Bratislava, April 25 (TASR) – Slovak producers should be more courageous and seek opportunities to increase exports of high-quality Slovak products to surrounding markets, said Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Gabriela Matecna (a Slovak National Party/SNS nominee) while opening the 21st annual conference on trade and marketing called Slovak Retail Summit in Bratislava on Tuesday.
“Slovak foodstuffs are worth it, their quality is high and they have the potential to gain attention abroad,” said Matecna. In her words, the Agriculture Ministry has already started acting on this issue and is collecting questionnaires from Slovak producers concerning exports.
Meanwhile, the minister also recalled the current issue regarding the double quality of foodstuffs in EU countries. She said that Slovakia is cooperating with the European Commission in this field, as well as other EU member states. “Double-quality foodstuffs is a phenomenon that the ministry under my leadership will monitor very strictly. It’s not only about misleading customers, but also about misleading retailers,” said Matecna.
A working group is currently being formed that will deal with the issue at the EU level. “Slovak or any other eastern-European customers cannot be treated as second-category citizens,” she stressed.
Matecna as the agriculture minister represents both food producers and farmers. She said that local producers often complain to her about unfair business practices between production and trade. “We are addressing this serious problem in Slovakia through the law on unfair trading practices and its amendment that is currently being prepared,” said the minister. She called it a Europe-wide issue, since farmers and food producers have a difficult negotiation position.