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Czech Republic: Natural and Organic Manufacturers See Their Business Growing

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

There were 116 certified organic processors at the end of 2004. Milled products (different types of flour, cereals, pasta, bread), meat processing, cow and goat milk, fruit beverages, herbs and spices are the main products manufactured in the Czech Republic.  The main manufacturers are Pro-bio with grain products and pasta, and Olma which is the largest Czech organic milk processor and manufacturer. It currently supplies organic milk and four varieties of yoghurt.


Picture: Czech organic products

Biopark processes beef, sealing it in vacuum packs and distributing it to retail multiples. It produces various kinds of beef products, including oven-ready cuts. Slunecni brana, the largest processor of organic herbs in the Czech Republic,  manufactures numerous kinds of herb teas, herb seasonings and spices. It is a subsidiary of the large Austrian company Sonnentor. Albio, besides running three retail organic food shops, operates its own organic bakery. DoRa produces goat cheeses, spreads and milk. Josef Sklenar supplies ham, salami and sausages. Vino Polau, the largest Czech organic wine producer, is located in the south of the Czech Republic, where vines grow well. Racio produces puffed cereal products. (Picture: Pro-bio grain products)


There are only about 50 farmer-based processing facilities, with mostly fruit drying or cow, goat or sheep milk production. The lack of organic processing facilities or entrepreneurs willing to enter this type of business is viewed as one of the weak points in the Czech organic market. The unwillingness of business people to start organic processing is due to the lack of confidence in the market, the lack of marketing skills and also the lack of finance. Nevertheless, in the last few months, new, domestically processed products have entered the market, namely organic tofu, pates, jams and stewed fruit, salami and ham. (Picture: Olma milk)

Organic Agriculture: Plenty of Pasture But little Diversity in Production


The agriculture sector in the Czech Republic is characterised by relatively large holdings. Cooperatives still occupy about 39 % of the total area, but most of them are not economically viable. Currently more than one-third of the utilisable arable area is used for cereals. Cereal yields are low and around 75 % of the EU-15 level. Other crops include vegetables, fruits, sugar beet and potatoes. In terms of production value, cereals contribute the most (20% of agricultural output value). Restructuring  the agricultural sector has also resulted in a decline in livestock numbers, in particular cattle. The most important contributors to the value of agricultural output  are milk (20 %), pork (16 %) and beef (7 %). The main processing industries are the meat, beverages and dairy sub-sectors. The processing of fruits and vegetables has declined in recent years. International companies dominate the sweets, soft-drink, vegetable oil and tobacco industries.


At the end of 2004 organic farming was practised on 263,299 ha (6 %) of the utilised agricultural area. This represents a growth of 3 % compared to 2003. Arable land comprised 7 %, permanent grassland 89 %, orchards and vineyards 0.4 % and other land types 3 %. There were 836 organic farms (compared to 810 at the end of 2003) with an average size of 315 ha. Most organic land under management is permanent grassland and pastures in the mountainous areas of the Czech Republic – 90 % of the land is pasture- based for cattle, goats or sheep rearing. Farms receive subsidies as part of the agro-environmental scheme of the Ministry of Agriculture. (Picture: Sonnentor products)
Development of the structure of the land stock used for organic farming in the Czech Republic


Organic land  2002 area in ha  2003 area in ha 2004 area in ha  2003/2004 year on year growth in %
Arable land  19,536  19,637 19,694 0.29 %
Permanent grassland   211,924  23,683 235,379 1.60 %
Permanent crops   898  928  1,170 26.07 %
Other  2,778 2,747 7,056 156.86 %
Total  235,136 254,995 263,299  3.26 %

There are about 100 farmers producing organic potatoes, about 70 producing vegetables and/or fruit, 30 producing herbs and more than 100 producing grains and legumes. The number of farmers in transition to an organic system slowed down in 2004, but more growth is expected in the coming years as the subsidies paid to farmers in 2004 almost tripled. The main organic categories in terms of production are grains (mainly spelt and buckwheat), herbs and spices, beef, milk and potatoes. A part of the grain and herb production is exported; meat and milk are all consumed domestically. There is a big under-supply of organic eggs and poultry meat, fresh fruit and vegetables, and milk products like butter and cheese. Very few of these market deficiencies are being met by imports.

In early 2004, the strategic document entitled Organic Farming Action Plan of the Czech Republic was adopted by the Czech Government. Among the goals is increasing the organic area to 10 % of the total agricultural land by 2010, higher subsidies for production on arable land, raising the quality of processing, marketing and export support, and educating consumers regarding the merits of organic farming. (Picture: Albio bakery products)

Basic Facts about the Czech Republic


Population: 10.3 m
Area: 7.86 mill. sq. km
Capital City: Prague
GDP (2004): Euros 93 billion
GDP growth: 4.4 %
Unemployment: 9 %
Agricultural production: Milk, pork, beef, poultry, grains, potatoes, oils, vegetables, sugar beet


Pavelkova 18, P.O.Box 34, 772 11 Olomouc
Contact person: Ladislav Fiser
Telephone: 00420-585 103 111
Fax: 00420-585 313 320


Address: Brtnická 360, 407 78  Velký Šenov 
Contact person: Kamil Toman
Telephone: + 420 737 284 212 
Fax: +420 412 391 489


Slunecni brana/Sonnentor
Havlíèkùv mlýn 944, CZ 696 15 Cejkovice
Contact person: Tomas Mitacek
Telephone: +420 518362687
Fax: +420 518362644


Czech Republic

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