Farmers’ markets are being developed in the Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area. They consist in direct sale by local farmers to consumers without any intermediary to ensure a fair price, enabling farmers to get most of the value of their activity. On the other hand, through directly buying from the producers, consumers are more sensitised to the issues of short-circuits and farmers’ revenues.
several municipalities in the Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area, Greece
∙ Local farmers, who sell their produce and become more familiar with their consumers’ tastes
∙ Consumers, who purchase farmers’ products and participate in the community life
∙ Municipalities and Regional Units which provide space for these markets
∙ Hellenic Food Authority and Single Food Control Agency (EFET)
∙ Increasing farmers’ income and fighting unemployment at family level
∙ Promoting agricultural local products and increasing their consumption
∙ Offering agricultural products to consumers at a reasonable price (without intermediary)
Legal framework & Budget
The initiative is based on the Greek law 4235/2014 as amended by the 46th Article of Law 4384/2016. According to the law, farmers’ markets can be developed as self-managed, civil and non-profit-making bodies. The Municipality or the Regional Unit provides the necessary space for the market. The effective implementation of farmers’ markets in Thessaloniki will be possible as soon as the Ministerial decision is issued.
Already existing in other countries, farmers’ markets involve the sale of fresh agricultural products on local markets by farmers themselves without any intermediary. Farmers work in collaboration with local authorities for finding a suitable area for the market place. These markets, at the difference of traditional food markets, are dedicated to offer local agricultural products to consumers at a reasonable price so that farmers’ income is increased and consumers can buy fresh food of higher quality.
>Innovation & Outcomes
Farmers’ markets are a concrete solution to overcome the lack of entrepreneurial spirit and culture of local farmers. The latter can promote their products, interact directly with consumers and take their tastes and expectations into account to develop their production. The market is also an opportunity to strengthen links among producers and to encourage young people to start a farming business. Finally, selling on the market generally involves other members of the family, decreasing unemployment at family level.
Main obstacles & Next steps
Farmers are very supportive of the initiative, which draws from various inspirational experiences abroad. The ongoing regulatory and decisional process is hindering the full application of this initiative. Once it is effective, another avenue for increasing the local added value of agricultural products will be processing and direct sale on the market.
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