Czech market ripe for high quality cheeses - expert

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cheese, Milk

Czech demand for imported cheeses continues to grow following the
country's accession to member state status within the EU, creating
opportunities for exporters of the product in the bloc, according
to an industry expert.

Michal Nmec, chairman of the Czech and Moravian Dairy Association, told that cheese imports into the country had risen by 20 per cent on a year-on-year basis since it had entered the EU back in 2004, growing three-fold since obtaining membership. While he expected the growth to continue during the next few years, Nmec claimed that this has not yet translated into growing demand for higher value, top end cheeses, offering a potentially lucrative new market for EU cheese makers. "Most of the imports relate to theEdamtype of cheese, which is already being produced by most Czech producers,"​ he stated. "In this regard, the access for the top end products on the Czech market is relatively open, otherwise the market is ripe for cheap products import."Growing demand ​ Nmec cited both growing consumption of the product in the country as well as the emergence of operating chains increasingly reliant on cheaper to manufacture cheeses from markets like Poland. In recent years, the association said changing dietary habits within the country had seen cheese consumption, increase by 16 per cent since 2004. An innovative future ​ In looking ahead, while Nmec was keen to stress that Czech cheese products were fully inline with EU quality and safety guidelines, there was a growing trend in the country for innovative products new types of cheese products, with national promotions under way. "The local market is open for speciality cheese from other types of milk (e.g goat and sheep,"​ he stated. Lactalis ​The potential of cheese and dairy products in the Czech market has not gone unnoticed by some leading European dairy groups. Last year, France-based Lactalis acquired a majority stake in Czech dairy Mlekarna Kunin as part of efforts into the potential for dairy products in the country.

Related topics: Markets, Cheese

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