Half of Czech beef cattle is raised organically

Czech Republic: More than one half of beef cattle in the country is raised organically. But abattoirs lack certification; this means the majority of meat is delivered to supermarkets in standard quality, explains Mr Jan Gallas, environment and organic agriculture director at the Ministry of Agriculture. 

According to the Ministry, however, the organic food sector is developing. The Czech Republic currently has 712 organic producers, representing an annual increase of 10%. 

“It is clear that there is still a shortfall in organic slaughtering capacities; however, organic livestock farms are continuing to develop,” said Mr Gallas. According to Mrs Kateřina Urbánková, the head of the organic farmers’ union Pro-Bio, her organisation is in talks with mass retail to increase the organic meat offering to the consumer. Furthermore, she confirmed that abattoirs which until recently had only slaughtered one head of cattle a week to organic standards, now slaughtered five.

For the first time this year, the government is providing marketing support to organic food and organic farming. The firm Media Age won this bid worth 24.5 million koruna (just under €1 million). “We must first review the campaign from this year, before we decide how to promote the brand to consumers,” says Mr Petr Jílek, farm commodity and organic farming officer at the Ministry of Agriculture, with regard to future investment.

According to official statistics, Czech consumers purchased 2.5 billion koruna worth of organic foodstuffs last year, an increase of 13.5% on the previous year. On average, each inhabitant spent CZK 241 (+CZK 28) on these products. The most frequently bought organic products are milk and dairy produce, fruit and vegetables and their juices, and manufactured products such as spices, mustard, coffee and tea, or ready-made preparations, for example baby food.

The market share of organic foodstuffs in total consumption increased by approximately 0.2 points last year to reach 0.9%. This is the sixth consecutive year that the organic foodstuff market has grown, and the largest annual increase since 2008. But this market share is still a long way from 3%, which is the target that had been set by the Ministry of Agriculture… for 2016.

Source: Petra Vaňatová https://www.zemedelec.cz/