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Retail chains and Agriculture Minister Simon exchange barbs over Slovak food quality

International retail chains operating in Slovakia are disturbed by the campaign they feel is being waged against them by Agriculture Minister Zsolt Simon that accuses them of selling foodstuffs of inferior quality compared to the rest of the European Union, the SITA newswire wrote.

International retail chains operating in Slovakia are disturbed by the campaign they feel is being waged against them by Agriculture Minister Zsolt Simon that accuses them of selling foodstuffs of inferior quality compared to the rest of the European Union, the SITA newswire wrote.

"The Slovak Association of Trade and Tourism (ZOCR) would like to ensure Slovak consumers, together with the wide public, that all retailers do care that our stores sell food that poses no health risks, that fulfils all demanded criteria in choice and price according to the demand and possibilities of the customers," states a press release that the retail chains sent to SITA on July 21.

The association also stated that the food-producing industry supplies groceries to stores and if the minister has any reservations regarding their quality, he should address the
producers and "stop with his aggressive and attacking campaign against the retail sector".

On July 20, the Agriculture Ministry published a notice on its website stating that it is outraged by the behaviour of some retail chains that make Slovak consumers second-class European citizens. The ministry stated that it considers it absolutely unacceptable that groceries of lower quality are sold in Slovakia for the same or even a higher price.

The notice also said Minister Simon would like to initiate a meeting with representatives of the foreign retail chains in coming days. Although ZOCR considers arranging a meeting through the media to be non-standard, they do welcome the intention and believe the results will be positive, according to their press release.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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