Last February, local municipalities of several Turkish cities launched direct sale points to balance sharp growth of consumer foodstuff prices, offering agricultural products to average consumers at an affordable price. The direct sale points were established as part of the Treasury and Finance Ministry’s counter- inflation campaign. The Turkish economy has been tackling high inflation for the last year. Consumer prices peaked in October and hit 25.24 percent. In February, inflation fell below the 20 percent threshold for the first time since September. Sustainable tight monetary policy, fiscal discipline and other measures such as direct sale points have made a major contribution to the improvement in the inflation rate.
The sale points, launched to circumvent intermediaries, have seen widespread demand from citizens. Some 30,000 tons of goods, including 15,000 tons of fresh fruits and vegetables and 15,000 tons of grains and legumes have been sold. With the start of vegetable sales at municipal direct sale points, prices in wholesale vegetable markets and supermarket chains dropped by half.
Stating that sales have so far reached 111 points in eight cities, Fahrettin Poyraz, general manager of the Agricultural Credit Cooperatives of Turkey, said the practice was initiated in order to avoid the rambling price increases in the market. “We are not saying we will sell every product. We will only sell products that have seen an exorbitant price increase,” he added. “After launching our sales, large markets also decreased their prices,” he continued, adding that the project has accomplished its objectives.
In addition, the state-run postal service, Turkish Post and Telegraph Organization’s (PTT) online marketplace www.epttavm.com has also started selling vegetables.