SPPK Hails Fico’s Initiative Regarding Food Quality on Slovak Market

SPPK chairman Milan Semancik (stock photo)

Bratislava, July 18 (TASR) – The Slovak Agricultural and Food Chamber (SPPK) welcomes the initiative of Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD) to take resolute action regarding the issue of double standards in the quality of foodstuffs, TASR learnt on Tuesday.

“After all, it’s in the interests of Slovak farmers and food producers as well as consumers not to have foods of subpar quality on our market,” said SPPK spokesperson Jana Holeciova.

Holeciova was responding to statements made by Fico earlier in the day, when he pledged to take more resolute action regarding double quality standards in the food industry. Fico also intends to discuss the issue on Wednesday (July 19) at a Visegrad Four/V4 (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) meeting in Budapest and plans to send a letter to, or even meet in person, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

If the Commission doesn’t address the issue vigorously enough, Slovakia might introduce a couple of one-off measures as early as in the autumn, said Fico. These measures include, for example, restricting imports of European products to the Slovak market and providing Slovak public canteens exclusively with products of Slovak origin for a certain period of time.

“If there is a single free market in the EU, why are different groups of consumers created on it? What reason is there to hold one group of Europeans superior to another one? Why should Slovaks, of all people, prefer foodstuffs with, for instance, lower amounts of meat or beverages with artificial sweeteners instead of sugar?” asked Holeciova.

SPPK considers such an approach to constitute misleading consumers and indirect support for shopping tourism in countries with higher quality in selected products. “We see no reason why the Slovak consumer should eat foodstuffs with a higher amount of preservatives, lower proportion of meat and beverages with artificial sweeteners instead of sugar,” said SPPK chair Milan Semancik.

Therefore, SPPK continues to urge Slovaks to pay close attention to data printed on the packaging of products and to look for their country of origin. “In this situation, we’d like to draw attention once again to high quality products from Slovak producers and made from Slovak resources, which haven’t been subject to any food scandals to date,” said the spokesperson.