Winter 2 0 2 0
Fi ne food and drinks of Greece
GREEK CHEESES Discover the authentic flavors
Contents ma ga z i n e
Contents > Editor’s Note > Business Insider > Interview: Makis Voridis > Ionian Islands: Where Greece Meets Italy > Gyros, Hot Trend on the Block > The Greek Olive Oil Files > Feeling the Greek Pulse > For the Love of Feta > Greek Sheep... Bleat the Way > Greek Chefs Chasing the Stars > Food for –Original– Thought > 5 Things about Greek Table Olives > Sparta Gourmet: Exceptional in Nature > Citrus Fruit: Squeeze the Day! > Greek sea buckthorn: Reaching for the Sky > Bioagros: 30 Years of Excellence! > Greek Cheese Confidential > Retsina: Back for Good > Bio Fach 2020 > Market Report > What’s New
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IONIAN ISLANDS Where Italy meets Greece
makis voridis Interview with the Minister of Rural Development
gyros Discover the new global trend
On the cover: Greek PDO cheeses are not only flavorful but also nutritious.
Following the upward trend in their cultivation
crincly spinach pie authentic Greek
Crinkly handmade pie with signature authentic Greek ingredients such as feta, fresh spinach, extra virgin olive oil from the Peloponnese.
www.rodoula.gr for product sampling please contact firstname.lastname@example.org find us on
DOUGH & DESSERT PRODUCTS
Editorial ma ga z i n e
Publisher Nikos Choudalakis email@example.com Publishing Director Thanassis Gialouris firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Director
he global F&B landscape is changing. Rapidly and, in some cases, irrevocably. Consumers are now, more than ever, looking for quality, convenience and sustainability, paired with a more ethical and healthy approach to food. Enter plant based and lab grown protein, a solution to reduce waste and greenhouse gases –not to mention the suffering quotient– and increase helpful proteins, diminish saturated fat, eliminate antibiotics, even add vitamins. Moreover, specific dietary needs fueled by allergies and food intolerances, such as sugar-free, gluten-free or lactose-free, are gaining ground and proving that specificity is the word du jour when it comes to the future and the evolution of the F&B sector. There are still numerous hurdles to overcome in the process, but we are fast approaching the point at which converging expoConsumers are looking nential technologies will enfor quality, convenience, able the transformation of today’s food system. sustainability and an Where does Greece stand ethical approach to food on all this, one might ask. Well, far better than one might think. Let me explain: Greece is a small country and traditional methods of production and agriculture are still used in some places –this allows it to be more flexible to change, more adaptable. Greece is also a GMO-free zone, making its products healthier, de facto organic and somewhat more sustainable. In addition, Greek food processing companies are already relying on advanced technology to create more nutritious, environmentally friendly options. And as long as the food industry is evolving at a fast pace, as changing consumer attitudes force manufacturers to rethink the tried-and-true, Greek businesses will prove ready and willing to take up the challenges of our times.
Thanassis Panagoulias email@example.com Creative Art Director Niki Galanopoulou firstname.lastname@example.org Editor-in-Chief Vana Antonopoulou email@example.com Contributing Editors Eleni Donou, Eva Touna Art Directors Evgenios Kalofolias Nikos Kartalias Lenia Chalkea Photo Retoucher Gogo Trikerioti Sales Department T. Belekoukias, A. Kaliantzi, I. Margelis D. Michalochristas, K. Molfeta, A. Mourati, G. Theodoropoulos Advertising Coordinators M. Spichopoulou, G. Patsari Int’l Relations F. Papanastasiou
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Business Insider ma ga z i n e
THE FOOD INDUSTRY, A CONTRIBUTOR OF INNOVATION, SUSTAINABILITY & GROWTH
he Greek Food & Drink Industry is the main industrial sector in Greece with a â‚Ź15 billion turnover, as well as a key job provider, with 1,200 active enterprises and more than 360,000 direct and indirect employees. It is a dynamic, competitive and extrovert sector, a global champion and a major exporter worldwide with exports reaching a value of â‚Ź5 billion, thus a fundamental pillar of the Greek economy. The global socioeconomic environment is going through important changes, while the Greek Food & Drink Industry is called to respond to new challenges at European and national level. The focus is now on optimization through innovation and continuous improvement to achieve sustainable growth. Food sufficiency, food waste, fragmentation on the EU internal market, product reformulation, food quality and safety, circular economy, are some of the challenges that require our utmost attention and that we need to tackle effectively in order to remain competitive, operate responsibly and satisfy the increased consumer trends and needs. The Greek Food Industry recognizes the importance of nutrition in everyday life and places it at the heart of its business. It utilizes research, technology and innovation to develop quality healthy food products with added value, special The greek F&B industry nutritional characteristics and remains the leading low environmental footprint, based on the quality Greek agmanufacturing sector ricultural production. Furtherin the country more, Food & Drink manufacturers, through sustainable practices that respect the socioeconomic and environmental aspects of their business, remain resilient, grow while supporting their employees. Thus, the Food Industry remains the leading manufacturing sector in the country, a driving force that supports the economy, as well as a growth contributor. At the Federation of Hellenic Food Industries, we put all our efforts towards the improvement of competitiveness and the promotion of research, innovation and extroversion, aiming at ensuring a predictable business environment that attracts new investments. In a rapidly evolving and challenging business context, the Food Industry is committed to support the sustainable growth of the sector and of the local economy, strengthening at the same time the links between food, people and the environment.
