Praha - Czech rum has long disappeared from the market but pomazánkové máslo (literally translates as spreadable butter), a kind of Czech creamy cheese, seems to stay despite EU´s regulation not to use the word "butter" in the name of this popular dairy product.
The name restriction came in December 2006 but Czech dairy producers keep using the name "butter".
The bone of contention is the definition of the word "butter". Under EU norms only those products that contain 39 percent of butterfat can be called "butter". Czech pomazánkové máslo contains only 31-34 percent of butter.
Executive director of the Českomoravský svaz mlékárenský (Bohemian-Moravian Dairy Product Association) Michal Němec says the European Union ordered the Czech Republic to change its butter-related legislation.
"The respective amendment has been drafted but it has not been approved yet," said Němec. The reason for that is that Czech producers would feel very disadvantaged against the foreign producers.
All are equal but some are more equal
Czech dairy producers feel they are being treated unequally, as Spain produces a similar product that does not observe EU regulations either, but the Spanish company uses the name "butter" anyway.
Czech Agriculture Ministry shares their view. First deputy minister Ivo Hlaváč says the Ministry mulls filing a charge against the EU to preserve the Czech creamy butter name. Potravinářská komora ČR (Czech Foodnet Chamber) advocates a similar move.
Therefore dairy producers are in no rush to change their butter products' name, hoping they will not have to.
According to Němec, it will be the European Commission first that will take action against the Czech Republic because of failing to observe the ban on using the name "butter".
According to the Bohemian-Moravian Dairy Product Association, Czech creamy butter has a 30-year old tradition and is very popular among Czechs.
The annual production of pomazánkové máslo is up to 7,000 tonnes and its consumption keeps growing. Pomazánkové máslo comes in different flavors - garlic, onion, herbs, paprika, blue cheese etc.