Czech Farmers to Block the Austrian Border

13. März 2007, 00:00

Unhappy with the rising volume of pork imports from Austria, Czech farmers plan to block the border in the end of the...

Unhappy with the rising volume of pork imports from Austria, Czech farmers plan to block the border in the end of the month, Agricultural Chamber president Jan Veleba said.

Local meat farmers are on the brink of collapse, he said, because many large retailers prefer to import the meat and meat products they sell in the Czech Republic.

Retail chain Ahold, for example, imports meat from its plant in Krakow, Poland.

Austrias Interspar ceased the sales of domestic meat in half of its outlets and switched to imports from Austria, while Tesco Stores also relies on imports for half of its sales, Veleba said.

"This represents 37,000 tonnes of meat and losses worth about CZK 2.4 billion a year," he complained.

In parallel action, farmers will protest outside shops importing meat and will convince customers to turn to local meat.

"During the last event, we handed out about 6,000 leaflets. Now we will distribute hundreds of thousands," Veleba said.

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