THE GREEK F&B SECTOR
OF THE GREEK PROCESSING INDUSTRY
OF TOTAL PROCESSING INDUSTRY WORKFORCE
Chairman of the Federation of Hellenic Food Industries (SEVT)
SEVT - ID The TheFederation FederationofofHellenic Hellenic Food FoodIndustries Industries(SEVT) (SEVT)
The Federation of Hellenic Food Industries (SEVT), is the official body representing the interests of the Food and Drink Industries at national and European level. SEVT has as members not only food and drink companies but also branch associations.
PHOTOGRAPHER: DIMITRIS TSITSOS
m agaz i ne
Ambrosia magazine gets up close and personal with Mr Makis Voridis, Greece’s Minister of Rural Development and Food, to discuss agri-food production, exports, climate change and country branding.
WE MUST INVEST IN QUALITY, DIVERSIFICATION AND HIGH ADDED VALUE
reece’s Minister of Rural Development and Food, Mr Makis Voridis, faces his biggest challenge yet –get the country’s food sector moving again after a decade-long debt crisis, tackle the inevitable climate change and its impact on agriculture, streamline the agri-food industry and draw a policy that would serve the public in the long term. With a Master of Laws from University College of London and an understanding of the economic forces at work in Greece’s recovering economy, Mr Voridis told Vana Antonopoulou that he is ready for the task.
The Food & Beverage sector is one of the most dynamic of the Greek economy. What is the strategy of the country’s new government (editor’s note: the latest Greek election was held in July 2019 and the New Democracy party won the majority of seats) to support industry businesses? The F&B sector is indeed one of the Greek economy’s trump cards, while it contributes significantly to the country’s GDP, employment, and trade balance. In fact, the sector’s impressive presence in international trade fairs bears witness to the fact, especially if one considers our country’s small size. In this context, the government as well as the Ministry of Rural Development and Food strongly support each and every initiative that promotes and highlights entrepreneurship and innovation in the Food and Beverage industry through a targeted strategy with a focus on reducing taxation (something we have already im-
plemented in various ways), promoting investment in production and standardization with due regard for the environment, certifying of labeled products, and moving towards markets that can absorb high added-value and quality products. Truth be told, the game has now shifted from competing on price to competing on quality and diversification. In your opinion, should the policy regarding specific sectors be long-term and cross-party? Without question. And not selectively for specific sectors, but for all sectors of the rural economy. The policy for the development of the Greek primary sector should rise above political partisanship and short-sighted vision. Petty interests and party-political objectives together with short-term policies followed for many years, have deeply affected the competitiveness and potential of our agricultural sector and hurt the Greek economy and rural community. We cannot afford to lose more time, resources or opportunities. Our target must be undivided, long-term and focused on promoting our national interest, that is ultimately to the benefit of all of us. What is the biggest challenge you have to face as Minister of Rural Development and Food? To bring the country’s agricultural sector to a level that does not depend on the state beyond the formulation of a national and European policy. Greece has both the background and the potential to create a robust primary sector, leaving behind past issues that have affected competitiveness and reliability over
Interview ma ga z i n e
time. My primary concern is to protect and promote the Greek PDO and PGI products, that form part of our national wealth. A significant battle will also be fought to protect the identity of our Macedonian products. And as I have stressed repeatedly, I shall not demonstrate the slightest tolerance for offenders. Smart agriculture leading to precise production with lower costs and multiple benefits for our farmers is equally central to the policy of the Ministry. Finally, I would like the development of the primary sector to put an end to the impoverishment of the provinces and to encourage young people to stay in their communities. Climate change is a fact. Is the Ministry prepared for the day after? What are the policies you will promote in order to protect Greek producers? Climate change is one of the key challenges for the future and has been at the center of the new CFP with the “Green Deal” representing the big gamble for the European Commission. Although climate change is part of a holistic approach by the government as a whole, the actions of the Ministry of Rural Development are already sufficiently eloquent: A dialogue has been established and a plan has been adopted for the restructuring of the Hellenic Agricultural Insurance Organization and the additional participation of private insurance in agricultural production, while the possibility of installing agrophotovoltaics (APV) has already been established. The country’s integrated irrigation plans, the crop restructuring program and the strategic plant protection plan are also imminent. Promoting precision farming by introducing new technologies in the field and by training our producers in modern production methods and best practices, as well as facilitating their funding through the actions of the Rural Development Program and the European Commission funding tools already implemented, are high on the agenda. The state provides the necessary tools to the Greek farming sector. That being so, the producers themselves have to forego their outdated perceptions and the attitude that natural resources are inexhaustible and themselves not accountable for preventing the effects of weather conditions. Regarding US tariffs on European products, Greek olives and olive oil were excluded. Tell us a little bit about the effort to achieve this positive result. We managed to exclude two Greek flagship products which account for over 50% of total Greek
