Farmers’ markets, which have proven to be hugely popular across the Czech Republic could be hit by the recent introduction of the new electronic cash registers system (EET), designed to clamp down on areas of the grey economy and to bring in more tax revenues. According to Czech news site iDnes, some stall owners have decided to yank their wares because of the EET. Farmers’ products will come under the third wave of the system, beginning in March of next year.
The Japanese brewery Asahi took over one of the Czech Republic’s biggest breweries, Plzeňský Prazdroj, On Friday. The brewery was bought, alongside with four other European brewers, from the multinational SABMiller. The Czech brewer, the biggest in the country, will now be part of Asahi Breweries Europe and will be answerable to the Tokyo company headquarters. The regional headquarters will be in Prague. The sale of some SABMiller assets was the price demanded by the European Commission for clearance of its purchase by AB InBev. Pilsner Urquell is the best known beer produced by the Plzeň brewery.
There is increased tension in the Czech coalition government over the EC’s announcement that it will fine the Czech Republic 800,000 euros over a clash of interest in the distribution of farming subsidies. The irregularity concerns members of all three ruling parties and Prague has already filed a request for the launch of conciliation proceedings in Brussels.
A group of Czech senators are calling on the Constitutional Court to abolish certain provisions of the recently approved anti-smoking bill, including a ban on smoking in restaurants and sale of alcohol in vending machines. The senators have succeeded in collecting the minimum twenty signatures needed for the Constitutional Court to deal with the matter.
The second largest online grocer on the Czech market – Rohlik.cz had to suspend operation on Thursday following a raid by the foreign police on the company’s Prague warehouse. It was the second police inspection in the past seven months at the e-shop which is trying to increase its share on the Czech online grocery market, already becoming too tight for ambitious competitors.
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.
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