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20 July, 2024
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Cyprus and Greece forge alliance against potato fraud

Ministers unveil plan to combat counterfeits

Newsroom / CNA

Agriculture Minister Maria Panayiotou has requested the assistance of the Greek authorities to address the issue of potatoes from different countries being sold as Cypriot potatoes in Greece, in a bilateral meeting with her Greek counterpart Lefteris Avgenakis on the sidelines of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council of the EU in Brussels, according to a statement released by the Press and Information Office.

Panayiotou briefed Avgenakis of the very serious consequences of this practice, and stressed that it has a negative impact on the country's economy. The Minister requested the assistance of the Greek authorities to deal with the issue effectively, and her Greek counterpart responded positively.

The two ministers agreed to increase controls so that the Greek authorities will be immediately mobilised when counterfeit “Cypriot” potatoes are found on the Greek market, in order to confirm whether this is happening. They also agreed to impose sanctions to deter offending retailers, as well as to identify the establishments that package and promote these potatoes on the market with the indication "of Cypriot origin".

The Department of Agriculture of the Cypriot Ministry has been receiving complaints in recent years about the marketing of potatoes from other countries for consumption in the Greek market with the indication "of Cypriot origin", thus misleading the consumer and discrediting the Cypriot product in question.

According to the statement released by the PIO, in 2022, targeted controls were carried out by the Greek General Directorate of Financial and Economic Crime Unit (SDOE) ;in cooperation with the Control Service of the Ministry of Rural Development, at various stages of the commercial chain. However, it was not possible to identify cases that would have led the SDOE to impose dissuasive sanctions.

The Cypriot Department of Agriculture has also been collaborating with the Cypriot State General Laboratory for the creation of a database for scientifically verifiable characteristics of the Cypriot potato.

Cyprus  |  potato  |  ministry  |  economy  |  government

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