agricultural exports to the US. This is a fact. As is that Greece was the only EU country exempted from tariffs on olives. It is worth noting that when, as soon as I took up my duties as Minister of Rural Development, I met with the US Ambassador Mr. Pyatt and raised the question of the exemption from the tariffs, he was surprised because, as he mentioned, this was the first time a Greek government had requested such a thing. This exemption was the result of a very successful negotiation — one that I’m very proud of. That is not all, however. We must keep going. Will other Greek products be excluded? A concerted effort is required to convince the other side of our fair and just arguments. At the recent meeting I had with the US Ambassador, I stressed the need to preserve the exemption achieved for olive oil and olives and I also requested the exemption of two more key Greek products with strong exporting power, such as peach compote and frozen cherries. This is no mean feat. Yet, it might still happen. The fight is still ongoing. I remain optimistic. How can PDO products be protected in countries that do not recognize such indications? Countries that do not recognize such indications implement as appropriate their own internal recognition procedure. We cannot, of course, intervene
Export rates in some high-quality Greek products are growing. Will putting an emphasis on gourmet foods make Greece more competitive? Indeed I do. There is a growing trend shaping the global consumer landscape: people look for quality, diversified products, for organic offerings produced with modern, environmentally-friendly methods that respect animal welfare. Since we cannot offer competitive prices to international markets –let’s face it, this is not our greatest strength– it is necessary to invest in quality, diversification and high added value. It’s a one way street. Are “Made in Greece” products superior to products from other countries? How can we highlight their comparative advantages? We have many competitive advantages and regarding a plethora of products, I dare say, we are superior compared to other countries. That’s where our strength lies and that is what we should fo-
cosmetology, conventional and alternative medicine, tourism and culture are ways in which we can build a unique identity for greek products in third country proceedings. What we can do is guarantee the certification of our own products and stand by both the producers and the traders to form a united front when penetrating new third country markets with PDO or PGI products. Will you focus on new markets for Greek F&B products? What policies will you promote? Expanding into new markets and new products is a major Ministry concern. This has already started through the activation of cooperation protocols with third countries, such as China, Thailand or Korea, concerning Greek products like kiwi fruit and Kozani Red Saffron. Our goal is to ensure the certification of more PDO and PGI products by promoting their authenticity and uniqueness internationally, while breaking into larger markets. The protection of our Macedonian products has a vital role to play in this regard. At the same time, we are encouraging investments in standardization, while by establishing interprofessional organizations for Feta cheese and rice, we support their national promotion efforts.
cus on. By adopting a coordinated and targeted policy, a good cooperation between state and private initiative, responsibility and professionalism. Sloppiness and opportunism can cost you. Is Greece a recognizable brand? And is this government’s development policy based on rebranding it or does it believe that our country has not even been launched as a brand? Both are needed. Let me explain: On the one hand, there is a need to strengthen Greece as a brand, which enjoys an increasing recognition and trust internationally, and on the other hand, a more targeted rebranding and marketing policy that focuses on diversification, quality, safety, and authenticity –our country’s major competitive advantage connected to its history, culture and natural resources– is needed. Modern cosmetology, conventional and alternative medicine, gastronomy and the much lauded Mediterranean diet, tourism and culture are ways in which we can build a unique identity for Greek products, our national wealth.
Ionian Region Islands Region of Thessaly ma ga z i n e
GREECE MEETS ITALY
Once under centuries-long Venetian rule and since 1864 a part of modern Greece, the Ionian islands have a distinct cultural and gastronomic identity. One that speaks of Greek influences as much as of Italian panache and has introduced to the world many unique products.
Ionian Islands Region ma ga z i n e
THE IONIAN ISLANDS REGION AT A GLANCE Scattered off the western coastline of Central Greece, the Ionian islands are a paradise of unique ingredients and distinctive flavors.
1 Fish farming is one of the most significant activities of the Ionian islands.
he Ionian islands are traditionally called the “Heptanese”, the “Seven Islands” in Greek, but the group includes many smaller islands apart from the seven principal ones: Corfu, Paxoi, Lefkada Ithaca, Kefalonia, Zakynthos, and Kythira. The six northern islands are off the west coast of Greece, in the Ionian Sea. The seventh island, Kythira, is off the southern tip of the Peloponnese and is not part of the administrative Region of Ionian Islands, as it is currently included in the Region of Attica. The Region of Ionian Islands is known for its great variety of landscape, in which a dominant role is played by the lush vegetation and the geomorphology of the coastline the length of which represents roughly 8% of the entire Greek coastline. The natural environment is known for its rich fauna and flora and also for the good condition of its habitats and ecosystems. In Zakynthos there is a marine park, the habitat of the world-renowned turtle caretta-caretta, while in Kefalonia the national park of Aenos, with a particular species of fir-tree (abies cephalonica).
TOP 5 EXPORTS IN VALUE (2017)*
BEVERAGES, ALCOHOLIC DRINKS & VINEGAR
FISH, MOLLUSCS MEAT & FISH & CRUSTACEANS PREPARATIONS
OILS & FATS
* Source: Eurostat & the Greek Exporters Association (SEVE)
RODI KRATSA-TSAGAROPOULOU GOVERNOR OF THE REGION OF EPIRUS The variety of our agricultural products tells the story of the fertile Ionian land that has been the source of its wealth and has contributed to its culture. Oil, wine, raisins and fruits are famous products of the Ionian exported wordwide. These same products have laid the foundation of our gastronomy, an evolution of traditional Greek recipes, enriched with the influence of the West. The Venetians, the French, the English who came to the region, have contributed to our unique multicultural identity. Nowadays, agricultural crops are abundant across our islands and businesses involved in the processing and marketing of typical products grow continuously, achieving significant exports. The Ionian Islands Region aims to provide training courses for farmers, introduce new technologies, and promote research on green production, as to protect and highlight traditional products.
