The number of eco farms in the Šumava area increased by 12 in 2009, bringing the number of ecological farms there to 95, a regional centre representative has told the ČTK news agency. 20,000 hectares are being used for eco farming purposes. The head of the PRO-BIO association described eco farms in Šumava as being small and family-run, sometimes integrated within local eco tourism. Eco farms shun the use chemicals in production, as well as artificial growth stimulation in animals. Some local eco-farmers told ČTK their products had been drawing marked interest from consumers, saying they were having difficulties to meet demand.
Czech farmers have launched a campaign to support the purchase of locally grown products and counter inroads made by imports. Struggling dairy farmers will be the first to benefit with a campaign for milk products. A campaign backing local meat is likely to follow. The campaign which largely features billboards, leaflets and internet ads, is being paid for by farmers themselves and from donations. Czech farmers last year staged protests against the low prices they were being paid for their products with milk sprayed on fields.
The Czech Republic’s entry into the European Union facilitated free trade with other members of the bloc. That was good news for Czech businesses, though it can result in paradoxical developments. One of the best known Czech beers Pilsner Urquell often retails at lower prices in Germany than in the Czech Republic - leading Czech wholesalers to re-import one of their country’s most famous brews.
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.