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.
Czech brewery Budějovický Budvar is preparing a special batch of its beer for Pope Francis, which the head of the Roman Catholic Church will receive as a gift during a visit by a Czech delegation during the period of Advent this year. The delegation is scheduled to meet with the Pontiff on December 13. The special brew, which will fill 122 bottles, will be blessed in September and gifted to the Pope by Czech Bishop Vlastimil Krocil during the December audience.
Wholesale prices paid by chain supermarkets for by Czech bakery rolls have long been too low, the chairman of the Association of Bakers and Pastry Chefs Jaromír Dřízal has said. According to Czech Radio, some bakeries sell a single roll for 70 hellers wholesale; according to the head of the association, the price should be 20 hellers more, or just ten short of one Czech crown.
It’s pretty clear that European agriculture is bracing itself for a further wave of reform which will trim and re-shape the famed Common Agricultural Policy. But early discussions on what form the reforms should take have already highlighted deep divides between Czech farmers themselves and with the agriculture ministry.
Czechs are still the world’s leading beer drinkers, but consumer habits are changing. Whereas once the biggest share of beer produced was consumed at the pub, now Czechs are taking it home. While pubs and restaurants are selling less beer, sales of bottled beer have not dropped and sales of canned beer have seen a sharp rise.
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