Ionian Islands Region ma ga z i n e
EXPORTS, POTENTIAL AND THE F&B SECTOR 1
The Food & Beverage industry is the undisputed leader in the Region’s export activity, with olive oil, wine and fish taking the lead in international trade.
he Ionian Islands Region, despite its low share in Greek exports (0.5% for the year 2017), managed to boost its exports by 50 percent for the period 20162017, while during 2017-2018 has once again increased its exports by €24.7 million, in other words, 19 percent and, combined with the smaller increase in imports, expanded its trade surplus by €21.6 million. Foodstuff is the Region’s main export industry with an approximately 55 percent share in total exports. And according to data from the Greek Exporters Association (SEVE), among the principal export products are oils and fats (54.3% share in terms of volume), fish and molluscs (with a 35.7% share) and vegetables with a 6.07% share with regard to volume, for the year 2017. In fact, fish exports have increased sevenfold between 2008-2012, whereas during the 2013-2017 period, their average annual export rate has risen 64.3 percent; oil and fat exports have also increased at an average rate of 12 percent for the years
2008-2012, but after 2013 and up until 2017, they have experienced a fall in exports in the order of -5.7% (average annual rate). The Ionian Islands produce olive oil, wine, citrus fruit (especially oranges and kumquat in Corfu), honey –the region’s flora encourages the production of a very particular honey– various dairy products and cheese –the Kefalonian cheese-makers are renowned all over Greece as well as abroad. Additionally, the region has extensive vineyards and the Ionian Islands have a long tradition in wine production. Namely, according to Eurostat & the Greek Exporters Association (SEVE), the Region's top 5 F&B exports in value for the year 2017 are as follows: Fish, molluscs and crustaceans in first place with €29,176,576, oils & fats in second with €19,897,584, beverages, alcoholic drinks and vinegar come up third with €275,095, meat and fish preparations are in fourth place with €245,139, while vegetables are in fifth place of exports with €238,294.
1 White cheese from Κephalonia is as delicious as it is unique.
2 The Region produces unique products, such as mandolato.
IONIAN ISLANDS EXPORTS IN NUMBERS*
€49,955,153 F&B EXPORTS IN 2017
OF TOTAL GREEK EXPORTS IN 2017 * Source: Eurostat & the Greek Exporters Association (SEVE)
INCREASE IN EXPORTS BETWEEN 2016-2017
Ionian Islands Region ma ga z i n e
OLIVE OIL TRADITION LEADING TO EXCELLENCE Most of olive oil production takes place in the island of Corfu, where a new generation of producers are wooing international markets.
pproximately 6.11 percent of total Greek olive oil production takes place in the Ionian Islands Region, of which 61.4 percent occurs in Corfu. In fact, the island of Corfu is famed for its delicious olives. It is said to have approximately four million olive trees, some over 500 years old. The Venetians were responsible for the widespread, systematic planting of olives on the island, which reached its peak in the 16th century. They wanted to ensure their city would never run short of oil. Furthermore, legend has it that St Spyridon, the patron saint of the island, appeared in an olive grove and forbade the islanders to cut or beat the branches of the trees, because it was cruel. So, for centuries they have not pruned the trees, and instead of picking the olives they let them fall to the ground by themselves, spreading nets beneath the trees to catch them.
1 In a good year the olive harvest lasts from January through till May. Corfu’s olive oil has a dark, slightly greenish color and is of high quality.
Lianolia, the native variety The Lianolia olive is native to Corfu and the Ionian Sea region. It is a demanding variety which, under the right conditions and care, produces an exceptional quality extra virgin olive oil, unusually high in beneficial polyphenols. Corfu is Greece’s northernmost region for olive cultivation and its considerably greater rainfall compared to the rest of Greece, provides the ideal micro-climate for the demanding Lianolia, that likes a high amount of ground and atmospheric moisture, to produce its rich foliage and fine quality olives. Lianolia trees themselves are also special. They grow up instead of out, developing massive trunks with thick, leafy branches. The olive trees were not destroyed in Greece’s wars and were allowed to grow very tall, 25 meters high, providing cool shade as well as olives and oil. The olives are small, ripen later than others and are black when ripe.
1 Most of the olive groves in the Region are located in Corfu.
2 Trees of the Lanolia variety grow to more than 25m. tall.
OLIVE OIL PRODUCTION IN THE REGION*
*Source: Hellenic Ministry of Reconstruction of Production, Environment and Energy, and Rural Development
CEPHALONIA 1,200 TONS
Corfu is famed for its delicious olives. It is said to have approximately four million olive trees, some over 500 years old!
