|Potato movement shifts 15-17 million kilos of produce|
More than 15-17 million kilos of potatoes from the Nevrokopi basin have been sold direct to consumers through the "Potato movement", bypassing middlemen, local potato farmers said on Tuesday.
They stressed their determination to continue supplying consumers with discounted potatoes in the new season beginning next September.
Farmers said the unsold quantities of potatoes remaining are just three to four million kilos, which at current rates will be exhausted in roughly a week to 10 days.
Though the amounts sold direct to consumers are impressive given the short space of time involved (20-30 days), they are nevertheless dwarfed by the region's total production, which is estimated at 100 million kilos. This was mostly sold before the Potato movement was launched, at the extremely low price of 0.11-0.12 euros per kilo, which according to farmers is about half the cost of production without calculating packaging and transport.
Local farmers stressed that they would strive to sell direct to consumers in the next season, at prices significantly lower than those of supermarket shelves but still much higher than those earned through the middlemen.
"Until today, we sold potatoes at a low price and we did not get our money directly. When we sell direct to consumers, as we did this year, we have cash to buy our supplies and do our work properly," said farmer Savvas Simeonidis, congratulating the volunteer group from the Pieria prefecture that made the scheme possible.
Other farmers warned, however, that once domestic supplies were depleted and imported potatoes appeared on the shelves, consumers might see prices spike as high as 1.50 euros a kilo. (AMNA)