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For 20 years, the Czech Republic has defended spread butter and domestic rum in the EU in vain

Omit butter and rum from the names. Czech products had to be renamed traditional spreads or domestic ones. Due to European Union rules. The next part of the Diary series describing the changes that the Union brought to the life of the Czechs focuses on the changes in the names of foods. According to Deník’s survey, the original names of the products are mostly missed by older people and witnesses.

Czechs and Czechoslovakians have been drinking “rum” for decades. A sensibly stored currency, they joked. The alcohol called Tuzemský Rum from Pilsen liqueur Stock was first launched in 1948. It became one of the best-selling spirits in our country. But the European Union said enough even before the Czech Republic was accepted. The name rum should have been reserved only for distillates from sugar cane.

The domestic one was produced by flavoring diluted alcohol. “At that time, Božkov launched a limited edition Tuzemský rum Naposled, which enjoyed great popularity. It was also a funny allusion to change,” recalled Markéta Lavrenčíková from Stock Plzeň – Božkov.


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According to her, consumers eventually changed the name to Božkov Tuzemský, popularly native, they accepted and remained loyal to the brand. Even after more than 20 years, when the word rum is mentioned, many think of the domestic rum. And at least the image of the sailboat on the label remained.

How time passed with Božkov rums and domestic brands:

Butter in court

It was only at the European Court of Justice that the dispute over Czech spread butter ended. Union she did not ban its production, but also demanded a name change. The term “butter” can be used on the European market to refer to products that contain at least 80 percent milk fat, which Czech spread butter did not meet.

The food industry rioted, they wanted an exception and recognized spread butter as a guaranteed traditional specialty. It has been produced in the Czech Republic since 1977. According to milk farmers, the change threatened to confuse customers and increase costs for producers. Even the then president Václav Klaus stood up for them, who described the necessity of renaming as ridiculous and undignified.

Madeta, the largest milk processor in South Bohemia, resisted. “I consider it to be a boycott, indecency and nonsense,” commented owner and director Milan Teplý at the time.

After the Czech Republic lost in several courts, Teplý stated that “stupidity won”. The last product under the original name was produced by Madeta employees in Planá nad Lužnicí 10 years ago. They replaced it with a label Traditional spread.

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She did the same Choceň dairy. “Our company has not registered any drop in sales. Consumers continued to buy spread butter, sometimes even in protest,” Jan Fogl, the dairy’s marketing manager, told Deník.

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