THE REGION’S PGI OLIVE OILS • Agios Mattheos Kerkyras PGI The virgin olive oil Agios Mattheos Kerkyras PGI is produced with the olive variety Koroneiki, in the settlement of Agios Matthaios, in the municipal area of Meliteieis, in Corfu. It is very transparent, while its color varies from green to yellowish-green, according to the level of fruit ripening. Its aroma is fruity, especially if the oil is fresh. The history of the Agios Mattheos Kerkyras PGI virgin olive oil is linked to the long tradition of olive oil culture in Greece, known since ancient times, as evidenced by historical sources and archaeological finds. In fact, the
6.11 percent of total Greek olive oil production takes place in the Ionian Islands Region
olive tree culture in Corfu, also known as the island of the Phaiakians, is cited by Homer. • Zakynthos PGI Zakynthos PGI is an extra-virgin olive oil obtained from olives of the varieties Koroneiki (95%) and Dopia Lianolia (5%). It is a highdensity oil, with a golden green color and a fruity flavor and aroma. The production area of the Zakynthos PGI EVOO is within the entire island of Zakynthos, where approximately half of the olive trees are located away from communication roads and populated centers, thus far from any kind of pollution.
Ionian Islands Region ma ga z i n e
WINES FROM UNIQUE VINEYARDS Winegrowing on the islands rose to prominence during Venetian rule and numerous varieties are still cultivated.
he reason why numerous varieties are still cultivated on each and every one of the Ionian Islands is because the islands have never been blighted by phylloxera. Athough wine production holds a prominent position in almost all the Ionian Islands, Cephalonia takes the lead, producing the most famous and superior quality wines. The rest of the Ionian Islands also have interesting wines, with Zakynthos being the birthplace of the Traditional Designation Verdea wine, produced on the island since the 19th century, while the red Avgoustiatis variety also has a strong presence there. Corfu, on the other hand, although it is the largest of the Ionian Islands, holds no particular oenological interest. Its prevailing varieties are the white Kakotrygis and the red Petrokorithos. Lefkada favors the cultivation of Vertzami, which accounts for the largest percentage of vineyards on the island. The vineyards of Cephalonia cover a total area of just 750 acres. They climb up to 800m on the western slopes of Mount Enos and yield
1 the white variety of Robola, a unique cultivar in Greece, thriving on the poor, calcareous soil of the island’s southern and central mountainous and semi-mountainous terroirs where, until recently, the variety was cultivated in its self-rooted form. Following the appearance of phylloxera on Cephalonia in 1988, efforts begun to replant the vineyards using existing stocks that had proved resistant to the disease. The red variety of Mavrodaphne, used in the production of the homonymous dessert wine, is cultivated at lower altitudes, as is the Muscat White variety.
• PDO Mavrodaphne of Cephalonia The PDO Mavrodaphne of Cephalonia (est.1971) is the only PDO or PGI wine from
The dry white PDO Robola is the only Greek PDO wine named after its grape variety rather than the area it comes from. In Cephalonia, Robola is the most widely planted variety and flourishes on thin, barren soil which, at times, is so poor that the Italians’ name for Robola was “Vino di Sasso” aka “stone wine”. The va-
riety’s Italian-sounding name, together with its cultivation in the Ionian Islands located close to Italy, have led some to claim that the Robola grape variety is actually the same with the Ribolla Gialla variety cultivated in northeastern Italy. Whatever the case may be, striking differences between the two do exist, rendering
Robola a truly unique and highly promising variety both in terms of morphology and taste. If properly cultivated and vinified, the Robola grapes reward the effort in the best way imaginable, yielding dry white wines of refined character and expressing beautifully their terroir of origin.
1 The Robola variety yields dry white wines of refined character.
2 Zakynthos & Cephalonia are the islands' main winegrowing hubs.
3 Cephalonia is the Ionian island mostly associated with wine production.
Athough wine production is present in all the Ionian Islands, Κephalonia takes the lead, producing the most famous and superior quality wines the district of Cephalonia –most of the vineyards are on the western part of the island, on the Paliki peninsula– in which the grapes of the neighboring island of Ithaki (Ithaca) also participate. The clones of the Mavrodaphne variety cultivated in Cephalonia are not the same as those of Achaia (which produce the PDO Mavrodaphne of Patras). The production of wines from wineries outside the PDO Mavrodaphne of Cephalonia zone is permitted provided they are on the island. The wine produced is a fortified sweet red.
• PDO Muscat of Cephalonia Apart from yielding the PDO Muscat of Cephalonia, the Muscat White variety is
also present in four more Greek PDO wines (PDO Muscat of Patras, PDO Muscat of Rio Patras, PDO Muscat of Rhodes and PDO Samos). The cultivated area on Cephalonia is very small and mostly found in the northern part of the Paliki peninsula. Production of wines is permitted on the island outside the designated zone. Dessert wines bearing the geographical indication “Muscat of Cephalonia” may be either vin naturellement doux (from sun-dried grapes) or vin doux naturel –vin de liqueur (fortified). Provided that the grapes used in production come from their own vineyards of low yields per hectare, vintners can produce sweet wines bearing the additional “grand cru” indication.
