Greece looks for a revival of its agri co-op sector

The co-op model will offer economies of scale and leverage in the market, says minister Foteini Arampatzi

Ministers in Greece have announced plans to rebuild co-ops in its agricultural industry.

Foteini Arampatzi, vice minister for rural development, said he was drawing up legislation to revive the farm co-op sector, which has suffered in the past from misamanagement and business failure.

Challenges facing Greek farmers include a need to diversify, low market prices, rising costs and the aftermath of the financial crisis, which had a devastating effect on the national economy.

Ms Arampatzi said in an interview that the centre-right New Democracy government, which won power last year under prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, would be bringing forward plans to create “healthy” co-ops.

Proposals include a tax cut for the sector, from 13% to 11%.  

News website Euractiv reported her saying: “Through these groupings, our producers will be able to achieve economies of scale, higher product prices and reduced input prices. They will be able to obtain better consultancy services and seal advantageous contracts with suppliers.”

She warned that co-ops were essential for the country’s goal of exporting its agricultural produce.