In the midst of the Russian-Ukrainian war, there was collateral damage, shared not only by the two countries involved but also by others. One such country is Greece and its dying fur industry.
According to reports, the Greek fur trade industry, particularly in the Kastoria region, faces a bleak future. Since war broke out, Russia and its tourists, once the biggest fur market, have completely disappeared. Trying to open up new markets is a daunting task and time is not at the fur traders’ side.
According to 2015 figures from the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food, there were 123 fur farms in Greece, which fell to 131 in 2018. However, since then there has been a dramatic decline and only 92 mink farms were operating in 2020. Numbers are expected to have declined rapidly over the past five months after the outbreak of war in February.
According to the data received, fur garments are among Greece’s top 10 exports to the world market. For Russia alone, the export figure amounted to 14 million euros last year. A year earlier, it was hovering around the 55 million euro mark.
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There are over 2,000 family businesses involved in the fur trade, employing around 4,000 Greeks. With heavy sanctions imposed on Russia, Greek fur sellers can’t find a way to ship their wares, which often cost thousands of dollars to supply. Safe to say, the industry was snuffed out as a result of a war.
To protect family businesses from bankruptcy, the government has allowed them to suspend more than 80% of their staff, who will receive state benefits until September. However, despite the best intentions of the government, the fur traders began to accept the reality of the situation. And that, the case is about to end.
(With agency contributions)
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