Popular Czech liquor known as ‘tuzemák’ has once again come under the spotlight from authorities in Brussels. According to a report by the European Food Safety Authority, the chemical used to create the artificial rum flavour can be carcinogenic. Agriculture Minister Marian Jurečka says that if Brussels decided to ban the chemical, he is ready to file for exemption so that its use can be continued.
The Czech potato harvest this year looks like being up to 15 percent down
on the excellent crop of 2016, according to the Czech Potato Association.
The crop this year looks as though it will total between 600,000 to 650,000 tonnes. That is down on the almost 700,000 tonnes collected in 2016. This year’s quality promises to be excellent, according to the association.
The crop looks especially good in the Czech potato heartland, the central Vysočina region, but other areas appear to have suffered from this year’s drought.
The grape harvest in the Czech Republic this year should exceed that of
2016 growers say as the harvest begins to be taken in.
Growers expect grapes sufficient for around 580,000 hectolitres of grapes for wine to be brought in this Autumn, that’s around 15,000 hectolitres more than 2016.
Severe frost earlier in the year fuelled worries that the crop this year would be a poor one. The harvest is concentrated mostly in the South Moravian region.
The sale of Fairtrade products in the Czech Republic has been increasing,
according to the head of Fairtrade Czech Republic and Slovakia Hana
By far the most popular Fairtrade commodity on the market was coffee. In 2016, Czechs bought 326 tonnes of Fairtrade coffee, which was an 88 percent increase on the previous year. Other popular items include chocolate, tea, sugar and biscuits.
Traditional Czech ‘rum’ known as ‘tuzemák’ contains a carcinogenic
ingredient, a report by the European Food Safety Authority has suggested.
According to their analysis, the aroma in the alcoholic beverage contains
carcinogen which can be harmful to consumers’ health.
Agriculture Minister Marián Jurečka said that if the ingredient is banned by Brussels, the Czech Republic will be asking for an exemption so that the use can be continued.
Tuzemák, which is produced from sugar beet spirit, had to be renamed after EU regulations stipulated that only spirits distilled from sugar-cane can be called rum.
EU member states who feel that they are getting inferior quality food
products as compared to the same brands sold elsewhere will be able to
request an EU grant for their testing, the EU commissioner for justice,
consumers and gender-equality, Věra Jourová, said on Thursday.
Commissioner Jourová made the statement just a day after EC President Jean Claude Junker called for the problem to be addressed in his “state of the union” speech.
The commissioner said the EU had both funds and instruments to deal with the problem and the authorities in the respective states would be advised on how to proceed.
The Czech Republic and Slovakia have agreed to initiate a summit in
Bratislava in October to discuss double standards by international food
producers selling foodstuffs of varying quality under the same brand name
across different EU countries. They took the decision at a joint government
meeting in Lednice on Monday.
Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said that both countries had agreed to take a tough stance on the issue, calling it a serious political problem. Inferior quality of some products in the Czech Republic and other former eastern bloc countries is true not only of some international food brands but also in building materials and some pharmaceutical products.