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.
Mid-sized Czech brewer, Bernard, has reported record production figures for 2016. The brewer produced just over 315,000 hectolitres of beer last year with around a fifth of it destined for export. The biggest export destinations are Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Russia. Exports were renewed to the United States in December.
Czech dairy farmers have little reason to be cheerful. Latest European Union figures show they are being paid the lowest prices for their raw product across the 28 EU member countries. The average Czech price to producers in December came to euros 26.40/100 kg compared with the EU average of euro 32.03/100 kg. Czech farmers argue though that their production costs are not much below those applying across the rest of the continent.
The Czech Republic is the latest country in Europe to report the outbreak of bird flu. On Wednesday, Minister of Agriculture Marian Jurečka confirmed that the highly contagious Avian Influenza was discovered in birds at two poultry farms in South Moravia. Following tests on a dead specimen, veterinary officials confirmed that the flu strain is the highly pathogenic H5N and have ordered a safety perimeter instated around the farm.
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