The European Commission has finally admitted – the quality of the same food products in Eastern EU members is not the same as in their Western counterparts.
The Eastern EU members have been protesting for having the lower quality of food albeit at the same price as the food in the Western European countries, and will continue protesting until the EU changes the relevant regulation.
“We didn’t really need the European Commission to finally publicly admit this, because we already knew that the EU is sending lower quality products to its eastern parts. For years, consumers in the Western Balkans and even Hungary have been complaining about household cleaning products, skincare products and personal hygiene products being of lower quality than their counterparts in the western parts of the EU”, says Vera Vide from the Centre for Consumer Education and Protection.
“The Czech Republic did a test long time ago which proved that the quality of the products sold in this country were much lower than the quality of the same products in Western Europe. Back in 2005, Croatia carried out parallel testing of the Ariel washing up detergent and they ascertained that the one sold in Croatia is of worse quality than the one sold in Western Europe”, Vida explains and cites an example of an EU food producer which biscuits, intended for sale in the Western EU, contained butter, but those ending up in East Europe had palm oil and just traces of butter.
“In terms of product prices, they are often higher in our country than in the EU”, she adds. Vida also says that the consumers protesting against this could make a difference, particularly in the countries like Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic where consumer movements are very influential.
Nenad Vujović from the Serbian Ministry of Agriculture says that one of the solutions could be to re-name the products to include the words “luxe” or “deluxe”. He also adds that the EU products sold in Serbia do correspond to the Serbian quality standards. Vujovic thinks that one the main problems with consumers in Serbia is that they don’t read the labels properly. He also adds that the labels will, from now, going to be written in larger letters.
(Nova Ekonomija, 02.08.2017)
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