Without Middlemen Movement and Social Grocery Shops

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An important contribution to the cover of eating needs and against rising prices, is the so called “potato movement”, or, the “movement without middlemen”. It's practice is based in connecting directly the producers of agricultural produce with the consumers of the urban areas. The bypassing of mediators of the commercial circuits and of the supermarkets, gives the possibility to the producers to give their goods in better prices than those they would get from the merchants or the super-market and to the consumers to buy fresh products in prices much lower than those of the market. The “potato movement” (as it was named after the first product distributed in this way, potatoes) represented a very successful practice which is now widely spread with hundreds of initiatives all over the country. The movement also emphasises the enhancment of local production and for the local needs, posing in practice the demand of food sovereignty and of a decentralised agricultural development. It emerged only one year ago, and it came at a moment when the pro-memoranda forces were threatening the people with food crisis in case people put in danger the bailout, causing a GRexit. This movement proved in practice their lies of the possibility of food starvation, by allowing agricultural product stocked in warehouses due to the unwillingnes of the market-circuits to buy it, to appear and being distributed. Moreover it manifested practically another way for a collective response to the question of food distribution, and also represents a proposal for a participatory socialisalised economic restructuring. It resulted in the development of networks of producers-consumers, and it enhanced more permanent forms of direct disposition of goods through the social grocery shops or through self-managed collective urban farms. According to the research of ΓΣΕΒΕΕ “22% of households state that they were supplied basic goods through the “without middlemen” networks and 6% through social grocery-shops”. A small example for the popularity and the collective effort for organising distribution without mediators, is the Resistance and Solidarity Movement of Galatsi (Athens) which started in October of 2012 and has organised for distributions up to now. In the first on, they distributed goods worth 30,000 euros, to 650 households, while now they distrubute goods worth about 50,000 euros responding to the needs of 1.250 households. There is a relevant increase in the number of participants. The effort started from a nucleus of 15 persons, in the first distribution 50 persons from the “benefitted” citizens were registered as volunteers. The collective consisting now of more than 140 members.

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