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Customers flock to Greek farmers selling cheap spuds

Sakis Mitrolidis / AFP - Getty Images

Customers queue to buy cheap sacks of potatoes sold directly by farmers at cost price in the northern Greek town of Thessaloniki on March 2. Farmers in northern Greece have joined forces with local residents to provide cheap produce to the people, who placed orders by email, and also to help producers who say they are being squeezed by middlemen. Similar 'solidarity' actions started to be organized in other Greek cities.

THESSALONIKI, Greece -- Cheap potato fever is spreading in austerity-pummeled Greece.

It started last week when a producer from the northern Nevrokopi area, fed up with selling to wholesalers at a loss, offloaded 24 tons at cost prices directly to consumers in the town of Katerini. Now, he has been swamped by demand.

Lefteris Kessopoulos said Thursday he has been contacted by resident groups in Athens, the northern towns of Kavala and Larissa — even Pyrgos, 620 miles south of Nevrokopi.

"We're getting phone calls from all over Greece," he said.

Academic staff and students at the University of Thessaloniki have arranged for a group of Nevrokopi farmers to sell 50 tons on Friday outside a campus building. The price will be €0.25 ($0.33) a kilogram (2.2 pounds), almost a third of the €0.70 ($0.93) that supermarkets charge.

Read the full story.

-- Associated Press

 

Sakis Mitrolidis / AFP - Getty Images

A man carries sack of potatoes sold directly by farmers at cost price in the northern Greek town of Thessaloniki on March 2.

Sakis Mitrolidis / AFP - Getty Images

Woman pushes a cart with sacks of potatoes, sold directly by farmers at cost price in the northern Greek town of Thessaloniki on March 2.