WINE PRODUCTION IN THE IONIAN ISLANDS*
HECTARES OF WINE PRODUCING SURFACE
HECTARES OF ROBOLA VARIETY VINEYARDS
TONS OF ROBOLA PRODUCTION A YEAR
*Source: New Wines of Greece, Cephalonia Robola Wine Cooperative
OF ROBOLA PRODUCTION IS EXPORTED
Ionian Islands Region ma ga z i n e
UNIQUE PRODUCTS OF THE IONIAN ISLANDS Heavily influenced by both the Venetian and the Greek tradition, the products of the region’s islands are exceptional and one-of-a-kind. Honey To a great extent, the uniqueness of Greek honey comes from the rich Greek flora, which comprises numerous wild flowers and herbs –it is worth noting that Greece is home to more than 6,000 different plant species with roughly 750 being indigenous. Apiculture is of major interest in the Ionian Islands Region, with 34,000 registered hives and approximately 530 producers. It is especially developed in Lefkada and Zakynthos, while it is also expanding vigorously in the other islands of the Region. Thyme and spruce honey –ranked among the best types of honey produced in Greece– are among the most common honey types fostered by the plant life and the climate of the Ionian Islands. In fact, the islands’ lush vegetation, comprising thyme, heather, sage and a host of wild flowers, is ideal for beekeeping and the production of a highly aromatic and top-tier quality honey.
1 The cultivation of the Zakynthos raisin started in the early 16th century.
2 Although production of Eglouvi lentils is small, demand is high.
Eglouvi lentils In a mountainous village of Lefkada, a delicious kind of lentils has been cultivated for centuries. The Eglouvi plateau, where the lentils are cultivated, is situated at an altitude of 800-950m. Nowadays, the cultivation continues, with the inherited, old seeds, in a tradition-
al way, by hand, that has remained practically unchanged throughout the years. The annual production of Eglouvi lentils is small and depends exclusively on the climatic conditions of each year. Eglouvi lentils are perhaps the best lentils in Greece, with unique organoleptic characteristics: they are small, uneven, easy to boil and when cooked, they smell wonderful.
Kumquat from Corfu Kumquat from the island of Corfu or Koum kouat Kerkyras PGI as is its official EU denomination, is a typical fruit of the Fortunella margarita variety. It is a small tree with abundant foliage and an intense green color. Corfu is basically the only place in Europe where the kumquat is cultivated, mainly on the northern part of the island, where the mild climate, the fertile ground and the water abundance make it the ideal place to prosper. The Corfiot kumquat fruit has an oval shape, orange color and is approximately four cm. long. Its taste is characteristic and recalls that of citrus fruit. In fact, it is the only fruit of the citrus family eaten with its peel, which is very rich in essential oils and vitamin C. Kumquats were introduced to Corfu in the 1860s. These acrid, thumb-sized citrus fruits provide the flavor for liqueurs and candied fruit sold around the island and steadily exported to various countries around the world.
Currants FROM ZAKYNTHOS
Zakynthos currants represent approx. 10% of the agricultural area of the island
Stafida Zakynthou PDO is cultivated within the prefecture of Zakynthos and covers 1,670 hectares
The Zakynthos raisin is characterized by grapes that are small in size, with a diameter varying between 4mm and 8mm
the exceptional quality of the Zakynthos raisins has created a strong European demand for the product
he Stafida Zakynthou PDO is a raisin obtained exclusively from grapes of the variety Vitis Corinthika, dried naturally in the sun. The production area of the Stafida Zakynthou PDO is within the prefecture of Zakynthos and covers 1,670 hectares, representing approximately 10% of the agricultural area of the island. The history of the Stafida Zakynthou PDO is linked to the tradition of the Corinth grape cultivation, which appeared in Zakynthos in the beginning of the 16th century and has rapidly expanded throughout the island thanks to the Venetians. From the
beginning, the exceptional quality of the Zakynthos dried grapes has determined a strong European demand for the product. From then on, and to this date, the strong demand has caused this cultivation to become one of the main production sectors of the island, giving it a primary economic importance. The Zakynthos raisin is characterized by grapes that are small in size, with a diameter varying between 4mm and 8mm, a homogeneous color ranging from purplish to dark brown, free of grape-seeds and with a characteristic intense and sweet flavor.
Ionian Islands Region ma ga z i n e
THE GIFTS OF THE SEA The islands of the Ionian Sea contribute their share to the Greek fishfarming success story.
AQUACULTURE IN THE IONIAN ISLANDS FACTS AND FIGURES*
OF GREEK AQUACULTURE FACILITIES ARE IN CEPHALONIA
PEOPLE EMPLOYED IN AQUACULTURE IN THE REGION
AQUACULTURE UNITS IN THE IONIAN ISLANDS
TONS OF FISH, MOLLUSCS & CRUSTACEANS EXPORTED IN 2017
*Source: Hellenic Aquaculture Producers Organization (HAPO), Federation of Greek Maricultures (FGM)
n the Ionian Islands Region, aquaculture has now established itself as the region's most dynamic primary production sector and ranks in value among the top agricultural exports. The Region has more than 30 aquaculture units with a capacity exceeding 14,000 tons of fish a year.
Corfu, Lefkada and Zakynthos In Corfu, fishing is adequately developed and tons of seafood are caught each year from trawlers and small fishermen. At the same time, fish farming products â€“mainly sea bream and sea bassâ€“ are mostly marketed in Italy (approximately 90% of production) and secondarily in the Greek market (10%). The island also has several fish processing and packaging facilities. In Lefkada, there is intense fishing activity. The island boasts at least 310 fishing boats and the fish caught are available both locally as well as in the rest of mainland Greece. At the Palionis and Avlemonas lagoons, east and north of the town of Lefkada respectively, which are included in the Natura 2000 network and covering a total area of 6,500 hectares, fish of the mullet family, sea bream and sea bass are mainly produced, as well as eels and the famous roe (bottarga). There, the fish are naturally fed with minimum human intervention. In Zakynthos, although fishing plays an important role in employment and contributes in many ways to the local community, it has declined.
