The state wants to help Czechs slash grocery budgets with a new app

Similar initiatives in Greece and Austria reduced prices up to 18 percent by giving consumers real-time data on typical costs for staple items.


Written by ČTK Published on 12.11.2023 14:58:00 (updated on 12.11.2023) Reading time: 1 minute

Seeking to lower the cost of living and put Czech citizens in control of their grocery budgets, Agriculture Minister Marek Výborný told reporters Saturday that the state is developing a mobile application to monitor food prices across the nation.

Inspired by similar programs in Greece and Austria that reduced prices up to 18 percent, the app would give consumers real-time data on typical costs for staple items, enabling shoppers to spot inflated prices at stores.

"The reality is farmers are not the problem – purchase prices for milk and wheat are actually below the cost of production right now," Výborný said during the national food drive taking place through the weekend. He said that ministry's use of such tools smooth market forces indirectly.

According to Výborný, he will finalize details on the app with his Greek counterpart at the meeting of the Council of Ministers of Agriculture in Brussels on Nov. 20, with the goal of releasing a beta version within six months.

In the Czech Republic, prices have surged by 49.3 percent since 2015, marking the third-highest inflation rate after Hungary (62.4 percent) and Estonia (51.3 percent). Source: Eurostat

"That effect really occurred in Greece. In the end, the price of food there fell by about 18 percent. During the first week, 220,000 Greeks downloaded the application to their mobile phones," he said.

The minister's move comes as inflation continues to drive up food costs. Empowering citizens with pricing transparency could counteract market dynamics causing financial hardship, especially for vulnerable groups.

Whether the app lives up to Výborný's goal of significant savings through informed shopping remains to be seen in the months ahead.

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