The poorest in the Czech Republic are beaten the most. Business is pushing prices too high, says expert
According to Staňek, practically every family purchase contains at least one item from the fruit and vegetable category. A comparison of the offers of the seven largest food chains in the Czech Republic shows that merchants provide a discount on 96 percent of the monitored items practically throughout the year, with the average discount this year reaching 38 percent. “Thanks to this year’s discounts in promotional leaflets, we will pay an average of two percent for fruit and vegetables, i.e. 1.20 crowns less than last year,” stated Staněk.
In addition to apples, red peppers, for example, are cheaper by 10 percent thanks to discount events. White grape wine is five percent cheaper than last year. “In any case, merchants try to accommodate customers and offer them the opportunity to save,” Staněk praises himself. According to him, watching promotional flyers is therefore worthwhile for everyone.
However, it is not yet certain how this year’s vegetable season will turn out. After all, the main harvest for the most important commodity, potatoes, hasn’t even happened yet. “It is already showing that production will be lower,” said agrarian analyst Petr. As with other types of vegetables, several periods of tropical heat, to which the crops were exposed in the summer, will probably have a negative effect on it. “The weather was favorable for such grain this year, but not for vegetables,” explained Havel.
Vegetables need much more frequent watering than wheat or barley. “Some large-scale vegetable farms already have irrigation systems, but this means additional costs for them, not only for labor,” reminded Havel. Water withdrawals are often charged for or even prohibited due to drought. In the best case, according to Havel, this season’s balance for vegetables can be at most at the level of the five-year average, but even lower for potatoes.
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The Vegetable Union has not yet commented on this season. “The season continues and so far there is no crop that we can say we have harvested, so we cannot say anything definitively,” said Alice Kouřilová, spokesperson for the Vegetable Union. But greengrocers do not hide their fears about their future. “We are waiting to see what steps the government and our customers will take,” she said.
According to Havel, customers could also help greengrocers and buy their produce from them more often. “Especially during the season, freshness should be one of the quality parameters,” he added.
Year-on-year comparison of average prices and discounts for fruit and vegetables (August 2021, August 2022):
|Item||Average discount 2021||Average discount 2022||2021 average price||Average price 2022||Year-on-year price change (CZK)||Year-on-year price change (%)|
|White grape wine (1 kg)||37%||46%||52.73 CZK||49.86 CZK||– CZK 2.87||-5%|
|Red apples (1 kg)||33%||41%||31.57 CZK||22.61 CZK||– CZK 8.96||-28%|
|Bananas (1 kg)||32%||34%||CZK 17.40||21.15 CZK||CZK 3.75||22%|
|Green pears (1 kg)||31%||31%||CZK 35.90||CZK 39.07||CZK 3.17||9%|
|Cucumber snake (3 pcs.)||32%||29%||CZK 32.10||CZK 32.10||CZK 0.00||0%|
|Red pepper (1 kg)||42%||40%||41.81 CZK||CZK 37.50||– CZK 4.31||-10%|
|Bush tomatoes (1 kg)||36%||41%||CZK 67.03||66.67 CZK||-0.36 CZK||-1%|
|Potatoes for consumption early (1 kg)||41%||43%||CZK 10.40||CZK 10.35||-0.05 CZK||0%|
|Diameter||36%||38%||– CZK 1.20||-2%|
Source: analysis of leaflet prices, Česká distribuční