Regional Unit of Cephalonia and Ithaca In the Region Unit of Cephalonia and Ithaca, there are several pioneering companies active in the fish farming sector. In fact, one of the first aquaculture units established in Greece operated in the area in 1983. The experience, know-how, and skills of the fisheries scientists of that time were transferred to major, thereafter, companies in the sector with excellent results. Today, fish farms are certified by the Hellenic Organization for Standardization (ELOT) and operate with ISO 9001 and HACCP which guarantee the quality and hygiene of their products, while farming fish using organic methods, which are in high demand in the European and domestic markets. The quality of the farmed fish in the region is excellent and does not fall short of the open sea fish caught. In fact, sea bream and sea bass are farmed in perfectly controlled conditions and their diet is very close to the one in their natural habitat. In addition, all handling and marketing conditions by modern packaging companies, which adhere to all the hygiene rules laid down by EU and Greek legislation, guarantee excellent product quality. The aquaculture sector and especially the mariculture sector is the most dynamic one in the region and is of particular importance for the economic development of the local population
Ionian Islands Region ma ga z i n e
LOCAL MEAT & DAIRY PRODUCTS Although the Ionian Islands have a limited number of animal holdings, they do however produce delicious cold cuts and cheeses.
heep and goat meat and milk are two of the main product categories and of great economic significance for Greece and especially its less developed regions. It is worth mentioning that perhaps the sector’s forte is the high quality of the meat produced, as a result of a number of parameters, such as the extensive farming system, indigenous breeds and the distributed feedingstuffs. Despite the fact that neither sheep and goat nor bovine faming is especially developed, the Ionian Islands produce exquisite charcuterie goods, some of them unique to their area of fabrication. Some of the most noteworthy are the following: • Noumboulo Foumikado, the prosciutto of Corfu and Salado, Corfu’s salami, are cold meats exclusive to the island. Noumboulo or Nouboulo Foumikado is a first quality traditional Corfiot delicatessen made from a whole piece of pork fillet which is marinated in local wine and seasonings, put inside a natural intestine, slightly
the Ionian Islands produce fine charcuterie, some unique to the area of fabrication smoked by burning of aromatic branches, and left to mature naturally until it acquires a delicate flavor. It was originally served as sustenance for hunters and shepherds. It is served cut in fine slices and is ideally paired with semi-hard cheeses and dark ale. Salado, the local salami is smoked with the use of aromatic branches. • Salami is one of the most famous products of Lefkada. The patent is considered to be Italian and transferred by the inhabitants of Burano to the Ionian island. The inhabitants of Lefkada were the first to produce this delicious salami. The process starts with boning the pork by hand. The meat is then minced and added to a combination of fat, spices and pepper corns and is then hanged to naturally air dry. This salami owes its particular flavor to its long ripening period. When fresh, it does not have the complex taste it is famous for –in fact, the longer the meat is hung, the better the flavor will be.
1 Fed with the local flora, the sheep and goats of the region produce excellent milk and meat.
2 Cephalonia is famous for its white cheese.
3 The famous salami produced in Lefkada originates from Italy.
About milk and other dairy In the Ionian Islands Region, compared to the total production of the rest of Greece, a very small amount of milk is produced (approximately 1.04% sheep milk, 1.35% goat milk and 0.01% cow's milk). Cephalonia is the island with the largest production and exploitation of sheep and goat milk producing mainly white cheese in brine. Corfu and Zakynthos το a lesser degree, do have some cow’s milk production, which gives products such as the famous Corfu butter from fresh pasteurized cow's milk cream from local animals that feed exclusively on the rich and unique Corfiot flora. • White cheese from Cephalonia It is a traditional cheese made in the island of Cephalonia since the Homeric times. In fact, the art of Feta cheese spread to the rest of
Greece but also to neighboring areas by Cephalonian cheesemakers who had become famous for making this particular cheese. It is a white soft cheese that needs at least 2-3 months to ripen exclusively in wooden barrels. To make one kilo of cheese about 4 kilos of milk (70% sheep and 30% goat cheese) are required. • Ladotyri from Zakynthos This semi-hard cheese is a characteristic product of Zakynthos and known in many markets apart the local one. It has been linked for centuries to the traditional cheese-making and the peculiarities of the island’s animal farming. It is produced by mixing sheep and goat milk (80% and 20%, respectively), while in some cases cow's milk is added. Its peculiarity is that it matures and is stored in olive oil, which gives it special organoleptic characteristics.
