Farmers have launched a campaign to encourage people in Cyprus to buy locally-made products.
‘I think in a European way but buy locally certified products’ is backed by five farming organisations: PEK, EKA, Panagrotikos, the New Rural Movement and Eurofarming.
The campaign aims to educate the public about the importance of agriculture to the economy.
“The economic crisis allows us to step back into the past and see that this primary sector has always supported our country,” president of the New Rural Movement Takis Christodoulou said.
By urging Cypriot consumers to support Cypriot agricultural products, the economy is supported and has a better chance to get back on its feet.
The organisations argue that the prices are much better than those of imported products.
“Due to our disappointing financial situation, we must save money on imports. Buying Cypriot products has many advantages. Because not too much time is spent in bringing produce from far away, they are much fresher when they reach the consumers’ table,” secretary of PEK, Christos Papapetrou said.
“Farmers take more care of their produce and therefore provide the end consumer with a better, healthier product,” Papapetrou said.
He said produce is checked twice to see if its quality is up to standard before being taken for sale.
Meanwhile, a law was passed in September states that anyone selling produce in producer’s markets must also be the farmer who cultivated the crops.
“If this is correctly followed, produce will be sold straight from the farmer to the consumer and the middle-man will not be needed. Therefore produce will be sold cheaper,” Papapetrou explained.
When asked if Cypriot produce is really cheaper than imported products, Papapetrou said that only during October are Cypriot prices high as temperatures change and most crops cannot be grown in fields. Rather they are grown in green-houses.
He said during other months of the year Cypriot prices are very low, backing this up by saying local bananas sold at Ayios Antonios market in Nicosia on Monday were priced at €1.30 while imported ones were at €1.65.
As part of the campaign the organisations will visit supermarkets, cafés, army camps and schools to distribute pamphlets informing the public about the benefits of buying local produce.