Food sector

Food production is one of the traditional industrial sectors in the Czech Republic. The broad structure of the sector is based primarily on processing of domestic raw materials comprising primary agricultural production of plant and animal origin complemented with other foreign raw materials.  The main segments are dairy products, meat processing and preservation, other food products and beverages. A major part of the sector’s output is produced industrially. Digitalisation and automation have been introduced into the sector.

The importance of the food production sector providing nourishment to the population is further emphasised by the current COVID-19 pandemic and the current crisis in Ukraine. Czech producers have shown great readiness for increased production in the period of limited imports. The vast majority of companies have developed not only a contingency plan, but also food safety standards, which includes a procedure to be implemented in the event of an outbreak of a contagious disease or other crisis in food production operations.

Food quality is another priority that is gaining importance both in the Czech Republic and in the EU. Food production and agriculture comprise one of the most promising sectors in the Czech Republic and thus represent a favourable investment opportunity here. The alliance of food producers and manufacturers of food-production technology dates back more than a century and is a key factor in the Czech food sector’s good reputation abroad. Food and beverage production accounts for nearly 4% of GDP on its own and up to 15% in combination with related sectors.

The Czech Republic has long striven to further improve the food-supply chain and optimise it for consumers. Online grocery sales have been gaining in importance, especially these days in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. The range of food is very wide, from fresh products with short consumption times to non-perishable food items. Organic food and farm-raised products are also available. Czech products are characterised by their high level of qualitative standards. Food safety remains the government’s priority in this area.

Our government supports modernisation of production capacities in the food industry and innovative production processes, for which financial resources are drawn from EU structural funds and the national budget. One of the ways to achieve significant improvement in the sector is through foreign direct investments that bring forth not only technical solutions, but also new production and marketing methods.

The innovation process is a subject of intense interest in the research sphere and the government is striving to ensure the improvement of the process of putting research results into practise. Food waste is an important issue in both the Czech and European contexts and is thus a subject of the innovation process.

Besides traditional segments such as brewing, wine-making and sugar production, the Czech food industry also features modern production technologies including biotechnology and extrusion technology.

Consumer protection is also at a high level in line with modern trends. Furthermore, the local industry boasts a large number of registered trademarks and a generally high level of protection of intellectual property rights.

Zdeněk Nekula
Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic