Greek specialty cheese "killed" situation in Ukraine

Farmers and livestock breeders on the Greek island of Naxos are in despair because of the vertical rise in the cost of feed and energy.

“Recently, more than 300 cows and more than 30,000 sheep and goats have been slaughtered, which, under other conditions, would have been productive animals,” complains the publication. Dimitris Kapounis, President of the Association of Agricultural Cooperatives of Naxos.

The result is, among other things, the disappearance from the supermarket shelves of the well-known “branded” product “Naksu engravers” (γραβιέρα της Νάξου). “At the moment the breeder and shepherd cannot afford the running costs. The famous cheese of excellent quality and taste is very popular and is made only from milk produced in Naxos. We cannot bring milk from a neighboring island, as we keep its traditional recipe (trade mark),” says Mr. Kapounis.

According to him, until recently, 130,000 sheep and goats, and 4,000 cows, gave milk on the island. “I don’t know how many of them are still alive. We are waiting for inventory data. At the moment, the island produces 34 tons of milk, while last year at the same time we had 40 tons. In addition to the reduction in the herd, this is also due to the fact that the animals are not fed properly due to inflation, as a result of which they do not produce as much milk as they need.”

The cost of animal feed has quadrupled

The island’s farmers have recently been forced to travel to Bulgaria to buy scarce produce there for nearly three times the price. Mr. Kapounis says: “Everything has its price. The price of a ton of feed has reached 125 euros. This means that the manufacturer will spend 230 euros instead of 60 and 70 euros before. That is 4 times more.
President of the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Naxos urges the state to take immediate action to resolve the problem. “I represent 1200 active product manufacturers. The main task is to help the breeder, the producer, otherwise they will give up. The state must see this “vicious circle”. In addition, there are other additional difficulties on the island.

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