The Czech Confederation of Commerce and Tourism, which group large and
small retailers, has condemned as populism a government move to check on
sharp price rises of butter.
The check was announced by prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka following price rises which have seen the price of a pack soar to more than 50 crowns.
Sobotka said he was puzzled by the confederation’s reaction since similar moves had been announced in other countries.
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.
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.
Czech dairy farmers look set to get aid to the tune of 10.4 million euros within increased subsidies for farmers across the block approved by the European Commission, Czech Television reported on Monday. Agriculture Minister Marian Jurečka has welcomed the move, saying the sum allotted to Czech farmers was the 10th highest in the 28-member block. National governments can top up this aid with subsidies from state coffers. Czech dairy farmers are facing severe problems due to a milk glut and low prices across Europe.
Czech pork and milk producers are finding it increasingly hard to compete with cheap imports from other EU states. Individual producers are seeking ways to sell their products directly to end-consumers and the Czech Agriculture Ministry is considering giving them additional support from the state budget.
Milk yield has increased despite a fall in the number of dairy cows this year and the Czech Republic continues to produce nearly a third more milk than it consumes, the news site iDnes.cz reported. According to figures from the Czech Statistics Office in the first half of 2014 there were 372,900 dairy cows in the country; this year that figure fell to 368,600. IDnes.cz said the reasons for the decline included a Russian embargo on EU-produced foodstuffs and the end of milk quotas; Czech breeders are facing increased competition from abroad and many have started cutting their herds.
Italy is famous for its family run businesses making top quality products. But in recent years the economy has been contracting and many young Italians have moved abroad to seek jobs and new opportunities. In this week’s marketplace we look at one Italian couple who have moved to Prague with the idea of creating their own one stop site for producing and selling mozzarella and other specialities from their homeland.