by Andreas Kokkinos
Aside from fuel and electricity, shopping, particularly for necessities, is high on the list of concerns for all households. Prices in various product categories have risen, making life even more difficult for consumers, and the outlook is bleak at the moment.
Mrs. Aliki Iordanou, Coordinator of the Competition Branch of the Consumer Protection Service of the Ministry of Commerce, was interviewed on Oriana Papantoniou's "Diaspora News" show today, providing a more crystallized picture of the increases as well as the products that have been most affected.
According to the price watchdog and the slight decrease in inflation (from 8.9% to 8.7%), Mrs. Iordanou claimed that prices have moderated in a number of categories. However, she added that four significant categories have seen significant price increases despite the above. These include fresh milk (and consequently cheese products), coffee, fruits and vegetables (with a focus on tomatoes and greenhouse cucumbers), and some frozen foods.
When asked about the reasons, she cited fresh milk as an example, referencing a triple increase, first after the pandemic and market opening (January), then the Russian invasion (June), and most recently the new rise due to the increase in raw material prices following the agreement on halloumi and PDO products. She then mentioned coffee, stating that the price of green coffee beans from Brazil had tripled, while also confirming that the Ministry was conducting regular checks to ensure that there were no instances of price gouging.
Compared to last year and using the September 2021 price indexes, the price of milk has increased by 15%, coffee by 19%, while the upward ride took as previously stated, and cheese has increased by 26% in one year. Oil (cooking) is at the top of the list, with the greatest variation of any category, increasing by 37%. Mrs. Iordanou, on the other hand, stated that in each category, there are various by-products, many of which are at lower prices, enticing consumers to switch to them and thus pushing markets.
In conclusion, she confirmed that, as a result of a consultation, legislation concerning Farmer's Markets is being promoted, and that, as a result, only producers, rather than traders, will now participate in them, as middlemen will be eliminated, resulting in more competitive and lower prices.
[This article was translated from its Greek original]