1. Regional food products featuring this quality mark are certified high-quality, tasty, traditional or special foods. Unlike cheap food imports from all over the world, they come with a guarantee of quality and local sourcing.
2. The origin of award-holding regional food products is readily identifiable, so customers can see clearly where the food comes from and who made it. The logic is that if customers know who the regional food producers are, they are better placed to pressure them into adhering to high-quality standards.
3. The freshness of award-holding regional food products is guaranteed , so this food is likely to be tastier and more nutritious than food products imported from the various corners of the world. Generally speaking, the longer the transport route, the less fresh the food will be on arrival.
4. Regional food products are more environmentally friendly. The shorter the path to the customer, the less the environmental burden of transport and distribution.
5. By purchasing regional food products, consumers support the region’s employment and development.Prosperous local farmers, producers and sellers make for stable and expanding job opportunities.
Only food and/or agricultural products produced by small and medium-sized food producers (i.e. companies with a maximum of 250 employees) may be awarded the “Regionální potravina” quality mark. When they see a product with this quality mark, consumers can be sure that it has come top in one of the scheme’s categories.
There are nine categories:.
1. Heat-treated meat products
2. Long-life meat products
3. Cheese, including cottage cheese
4. Other dairy products
5. Bakery products, including pasta
6. Confectionery, including sweets
7. Alcoholic and soft drinks (except wine)
8. Fruits and vegetables either fresh or processed
9. Other products
A regional food product awarded this mark becomes certificate-holder granting the right to use the “Regionální potravina” quality mark for four years.
"Regionální potravina” quality marks are awarded by the Minister of Agriculture on the basis of evaluation results presented by the evaluation committee (an expert panel made up of regional experts), which assesses whether the application is complete and analyses a product sample. The evaluation committee focuses on the relationship between the product and the region, what ingredients and feedstock have been used, and what makes the product quality superior than that of other products. The evaluation committee consists of at least five and no more than eight members, appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture. The committee members are representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, the State Agricultural Intervention Fund (SZIF), the Federation of the Food and Drink Industries of the Czech Republic, the Czech Agrarian Chamber, the Regional Administration Council, the State Veterinary Administration and the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority.
The rules for awarding quality marks are set out in the “Regionální potravina (regional food product) Quality Mark Award Methodology”, a document containing three bodies of rules: general rules, specific rules and regional rules. The general and specific rules are identical for all regions. For instance, there may be a requirement for regional products to contain at least 70% ingredients and feedstock demonstrably sourced regionally or, in some cases, nationally. Another rule may require that the main component be entirely home-made and of national origin. Basic criteria include quality and unique product properties that help to distinguish the product from other products commonly available on the market. The product’s region-specific taste may be a distinctive or unique property.
Each region may designate its own regional rules, provided that these are not contradictory to the general and specific rules. For more information on individual regions, please consult the guidance documents at www.regionalnipotravina.cz.
Recognising a product awarded the “Regionální potravina” regional food product quality mark
A product awarded this quality mark features the mark’s round green logo on the packaging. The basic logo consists of a graphic (a symbolic landscape in a circle with a green cog-wheel edge) and the words “Regionální potravina”, written on a ribbon in the logo circle. The landscape graphic has been styled with symbolic simplicity aimed at evoking the purity and quality of the product.
The region-specific version also includes the name of the region at the bottom of the logo.
Around 475 products have been awarded the “Regionální potravina” quality mark and labelled with the logo containing a symbolically rendered landscape. For more information on these award-winning food products, please visit www.regionalnipotravina.cz.