Czech stores should be obliged to sell at least 55% of local foodstuffs in 2021 and gradually increase to 85% by 2027, according to a cross-party proposal signed by Czech MPs who claim the measure should support Czech farmers.
The proposal should be discussed by the Czech parliament this week.
“If I produce things on my own, closed borders cannot endanger me,” said lawmaker Margita Balaštíková from the governing party ANO.
Balaštíková, who co-authored the proposal, said the coronavirus crisis has shown the importance of food self-sufficiency.
“If we want to protect the environment, we should decrease the carbon footprint and not transport things from one end of the world to the other,” the MP added.
The President of the Confederation of Trade and Tourism, Tomáš Prouza, strongly opposed the law.
“55 percent is a completely unrealistic number. A lot of fruits and vegetables do not grow in the Czech Republic at all and some fruits are only seasonal,” Prouza pointed out to CNN Prima News.
A similar measure has been introduced in Bulgaria requiring retailers to offer distinct exposure and sale space for domestic food products and to purchase 90% of their milk and dairy products from domestic producers.
Apart from decreeing a quota for Bulgarian goods is grocery chain stores, the government has also suspended food import of non-EU countries.
The European Commission has already notified Bulgarian authorities that the law restricts the free movement of goods and discriminates against imported products.