Vinegrowers from Armenia's Ararat and Armavir provinces blocked the Yerevan-Masis highway on Tuesday protesting against the activities of the employees of the Masis procurement facility of the Yerevan Ararat Brandy-Wine-Vodka Factory, owned by former leader of Prosperous Armenia Party, businessman Gagik Tsarukyan. In an interview with local “Zhoghovurd” newspaper farmers said that factory management refused to procure their produce for different, often “absurd reasons,” such as: “If there's a single spoiled grape on the cluster, we won't buy any of the produce.”
Situation is the same at every factory, the paper writes, despite the fact that senior officials, among them Armenian Minister of Agriculture Sergo Karapetyan, had promised the entire grape harvest would be procured.
During the protest action Ararat governor Rubik Abrahamyan came to the farmers and sent some of them to the Mkhchyan Artashat Wincon Factory. Sergo Karapetyan and Gagik Tsarukyan also visited the protesters and promised, once again, the produce would be procured. Vinegrowers told “Zhoghovurd” later on Tuesday that the Masis procurement office was accepting the entire produce, with no exceptions.