Since 2003, KLASA ("Top Class"), a national food product quality mark, has been awarded by the Minister of Agriculture to the very highest-quality food and agricultural products meeting strict quality criteria (proving their superior quality) and legislative requirements. Managed by the KLASA and Regionální potravina (regional food product) Support Department of the State Agricultural Intervention Fund (SZIF), it helps customers to identify food products offering superior quality compared to rival food products commonly available on the market.
Why superior quality characteristics?
Superior quality characteristics add value to food products and guarantee that they stand apart from other food products available on the market (e.g. in terms of their production technology – manual processing, tradition, modern production procedures; richness in fortifying substances such as fibre or vitamins, etc.)
What is the procedure of getting the KLASA quality mark?
The SZIF webpage - here - available in Czech - provides applicants with all relevant information and downloadable forms. Applicants submit complete application-related documentation and files to the Klasa and Regional Food Product Support Department of the State Agricultural Intervention Fund (SZIF), which checks applications for correctness and factual accuracy. They are then referred to the Ministry of Agriculture to be considered by an evaluation committee, which recommends or rejects the award of a “KLASA” mark.
Evaluation committee members
Evaluation committee members are experts from the food industry (e.g. representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Federation of the Food and Drink Industries of the Czech Republic, the Czech Agrarian Chamber, the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority and State Veterinary Administration, the University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague, and the Food Research Institute Prague). The evaluation committee is responsible for considering applications and for assessing the products themselves in a process that may encompass a sensory analysis, packaging, and proof of superior quality.
Validity of the KLASA national food product quality mark
The mark is awarded for three years and is renewable. Any decline in food quality or a breach of the conditions under which the “KLASA” mark has been awarded result in withdrawal of the mark.
Bodies supervising observance of “KLASA” quality mark rules
Once a “KLASA” mark is awarded following an assessment of product quality and product ingredients, a follow-up check on the required food product compliance is conducted by the State Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority and the State Veterinary Administration. Besides routine on-the-spot checks at producers, products awarded a “KLASA” mark are also analysed. The output of such inspection work, such as inspection reports, is referred by the inspection bodies to the SZIF KLASA and Regionální potravina (regional food product) Support Department. The first check and inspection of a newly awarded “KLASA” mark must take place within six months.
At present, approximately 1,200 products marketed by around 230 producers have been awarded the “KLASA” mark. For updates on the number of products and producers awarded, please visitwww.eklasa.eu.