Real estate magnate buys into bio farming

Illustrative photo: Štěpánka Budková

On the same day the results of a new poll commissioned by the Environment Ministry suggested that only 4 in 10 occasionally buys organic food, there was news that billionaire and real estate magnate Radovan Vítek had bought the company Spojené farmy. According to the Czech daily Mladá fronta Dnes, through the deal the businessman gained control of more than 20 bio farms and 20 thousand hectares of arable or agricultural land in northern Bohemia. The move will make him one of the biggest players on the market.

Illustrative photo: Štěpánka Budková
According to MF Dnes, Spojené farmy supplies organic foodstuffs to not only the Czech Republic’s but also Slovakia’s main supermarket chains including Albert, Billa, Globus, Tesco and others. The firm, which has more than 400 employees, was bought by Vítek’s CPI Group for 43.5 million euros, according to financial daily Hospodářské noviny. Over the next two years, the firm is expected to invest around 20 million euros.

The head of CPI Property Group Martin Němeček told the daily that buying up agricultural or arable land in the Czech Republic was still a relatively cheap option compared to countries in Western Europe. He indicated the firm considered the deal an excellent investment. According to Hospodářské noviny, a hectare in the Czech Republic last year cost an average of 124,000 crowns, while in neighboring Germany the price was five times higher.

The farms bought deal not only in fowl and livestock but also the production of milk and wheat products, and fruit cultivation, including apples and grapes. They also own 1500 sheep, 100 goats and other animals. Bio steak produced by the farms, come under the Bohemia Angus brand.