Friday, March 30, 2012

The Beginning of a Beautiful Headache - Episode 2

Finding the invisible producers. 

The whole point of this site is to somehow put in contact the offer and the demand. But in order to do that, I first need to find "the offer", meaning the producers. 
What better way to find producers than by submitting an inquiry to the Chamber of Commerce or at least that's what I thought. So, one fine day, I go there to ask in person since I didn't know if anyone spoke English and I'm not that good with Greek yet.
To my pleasant surprise, most of the people there spoke English so at least from the communication point of view this was easy. I was adviced to direct my inquires to a certain person, a nice lady in her 40's with a very calm voice. 
I told her what I would need and, to tell you the truth I was expecting an answer like " It's not here that you should make your inquiry." or " It's not our responsibility to know that" but again, surprise!

She looked at me - I must have had that "lost puppy" look - and she decided to help. For more than an hour she called different organizations and ministry departments to find out who is suppose to have a producer's data base. Finally she gave up and gave me a phone number and an address from the Financial Administration because, we ended up to the conclusion that "they need to be paying taxes" (or so the theory goes) and if they do, then the Financial Administration should know about it. 

If there would be a diploma for the best public service employee I would vote her for it. When she gave me the paper with the contacts she told me that she is sorry she couldn't do more but they are "reorganizing and they cannot find among themselves". 

When I left there, even though I didn't get the information I came for, I felt positive that at least I was on the right track for it and that maybe I'll find the same willingness to help at the Financial Administration Office. 

Well, they were willing to help alright but what they said didn't help that much. Apparently in Greece a producer is not required to have a firm in order to sell his products. Somehow, that is not considered commerce. So, producers do indeed pay taxes - if they chose to :D - but in their own name.

Even though I was prepared to buy the data base, as I would do back home if I would need this kind of information, they told me it is not possible since it's personal data and it is protected by law. 

So I must admit that really burst my bubble. Now, the only way to do this is to find the producers and talk to them on by one. There are 231 laikes in Thessaloniki and surrounding areas. Multiply that buy at least 60-70 producers and you'll get a veeeeery big number. All I can say is..don't hold your breath. It's gonna take a while.

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