The Chamber of Deputies has approved a requirement that bigger shops sell a minimum share of Czech food - while the EU warned against it.
Grocery stores with an area of more than 400 square meters will have to sell at least 55% of local food from next year. In 2028, this mandatory share will increase to 73%, according to an amendment to the Food Act that now needs to also be approved by the Senate.
Specialized and smaller stores will be exempt from this new rule. The quotas will apply to food that can be produced in the Czech Republic. Proponents of these quotas argue, that the coronavirus crisis has shown that it is desirable for the country to be more self-sufficient in the food production.
The new obligation will apply for example to eggs, honey, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, garlic, beef, pork, mutton, rapeseed and sunflower oil, milk and cheese.
Representatives of the Czech Confederation of Commerce and Tourism, the Chamber of Commerce and the Confederation of Industry and Transport have previously warned against the proposal. However, the amendment is supported by the Agrarian Chamber - according to which, the choice of goods will not suffer due to the quotas and prices will not increase. According to Hospodářské noviny, eight EU countries also disagreed with the change, citing discrimination against foreign products.