Greeks buy over-priced agricultural products

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Greek consumers pay far more for their food than other Europeans. According to a survey by the Centre for Consumer Protection (KEPKA), they are asked to pay up to 1,318% more for dozens of agricultural goods, due to the jump in price from the farmer to the supermarket.

The KEPKA survey, presented at the Money Show in Thessaloniki, showed that Greek rice producers are paid 0.22 euros per kilo, while the consumer is asked to pay 3.12 euros for the packaged product, i.e. 1,318% more. The same applies to wheat, which the producer sells for 0.14 euros a kilo and the consumer buys for 1.50 euros a kilo (a 971% rise). Price hikes from producer to consumer are up to 316% for milk and 106% for olive oil.

As KEPKA points out, 1 kilo of rice costs 0.99 euros in Milan and 1.03 euros in Brussels, while there are significant differences in price for a range of products including olive oil, milk, honey, and bread, which can cost up to 25% more in Thessaloniki compared to Milan. For example, a litre of olive oil costs 3.89 euros in Brussels, 2.69 euros in Milan and 6.74 euros in Thessaloniki. Half a kilo of honey costs 3.72 euros, 2.58 euros and 6.82 euros in the same cities respectively. One kilo of potatoes costs 0.60 euros in Brussels, 0.65 euros in Milan and 1.40 euros in Thessaloniki, with a litre of milk at 0.68, 0.65 and 1.40 euros respectively.

“European and particularly Greek consumers pay the highest prices in the world for the food we eat,” noted KEPKA chairman Nikos Tsemberlides. “In Greece, there is no healthy competition in the food sector. On the contrary, the market is an oligopoly and this raises the final price paid by the consumer.”

George Tsionis, vice-president of the General Confederation of Agricultural Unions of Greece, reported that OECD figures show that, of every euro the consumers spend on food, 28% reaches the producer, 39% is spent on manufacturing and 33% is trade profit.

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