a comparative survey in all four states and Austria which would reveal the extent of the problem.
No bill but regular membership fees, good beer and privacy: those are aims of more and more Czechs either founding or joining new so-called beer clubs, meant to replace classic, often ailing pubs in some towns and villages. According to Czech Radio, interest in founding new such clubs has jumped significantly, at least in part as a means of dodging the country’s electronic cash register system launched last December (and about to go into its second wave) as a means of bringing in more tax revenues and clamping down on the grey economy.
In recent years, Prague has been attracting more and more visitors who are interested specifically in the local cuisine and beverages. Besides regular food tours there are also special one-off events, such as the Natural Born Butchers’ wine tasting party inspired by the pig slaughter season, combining mostly Bohemian and Moravian wines and specialties made from a traditional Czech breed of pig.
Imports of Polish foodstuffs into the Czech Republic declined last year, iDnes.cz reported on Thursday, citing data from the Czech Statistics Office. Polish foods valued at CZK 31.4 billion were purchased by Czech consumers in 2016, down CZK 2 billion from the record level registered the previous year. iDnes said there were various reasons for the fall with the main one being rising incomes in the Czech Republic. Stricter controls may also have been a factor, the news site said. Five years ago the Polish food industry was hit by a scandal when firms were found to be using technical salt; the Czech Republic was one state to which products containing the dangerous substance were exported.
The Chamber of Deputies has voted to exempt all majority state-owned enterprises from a requirement to make their deals public in a new registry of contracts. MPs from the Social Democrats, the Christian Democrats, the Communist Party and the Civic Democrats on Wednesday backed the extension of an exemption that was previously intended to apply only to the brewery Budějovický Budvar. The motion was carried by one vote. The creation of a registry of contracts was originally perceived as an anti-corruption measure.
Čestlice is the name of a small village just outside the eastern city limits of Prague. But it is also the location of a giant out-of-town shopping and warehouse complex filled with large box-type supermarkets. Around me I see a Bauhaus, Kika, JYSK, an Elektro World, and a huge Makro store. There is also a large Aqua Centrum here – a swimming centre. It is just off the D1 motorway, which heads towards the city of Brno. But, surprisingly, this place is also home to a newly-opened farmers’ market.
Meat production returned to rise in the Czech Republic last years after years on the slide. Overall production climbed 0.3 percent year on year to total almost 449,000 tonnes. Beef and poultry production rose, but pork production, continued to decline. Pork production counts for almost half total meat production and was down by 3.3 percent. Milk production rose by 1.0 percent to 2.46 billion litres although the price paid to farmers was almost 15 percent below 2015 levels.
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