By Evie Andreou
The Green Monday picnic will be four times more expensive than last year as fruit and vegetable prices have soared due to shortages caused by frost, head of the fruit sellers association Polys Kattashis said on Friday.
Kattashis said extended frost had destroyed crops.
“As a consequence, the quantities of fruit and vegetables on the market have decreased,” he said. “This combined with the increased demand due to the Green Monday long weekend, means prices have soared,” Kattashis told CyBC.
He warned that the prices might even increase more before Monday due to the demand.
“Vegetables have been imported to help fill the gap caused by bad weather which has damaged local produce, and unfortunately over the next few days we will see more such damage,” Kattashis said, referring to the current cold snap.
Greenhouse cucumbers on Friday cost €4 per kilo, compared to the same time last year when they were priced at €0.85 per kilo, a 370 per cent increase, he said.
“Non-greenhouse cucumbers, which were €1.60 per kilo last year, now cost €5, a 212 per cent increase. Aubergine prices have risen by 50 per cent, and broad beans from €2.60 per kilo last year to €4 per kilo this year,” Kattashis added.
He said the price of zucchini had increased by 214 per cent, cauliflower 366 per cent and broccoli 142 per cent.
On Green Monday, which is the first Monday of Lent, traditional Lenten food is consumed which consists of vegetables, shellfish, unleavened bread called lagana, dips like hoummus, tahini and taramas, and halvas, a dessert made with tahini which comes in various flavours, mixed with nuts and/or cocoa.
The head of the Bakers’ Association, Lakis Savvides was quoted by Sigmalive saying that price of baked goods would not be increased.
The Green Party on Friday called on the trade and commerce ministry to take action against the vegetable price increases seen in the past few days in anticipation of the holiday.
Green Monday is a movable feast that occurs on the seventh week before the Greek Orthodox Easter Sunday. It is a pubic holiday and it is usually celebrated with outdoor excursions and kite flying.