The share of domestic food products on the shelves in stores in Slovakia continues to fall, reaching only 37.2 percent at the moment. This is down by 1.3 percentage points year-on-year, according to a GfK survey presented by the Slovak Food Chamber (PKS) on May 18.
“Slovakia’s food industry keeps falling and if the state doesn’t increase its support, we won’t be able to do anything about this,” said PKS president Daniel Poturnay, as cited by the TASR newswire.
He added that Slovakia’s food sector and its agriculture receive the third-lowest state support in the EU and that the whole system is problematic and is causing Slovak food production to have a problem being competitive.
The survey also revealed the alarming fact that only Slovak food with low added value, like milk or mineral water, keeps a share bigger than 50-percent on the shelves. The share of foods with a higher added value is decreasing and are replaced by imported foods.
“This is a particularly serious finding, representing a piece of bad news not only for the public but also for the future of the Slovak economy as such,” said Poturnay.
GfK has been surveying the share of domestic food products on shelves in stores in Slovakia since 2011 when this share was 50 percent. Since this time it has been decreasing by approximately one percentage point annually.
From March 8 to April 5, GfK surveyed seven retail chains, COOP Jednota, CBA, Billa, Metro, Tesco, Kaufland and Lidl, while monitoring sixteen categories of products displayed on the shelves of individual stores. It found the most Slovak food offered by the COOP Jednota chain, where the share of Slovak products reaches 56 percent. It is followed by CBA with 48 percent. The trio Billa, Metro and Tesco reached a 40 percent share of Slovak foodstuffs. Kaufland (37 percent) and Lidl (14 percent) found themselves at the tail-end of the ranking.
The Slovak Association of Modern Trade (SAMO) clustering Billa, DM Drogerie Markt, Kaufland, Lidl, Metro and Tesco responded to the published numbers pointing out that as Slovakia is loosing its food self-sufficiency, Slovak food producers are unable to satisfy the demand of retailers and customers. Thus as the retailers want to secure as wide an offer of quality products as possible for their customers, they have no other option but to import them.