COMMUNITY

Farmers Republic going strong inside Greece and beyond

By Dimitra Manifava

Every Monday without fail the Farmers Republic online store gets an order for organic fruit and vegetables worth around 50 euros from a resident of London. The woman in question pays around 20 euros in shipping fees but has all the fresh produce she needs at her doorstep the very next day, straight from Greece. She has probably worked out that making the same purchases at an organic food store in London would cost her more.

This is but one example of the dynamic presence that the Farmers Republic has achieved abroad. The first Greek private indoor market for fresh and packaged produce has been shipping to other countries in the European Union since June, currently counting a total of 450 orders worth an average of 150 euros each. The company also expects a consortium it has formed with a Swiss company to be operating by the end of the year. In the first phase of the partnership Farmers Republic will export fresh and packaged product for wholesale, expanding into retail sales at a later date.

Inside Greece, Farmers Republic this month inaugurated a new, bigger space. The company decided to relocate from somewhat remote Kryoneri to a new 1,600-square meter location at 171 Eleftheriou Venizelou Avenue in the northern Athenian suburb of Kastri. The store is now spread over three floors and has underground parking. Kathimerini also understands that it is planning to include fresh fish and meat in its catalog of goods. According to sources, Farmers Republic is already in talks with fishermen and an organic fish farm in Mesolongi, as well as three organic livestock farms. The new store is also waiting for a license from the Municipality of Kifissia to operate on Sundays, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A second Farmers Republic store is also expected to be launched by December in the suburb of Neo Psychico, possibly on central Kifissias Avenue, while there are plans for a third in southern Athens, in the suburb of Glyfada, by the first half of 2015.

The founder of Farmers Republic, Dimitris Koutsolioutsos, started Greece’s first middleman-free market in 2012 by reaching out to organic farmers all over the country. While 150 responded to his initial invitation, just 15 were able to get together the paperwork required by Koutsolioutsos to guarantee the quality of the products. Today his network of producers has doubled to 30. At the new Kastri premises, the company has installed special machines that allow consumers to ascertain that the products they are purchasing are entirely organically grown.

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