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Controls in Greece for the “baptism” of potatoes as Cypriot

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 Ελεγχοι στην &Epsilon ;λλαδα για το «βαπτισμα» πατατo&nu ; ως κυπριακoν

Cypriot potatoes in Greek supermarkets are by far more expensive, so the incentive for fraudsters is strong

The mobilization of 2022 to hit the circuits of “christening” potatoes of other origin as Cypriot in the Greek market did not work – the Greek authorities did not manage to establish a case – however the problem remains. For the Cypriot authorities, the problem is real and important as relevant complaints are submitted.

The Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, Maria Panagiotou, in a meeting she had on Monday with her Greek counterpart, Lefteris Avgenakis, on the sidelines of the Council of Ministers of Fisheries and Agriculture of the EU held in Brussels, requested the repetition of controls for the effective addressing the phenomenon, request accepted. The creation of an Isotopic Data Base for the authentic Cypriot potato by the State General Chemistry, which allows the control of the origin of the potatoes, is expected to contribute to combating the phenomenon.

In particular, the two ministers agreed:

The further increase of the measures taken to avoid the phenomenon.

The increase of controls, so that when potatoes are found on the Greek market that are claimed to have been “baptized” as Cypriot, they are mobilized immediately all services of the Greek State to confirm the incident.

The imposition of dissuasive sanctions on retail offenders.

The identification of the premises that carry out the packaging and promotion of these potatoes on the market with the indication of “Cypriot origin”.

Cypriot potatoes in Greek supermarkets are by far more expensive and in high demand due to their quality, so the incentive for fraudsters is strong. According to invoices from the e-katanalotis platform of the Greek Ministry of Development, the prices of Greek potatoes ranged from €0.87 to €1.09, imported potatoes from €0.94 to €0.96 and Cypriot potatoes from €1 .26 to €1.49.


The Ministry of Agriculture notes in its announcement that the Department of Agriculture has in recent years received complaints about the distribution of potatoes for consumption on the Greek market with the indication of “Cypriot origin”, when in fact they do not come from Cyprus, with the result of misleading the consumer, but also the defamation of the Cypriot product in question. In order to solve the problem, the Department of Agriculture was in constant communication, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Athens, with the competent Greek authorities.

In 2022, the issue had also reached the Greek Prime Minister's office and instructions were given for targeted controls by the Economic Crime Prosecution Service of Greece (SDOE) in collaboration with the Control Service (Market Law) of the Ministry of Rural Development, at various stages of the commercial chain (merchants , traffickers, collection warehouses, etc.), to investigate the complaints in question. However, it was not possible to identify such cases.

“Therefore, the further increase in measures and controls requested by the minister became imperative to effectively deal with the problem”, the announcement emphasizes.

Additionally, the Department of Agriculture has started, in parallel, a collaboration with the General Chemistry of the State of Cyprus (GCC) for the characterization of the Cypriot potato, with the aim of creating an Isotopic Data Base for the authentic Cypriot potato with SNIF-NMR stable isotope techniques and IRMS.

The creation of the Authentic Cypriot Potato Isotopic Database will assist future sampling cases to investigate claims of 'christening' potatoes, whether of Greek or other origin, as Cypriot. The State General Chemistry is able to receive samples of potatoes sold on the Greek market, as Cypriot, to confirm their origin.

Source: politis.com.cy

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