Monday 5 March 2012

Το κίνημα της πατάτας - The Potato Movement!

Read this post in Swedish: Το κίνημα τις πατάτας - Potatisrörelsen!

I have written before how strange it is that the prices are so high in the supermarkets in Greece, often significantly higher than in other countries. If we look at the prices in relation to the wages as well,  it's really very, very expensive here!

The potato price/kg is about 0,80 €. This price is very high considering that the potato producers get about 0,15 €/kg from the suppliers. As the people in Greece don't have a lot of money the sales of potatoes has gone down a lot the last year.

The 4th of February potato producers were giving away tones of potatoes for free in Thessaloniki. They thought it was better then to leave them rottening in their store rooms.

That's when the idea of "The Potato Movement" was born! The producers are selling potatoes in sacks of 10, 20 or 30 kilos directly to the consumers. The price is 0,25-0,35 €/kg and this way the people can purchase more potatoes and the producers are getting a good profit.
It takes place at some certain places of assembly, announced via internet, where you also order how many kilos you would like to buy. This coming weekend (10-11th of March) for example the
"kinima tis patatas" will take place at Kifissia (suburb of Athens), among others, and you can order potatoes at

As a result of "The Potato Movement" the supermarkets have started to lower their prices of potatoes. The same way of purchasing olive-oil, beans and other products will soon be possible!
Very good indeed!

The consumers take the power!

Read more about this?
Blogpost by Faliriotissa in the blog "Tails of Athens": The potato "revolution"
In Greek: Κίνημα της πατάτας wikipedia


Heidi @ homeingreece said...

oooh I was going to write a blog post about this haha you beat me to it! It's great that the farmers and the consumers all benefit. However, my question is how is it different from the Laiki that every city/town has once/week (or more often in some places)? I live in a very "working class" city with lower prices overall, and can usually get potatoes for around 40 cents/kilo at the laiki and around 60 cents/kilo at the supermarket. Of course 25-35 cents/kilo is a better price than 40, but it's not a huge difference and at the laiki, the producers are the ones selling the stuff. (At least, they are here - I get that in big cities, vendors buy from large central "lahanoagora" warehouse type situations. Maybe that's the big difference? I guess my big question would be, what does it cost to buy a kilo of potatoes at the laiki or central market in Athens? :)

Regina Pefanis Schlee said...

Hi Eva,

That's a great post. In the old days food in Greece was cheap, good, and fresh. Farmers often used to sell fruit in the streets using small trucks powered by motorcycles. They used to stop by a street corner and yell what they had. My mom used to send me down the street to buy fruits and vegetables. You could also buy from farmers directly fruit that did not keep well in the stores - like fresh figs. I think that everything has become a lot more difficult for the people of Greece. There were a lot of hardships last time I visited Greece in 2008. The hardship of the Greek people is probably 20 times higher now.

eva i Aten said...

Hi Heidi! At the "laiki" here in Glyfada the price used to be about 65-75 cents per kilo. I don't know for the last 2 weeks as I haven't had the possibility to go to the market unfortunately. You certainly have had a much better price at the market where you live!

It's like you say that here it's very common with middlemen at "laiki" as well, so then the prices get higher of course.

Regina: On Crete it's still common with farmers driving around with their small trucks selling their things. Watermelons we always buy this way when we are there, so we don't need to carry them. Here I haven't seen this.

Reel News said...

Reel News will be in Greece for two weeks from the 16th. We're planning to cover the potato movement. If you know about any other dates, around Athens or Thessaloniki, let us know! Also if there are any specific places we should visit or people to speak to.


Check out our website, to get an idea what we're all about and get in touch at

eva i Aten said...

This week I bought some potatoes in the minimarket near by: 1,30 euro/kilo. Now when we all know that they buy it for 0,15 euro...

Eva in Athens, Greece said...

Thanks Anonymous!