Double standards in food products, sold by multinational companies across the EU, have long been a sticking point not only for the Czech Republic but also other countries in the Visegrad 4. Over the years, studies found that products sold by multinationals under identical brand names differed considerably, which Czechs and others say is unethical. Now, the ground has begun to shift.
A test of 21 products sold in different European states conducted by scientists in Prague has found that despite all having similar packaging only three had the same composition. The research comes against a backdrop of widespread perceptions that multinational companies deliver inferior products, in particular foods, to consumers in the former Eastern Bloc.
A survey of food samples in five countries, including the Czech Republic, have shown wide differences in the same products sold by manufacturers. Out of 21 products tested in Austria, Germany, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary, only three were the same. In 13 cases there were wide differences in the same product sold in the different countries and in five cases minor differences. In one case the fish content of fish fingers was 63.8 percent in Germany and Austria but just 50.2 percent in the Czech Republic. The active ingredients of washing power sold in Germany and Austria was much higher than other countries. The Czech minister of agriculture has said the problem of different quality foods sold as the same needs to be tackled at a European level.
Czech breweries are no longer doing good business just exporting the country’s famous golden brew –they are exporting Czech beer culture and tank pubs are becoming a hit across Europe. The news site idnes.cz created a map of emerging Czech style tank pubs and Great Britain definitely comes out top of the pile.
Farmers are warning that an ongoing drought in the Czech Republic could be the worst in the last three years. In spite of occasional storms, the ground is not absorbing rainwater. This has led to South Moravia and large parts of Bohemia looking as parched as the Mediterranean. The government is considering mapping drainage systems across the country with the idea of converting them so that they can retain water locally when needed.
A team at the Brno-based Global Change Research Institute is offering daily updates on the drought situation in the Czech Republic online. The institute specialising in climate change, part of the Czech Academy of Sciences, has established a seven scale drought ranking with detailed maps offering a picture of the situation nationwide as well as in individual districts. The map is likely to be crucial for farmers. Last week large parts of South Bohemia and South Moravia were described as having extreme or exceptional drought conditions.
U dvou Koček, At the two Cats, is bang in the middle of Prague’s Old Town not far from Wenceslas Square. That’s been a boon in some senses but also a problem as the traditional brewery and restaurant try to juggle keeping locals and thirsty and hungry tourists with many Czechs moving out of the centre and into the suburbs. Manager Roman Pohanka explained some of the history of the that has been put together of the pub although many gaps in the chronology still remain.
For the first time in 10 years, sales of beer-on-tap in the Czech Republic stopped falling in 2016. Year-on-year, they increased by a little less than one percentage point, the daily Hospodářské noviny reported on Tuesday. At the same time, people still prefer consuming beer bought in stores, Martina Ferencová of the Beer and Malt Asociation told the daily. According to a report by AC Nielsen, retail sales for beer in the Czech Republic reached 16.4 billion crowns from June 2016 to May 2017. Year-on-year, it was a one-percent increase.
The Czech Republic’s fruit harvest this year is set to be 26 percent lower than the average for the last five years due to frosts in spring, the head of the country’s fruit growers association told the Czech News Agency on Tuesday. Moravian crops were hardest hit by the adverse weather conditions and the yield of apricots and peaches, which are grown there, is likely to be a full 70 percent below the five-year average. Agriculture Minister Marian Jurečka says he will call on the government to compensate the farmers affected, as also happened last year.
With the start of the summer holidays the police will launch a nation-wide operation aimed at reducing alcohol and drug abuse among minors, a police spokeswoman said on Monday. Over 1,500 police officers are to take part in the operation checking on pubs and restaurants to make sure minors are not served alcohol or allowed into game bars. One of the reasons for the wide-ranging measures is that Czech youngsters top the European ladder in the consumption of alcoholic beverages and cigarettes. In 2015 a similar operation detected 660 children who had been drinking, in 2016 it was 395. Music festivals where alcohol and drugs are also widely available will also be targeted.
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Screenshot: a hybrid English-friendly Prague art-house cinema where screenings are events