The Czech government on Monday approved a scheme to co-subsidize fruits
and vegetables for primary school children within a broader effort to
combat problems with obesity. According to the results of a European survey
Czech children are the ninth fattest on the continent. Experts blame this
on below-standard-nutrition in schools and a lack of physical activity. The
free fruit-and-veg scheme for school children is voluntary and will be
financed in part from EU funds, in part from a 20 million government
subsidy. The government is also subsidizing milk for school children, but
only about half of the country’s primary schools have requested it.
Teachers at a loss over some kids view that communism was “fine” A team of specialists from the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes which cooperates with schools on projects and lectures relating to the country’s communist history said that many teachers they had worked with were at a loss over how to deal with some kids’ belief that communism was “ok” or “fine”. The head of the team, Jaroslav Pinkas said schoolchildren picked up this view from their parents and admitted that teachers were in a difficult position correcting it. He said the team’s advice was to deliver the facts and call on specialists for help. Some schools are inviting communist prisoners to visit classrooms and talk about their past.
Traffic police in the Czech Republic have a new year’s resolution, and that is to cut the increasing rate of accidents in the country that are related to driving under the influence of alcohol. With the number of alcohol-related road deaths on the rise from year to year, in 2010 the police are going to introduce the somewhat radical measure of giving a breathalyser test to every driver they stop. Christian Falvey has the story.
Young men in the Czech Republic are drinking less beer than in the past, according to the polling agency CVVM. According to a survey conducted by the agency regularly since 2004, 92% of men aged 18 to 30 drank beer in the first year, while 84% say they do today. Nine out of ten Czech men in general and slightly more than half of women say they drink beer occasionally. The amount of beer consumption in the country has declined in recent years; nonetheless, Czechs remain the top beer drinkers in the world, with 154 litres consumed per person per year.
Now, what do champagne, Roquefort cheese and Melton Mowbray pork pies all have in common? Well, you might not want to eat them all at once for one thing, but more importantly they all enjoy “Protected Geographical Status” from the European Union. Meaning that Roquefort cheese must be matured in the natural caves of Roquefort to be sold under the name ‘Roquefort’, and so on. EU countries have fought fierce battles over the coveted ‘protected’ label, and the latest hostilities are brewing between the Czech Republic and Poland…this time over
Dairy farmers in the central Pardubice region say they will step up their protests against low milk prices in the new year. Protest organisers say they will target supermarket chains as part of a widened campaign. This week they blocked a series of dairy producers who they also blame for their current plight. Farmers say current prices for milk do not cover costs and they are being forced to kill cows as a result.
Czech farmers blocked two milk processing plants in eastern Bohemia and central Moravia on Thursday in protest against low milk prices they are being paid. The protest lasted for about two hours. Farmers demand that milk prices are levelled up to those in neighbouring countries, that is to 30 eurocents per litre. The head of the Czech Agrarian Chamber, Jan Veleba said that the situation was unsustainable in the long run.
The Czech Republic has had a small hemp industry for ten years now, since a new law acknowledged hemp as a technical and energy crop in 1999. Since then, technical hemp, that is cannabis which contains less than 0.3 percent THC, has made its way into a broad range of Czech-made products. It is used for making cosmetic products, briquettes, fabric, food and even hemp plastic.
On Wednesday, over 3500 farmers gathered in Prague for a demonstration. The farmers marched from Prague’s Hradčanské námestí to the parliament, where the annual budget negotiations are in progress. There, the farmers burst through a barricade the police had built and voiced their demands through a megaphone. The demonstrators then handed over their declaration to Bohuslav Sobotka, the head of the parliament’s budget committee. In the declaration, farmers are demanding an increase of the budget for agriculture by 1.5 billion crowns. The vice-president of the Agrarian Chamber, Jindřich Šnejdrla, said that incomes of Czech farmers would sink to the lowest level in history next year and that in addition, prices of agricultural products were sinking because of the financial crisis, putting farmers in a precarious position.
The Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority announced Friday that the brewery Radegast had passed its inspection and is now entitled to call itself a “Czech Beer,” a name that is protected and requires a certain standard of quality. Other brands that are allowed to call their brews a “Czech Beer” are Pilsner Urquell, Gambrinus and Velkopopovický Kozel. The European Union introduced protected designations of origin for agricultural and food products in 1993 to help consumers discern quality products more easily. In the Czech Republic, the protected status of beer has added to the regard and success of the product abroad, says Jiříi Mareček, spokesman of the brewers’ association Prazdroj Pilsen.