Special thanks to the Ionian Islands Region, the Greek Exporters Association (SEVE), the New Wines of Greece, the Cephalonia Robola Wine Cooperative, the Greek National Interprofessional Meat Organization and the Hellenic Aquaculture Producers Organization (HAPO)
ANIMAL HUSBANDRY IN THE IONIAN ISLANDS*
SHEEP & GOATS IN THE REGION
BOVINE ANIMALS FARMED IN THE ISLANDS
ANIMAL FARMING UNITS
OF TOTAL GREEK SHEEP & GOATS
*Source: Greek National Interprofessional Meat Organization
Gyros ma ga z i n e
Hot TREND on the block Better known for its tasty cuisine and contribution to the healthy Mediterranean diet, Greece is also home to delicious street food. Enter gyros, one of the most appetizing and versatile fast casual options out there, currently experiencing a major and welldeserving international growth.
t’s literally a whole new world out there. The explosion of world-cuisine street food is one of the hottest new food trends, and gyros is one of the major street food fads taking over international markets these last few years. And no wonder; tapping into the Mediterranean cuisine’s popularity, gyros is authentic, delicious and versatile. Not to mention that it perfectly balances incoming trends with established Greek culinary traditions. “It is a fact that there is a worldwide tendency for fast, delicious but at the same time cheap food. In the context of the globalization of gastronomy, gyros has long begun to represent a significant part of the market. However, I think there is still plenty of room for growth, which will increase as gyros is now becoming known in more countries,” explains Ms Vasiliki Tsoutsa, Operation & Development Manager at BIKRE (www.bikre.gr), which –based in Kavala, northern Greece– has been actively engaged in the processing and marketing of meat for over 40 years. “Every country has certain elements that define its identity. Culture, other than ancient sights and history, also involves everyday life, habits and practices, as
well as food. Regarding Greek cuisine, gyros is the king of fast, quality food. Gyros, which is inextricably linked with Greek gastronomy, has, during the last decade, become a global fast food –especially when talking about quality fast food,” adds Ms Loukia Sofianou, Marketing Manager at Belle Meat (www. bellemeat.gr), one of the major companies in Greece in the processing and standardizing of meat products. As a result of the ever-growing trend, Greek gyros producing companies have established a clear export orientation. Having invested heavily over the years, they have been able to continuously improve the quality of their products and start exporting them successfully worldwide. “The aim was and still is to make gyros or yeeros, as we prefer to call it, a global product. And the production of a food with increased demand that has a direct impact on consumer health cannot be left to chance. Consistency, responsibility and, above all, know-how is needed,” says Mr Nikos Loustas CEO at Megas Yeeros (www.megasyeeros. com), a top international player in gyros sales with two production facilities, one in Greece and the other in the USA.
Gyros ma ga z i n e
PRODUCTION, EXPORTS AND PROSPECTS The rise of gyros is proof that Greek food companies have done a good job balancing trends with established culinary traditions.
1 Safety is the main concern of Greek gyros businesses.
reek gyros has considerable room for development. Its production –based on traditional methods which depend on select meat cuts– stands out both in terms of taste and process compared to other products bearing similar names and its superior quality has established its unique status all across the world,” maintains Ms Sofianou, while commenting that “Greek companies have helped promote gyros internationally by highlighting the uniqueness of the product.” Upholding high quality standards and the strictest national and international legislation is, according to all Greek players in the gyros industry, the No1 way to make sure that gyros is recognized not only as a traditional ethnic food, but as a trendy gastronomic choice, as well. That is why, Greek companies are implementing constant quality controls, while investing heavily on R&D. “Quality assurance at all stages is ensured through certified methods and by fully
Greek companies are promoting gyros internationally by highlighting its unique nature exploiting modern state-of-the-art technological developments,” says Mr Loustas. But what is that makes Greek-produced gyros not only so popular, but also superior to other similar ethnic foods? “Variations to gyros as we know it exist in many national cuisines such as doner, shawarma, etc. The superiority of Greek gyros, though, mainly lies in its production process (thin layers of –for the most part– pork and chicken slices), the spices used and the way it is served,” states Ms Tsoutsa. “Gyros actually stands out because it is produced from 100 percent pure meat, while it is a very good alternative to snacks and main meals alike. Finally, let’s not forget that the production of gyros, even today with such enormous technological resources at our disposal, is also based on knowledge passed on from generation to generation,” she concludes. “Gyros is a unique product. It is made in Greece from whole pieces of meat (not minced or chopped meat) it is seasoned and, is set on a vertical rotating spit. The spices used (orega-
2 The gyros meat served in Greece is traditionally pork or chicken, while some also serve beef.
3 Gyros is made by hand from 100% pure meat.
no, thyme, etc.) are based on Greek tradition and cuisine and highlight the flavor of roasted meat and not the other way around (as is the case with the doner where the aroma of spices prevails),” concurs Dr Stelios Skaribas, Managing Director at Elvida Foods-Hellenic Gyros (www.elvidafoods.gr), a leading gyros and meat products company,. Each market determines its own certifications and specifications. In the EU market, however, where the guidelines of the highest standards, it is important for gyros producing companies to have acquired those certifications that ensure maximum safety and quality for the consumer. Strict safety standards must be followed, while in order to meet the specific requirements of some markets more specialized certifications such as Halal must be met. All these years, Greek producers have developed a significant knowhow and technology, while maintaining excellent relationships with leading meat suppliers around the world. All this allows them to maintain a consistently high quality, which essentially is their “passport” into new markets. “The demand for gyros has crossed European borders. There is a strong interest, especially for pre-grilled products and from countries in Asia, the US, Australia and Canada,” explains Mr Konstantinos Panitsas, