The Greek government is set to present legislative proposals for the “re-building” of the farming sector’s cooperatives, vice-minister for rural development Foteini Arampatzi has said.
Greek farmers have been facing a number of challenges for a long time now, mainly related to low market prices and increasing overhead costs.
A fundamental reason for this is the ailing cooperative sector. Cooperatives of the past were highly politicised and many of them went bankrupt due to mismanagement.
The conservative New Democracy government is now trying to put things in order and help farmers regain their position in a rising competitive sector.
Arampatzi said in an interview that the government would soon submit its proposals aiming to build up “healthy” cooperatives.
“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 said.
She added that without cooperatives, there is no future for agricultural exports. In order to incentivise the creation of such groupings, the government has decided to decrease the tax from 13% to 11%.
Greece used similar structures in Italy and Spain as an example.