All supermarkets will have to start removing the price of packaging weight from fresh food items starting in 2024, an announcement from the Energy Ministry said on Monday, but the benefit to consumers is expected to be minimal.
The ministry said that all packaging under 4g in weight would have to be removed when pricing all freshly packaged goods at supermarkets as of January 1, 2024.
The head of the consumer protection service at the ministry, Constantinos Karagiorgis confirmed that the measure will be applied to all freshly packaged items, including vegetables, fruits, deli meats, fish and meat from the butcher’s counter at the supermarket.
“It needs to be the clear weight [of the product] that is charged,” he said.
The head of the supermarket’s association Andreas Hadjiadamou said that the savings will be menial, as the packaging only adds a few cents worth of extra weight.
He added that most supermarkets already removed the cost of the packaging when weighing freshly packaged items, “in the spirit of offering competitive prices”.
Asked if customers would notice a difference at all, Hadjiadamou said that only for items, where the packaging might weigh a little more, as in the case of the Styrofoam trays used for freshly ground meat or pieces of meat.
“Our goal is to provide good prices [and services], so many were not even counting it [the packaging weight],” he told the Cyprus Mail.
Last week, the government put into effect a zero VAT measure on vegetables and meat, to help combat the effects of inflation.
The measure extends to all frozen or fresh vegetables and meats and will run until May 31, 2024.
The zero VAT items were added to those already covered by the measure, which include bread, milk, eggs, baby food and nappies, feminine hygiene products and adult diapers.