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My profile Contribute Logout. As incomes fall and retail prices rise, Greeks have found an ingenious way to pay three times less than they usually would for potatoes. A group of local activists set up a website to allow people to order potatoes directly from local farmers, and then pick them up in a parking lot on the weekends.
Their project was an instant hit. Dozens more cities across Greece are planning to follow suit. Since the farmers sell the potatoes for a higher price than they would be able to sell them to distributors — but for less than what supermarkets charge customers — both the farmers and their customers win.
Video published on YouTube by kiosnet. Every little bit helps for crisis-hit Greeks. Austerity measures have led to pensions and salaries being repeatedly slashed, as well as to a steep rise in unemployment — one in five Greeks are now jobless. On top of this, the government has raised taxes in a bid to curb its debt. Elias Tsolakidis potato activist See profile.
Elias Tsolakidis is a member of the Pieria Volunteer Action Team , a group of volunteers who launched the potato project in Katerini. We first got the idea a month ago, when we heard about desperate farmers protesting against how little vendors were willing to pay for their potatoes. Instead of selling them to middlemen at a loss or letting them rot, they decided to just give them away to people on the street for free. So we thought, why not cut out the middleman?
Farmers here used to sell their potatoes for 0,12 cents a kilo, even though it cost them nearly twice that to produce. The farmers sell them for 0,25 cents a kilo — nearly three times less than they cost in the supermarkets! So both farmers and customers benefit. On the second, last Saturday, they sold 75 tons to more than 1, people. I never dreamed we would have such success!