Conservationists in the National Park Bohemian Switzerland in north of the country are busy these days collecting wild pears. While they might not be exactly tasty for people, they are an important source of nutrition for a number of forest animals. The national park conservationists are now trying to collect as many seeds as possible in an attempt to re-introduce the once common fruit variety back into the park’s forests.
In Business News this week: government to spend seven billion crowns on boosting Czechs’ digital literacy; Fortuna’s net profit drops by 47 percent; Czech fruit and vegetable growers lose 480 million crowns due to Russian sanctions; Prague hotels enjoy record season; honey production confounds expectations.
With the arrival of spring, fruit trees across the Czech Republic have started to bloom, promising to yield a rich harvest in the months to come. For those who don’t own a patch of land but would still like to experience the pleasure of picking fruit rather than shopping for it in the supermarket, there is a new initiative called Na Ovoce – Fruit Picking. The website, which was launched just a few weeks ago, maps the occurrence of accessible wild fruit trees, shrubs and herbs that grow around the country.
In Business News this week: Český aeroholding announced it made 1.8 billion in operating profit for last year; the Senate has approved legislation which would require large stores to remain closed during state holidays; billionaire buys major Czech publisher; fruit growers have reason to be happy, citing a 25 percent jump in fruit crops.
In today’s business news: The Czech prime minister speaks out against using EFSM funds to bail out Greece; the agrochemical giant Agrofert holding is to acquire eight new companies; the Czech power giant ČEZ will be collaborating with consultancy firm McKinsey & Co; the country’s fruit farmers and wine growers estimate damages caused by unexpected frosts in spring to reach half a billion crowns; and the biggest Czech insurer brings forward an interesting analysis of the country’s pension savings habits.
The sale of organic food products in the Czech Republic is reported to have dropped by 30 percent in the past week as a result of the cucumber scare. Supermarkets have also reported a sharp drop in the sale of fruits and vegetables and some have started ordering less of those commodities to minimize their losses.
Farmers say the bout of freezing cold weather in early May will severely damage this year’s fruit harvest and may bring some farmers to the brink of bankruptcy. Fruit growers with apple, plum and cherry orchards say the damage is the worst in several decades with fruit trees on close to 7,000 hectares of land cut down in their bloom. Close to 40 percent of Czech fruit orchards have been affected with farmers predicting a poor harvest or none at all. Local fruit processing companies could also feel the brunt. Fruit growers say they want to approach the Agriculture Ministry about the possibility of some form of assistance.
A bout of cold weather during which night time temperatures dropped to minus 13 degrees in places is said to have seriously damaged orchards around the country. Farmers predict a lower fruit harvest this year with pear and cherry trees having suffered the most damage. Meteorologists say that the night frosts are the worst in thirty-six years.