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Cyprus Internet Directory [ ‘Do they think our fruit is made of steel?’ ]

‘Do they think our fruit is made of steel?’

Supermarkets threaten to boycott fruit sellers if grocers open on Sundays

HYPERMARKETS will boycott fruit suppliers if deputies go ahead and allow greengrocers to open on Sunday mornings.

“We will see then who has the largest supply of fruit and who sells the most,” said Andreas Hadjiadamou of the Cyprus Hypermarkets’ Association.

Hadjiadamou was referring to ongoing discussions at the House Labour Committee to extend greengrocers’ opening times following complaints of spoiled produce from the summer heat.

If passed, the bill, proposed by EDEK deputy George Varnava, will allow fruit and vegetable shops to open on Sunday mornings.

But Hadjiadamou said the hypermarkets would not take such a decision lying down and warned there would be consequences.

“If they go ahead and pass the bill we will take measures. First of all we will open during the same hours that the fruit shops open and second we will refuse to purchase fruit from producers to show exactly who sells the most fruit,” he said.

“They deputies want fruit shops to open on Sundays. We don’t have a problem with that as long as we can open on Sundays too. What do they think that our fruit are made of steel and that fruit shops’ fruit aren’t?”

Hadjiadamou added that the excuse that fruit spoiled was a meagre one.

“All hypermarkets and fruit shops ensure they have the right equipment so that their produce doesn’t go off. They are just using this as an excuse to open. We have huge quantities of fruit and have never used it spoiling as an excuse to open on a Sunday,” he said.

Hadjiadamou said hypermarkets were not opposed to the proposal as long as they could open too.

“As long as hypermarkets have the same rights then we have no problem. Our reaction is over the fact that we are being unfairly discriminated against. Businesses can’t be allowed to open that sell the same produce as us while we are forced to remain closed,” he said.

George Varnava disagreed with the Hypermarkets’ Association’s Executive Secretary. The EDEK deputy said as long as hypermarkets sold products other than fruit and vegetables they would not be allowed to open on Sundays.

“If hypermarkets separate their fruit shops from the other products they can open on Sundays,” he said.

In the meantime, however, the bill only applied to fruit shops and the hypermarkets’ reaction was “inexcusable”, said Varnava.

“The proposed bill is not intended to create any problems… on the other hand we consider our proposal has the purpose above all of serving the consumer,” he said.

But Hadjiadamou said the association was “very angry, bitter and furious” that its members were always treated unfairly.

“We are the only ones who offer low prices, who trying to keep prices down, who keep in line with the law and try to serve consumers as much as possible and yet something is always done at our expense. This cannot go on,” he said.

Hadjiadamou said they had only found out the bill was under discussion in the local press.

“No one invited us to sit down to talks to hear our side of the issue. We are directly involved and no one asked for our opinion.

“We hope they do not pass the bill any time soon until we are invited to talks. We are still waiting to see what will happen,” he said.

Varnava said the proposed bill was open to amendment to ensure a common result was achieved.

He said: “We consider that a fruit shop cannot affect the sales of a large hypermarket, nevertheless we have the good intention of talking to those affected to find a common result that will best serve the consumer and does not affect the interests of certain parties who claim they are being hurt.”


(Source: Cyprus Mail)



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