ECONOMY

Food shortages played down

Gov’t assures there will be no problems in supply chains as the market has sufficient flows

Food shortages played down

No problems are expected to emerge in the supply chain, according to the emergency meeting Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis hosted on Monday in view of possible shortages in products such as sunflower or corn oil, wheat etc due to the war in Ukraine.

All participants in the meeting referred reporters to Rural Development Minister Giorgos Georgantas, although the sheer number of ministers who attended pointed to a wider range of issues on the table.

Talks in fact focused on the operation of the market, the country’s food sufficiency, the international conditions in agricultural product markets, imports and energy and how they all affect production costs.

Participating ministers said they are in constant contact with the market and assured there is a normal flow of products in the country, as well as commodity sufficiency. Special reference was made to sunflower oil, and it was established that there is no shortage. The meeting heard there has been a ceiling imposed on the number of bottles of sunflower oil shoppers can buy so as to prevent stockpiling. it is worth noting that the price of large containers of sunflower oil, which restaurants procure, has increased by more than 50%.

Georgantas noted that there is always the option of an increase in domestic production, while the adjustment of distribution of crops between biofuel use and other uses may further assist in the supply of available quantities for consumption.

As far as grain is concerned, Greece enjoys sufficiency in hard wheat (used for pasta) while recent ministry data showed Greece imports from Russia and Ukraine only 35% of its soft wheat quantities (needed for bread).

Georgantas has said alternative markets can be found, although flour industries stress that such an option would send transport costs soaring.

“The primary sector will continue to have the absolute support of the government, which makes use of all necessary European instruments,” the ministry stated.