Pig breeding in southern Moravia is reported to be down by 11 percent in the first quarter, according to the Czech Statistics Office. Pig breeding has suffered a serious setback due to severe competition within the EU, low meat prices and the Russian embargo. Pig farms around the country have been reducing animal numbers and are now only able to cover half of the country’s port consumption.
The sale of Fairtrade products in the Czech Republic has reached a plateau after several years of growth, according to the head of Fairtrade Czech Republic and Slovakia Hana Chorváthová. In 2015 Czechs bought 200 million crowns worth of Fairtrade goods, mostly coffee and chocolate. Coffee accounts for 61 percent of all Fairtrade products sold in the country, followed by chocolate, tea, sugar and biscuits.
The Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority has ordered retailers to pull an alcohol-free beer from their shelves which tests showed contained more alcohol than advertised or allowed. Samples of a beer called Vyškovské pivo Alkostop, the news site Novinky.cz reported, were found to contain 1.6 percent alcohol - far higher than than the maximum 0.5 permitted in alcohol-free beer. Further tests have been ordered with costs reportedly to be covered by the producer. The spokesman for the authority said that the higher percentage of alcohol could lead to problems, were, for example, a consumer to get behind the wheel.
The government on Monday approved an action plan for the agriculture sector up until the year 2030. According to Agriculture Minister Marian Jurečka, planned changes include lowering by tens of thousands of hectares rapeseed production, increasing the breeding of livestock, significantly boosting vegetable growth and markedly increasing the protection of arable land from soil erosion. According to available information, fruit orchards should increase from the current 14,500 hectares to 23,000 by 2030. By 2030, up to 60 percent of arable land should be protected from erosion compared to 11 percent now.
More than a fifth of vines in Southern Moravia have been affected by early morning frosts over the last week according to the Association of Vineyard Owners. There will be a clear impact on the future grape crop but the association has so far been unable to put a figure on the estimated damage. Temperatures dropped to below zero on Wednesday and Thursday nights. The worst affected vines are expected to be those in valley locations. Severe frosts last affected vineyards in the region four years ago.
In the first quarter of 2015 hygiene officers conducted over 4,000 inspections of restaurants and eateries around the country, Czech Radio reported on Friday. Seven eateries were closed down, 44 cases required sanitation measures and in 36 cases they ordered the food in storage to be destroyed. Inspectors handed out close to 800 fines to the tune of 2.4 million crowns. The most frequent problems concerned hygiene and food storage conditions as well as information provided regarding allergens in foods.
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Scientists from the Faculty of Fisheries and Water Protection at the University of South Bohemia have successfully bred a new breed of carp – the most common fish in Czech rivers and ponds. The Amur Mirror Carp is the first new fish breed created in the Czech Republic in more than twenty years and as its name suggests, it is related to a carp living in the remote Amur River in Asia.
Czech breweries recorded the highest beer production in history last year, for the first time increasing the level of production beyond 20 million hectolitres. The figures represented an increase by 2.2 on the previous year, the Czech Beer and Malt Association said on Thursday. Czech beer exports increased by 13.4 percent to 4.14 million hectolitres, while the import of beer increased by 7.3 percent. Domestic consumption of beer per person dropped by one litre in 2015 to 143 litres.
Beehives are to be installed on the roof of Prague City Hall in the historical centre of the capital. Councilors on Tuesday voted to allow a beekeeper to run six hives on top of the Art Nouveau building for an unlimited period of time. Beehives are already in place on the roof of a city centre shopping centre and hotel. Experts say the urban environment provides bees with a wide variety of plants for pollination and, unlike in the countryside, there is no danger from pesticides
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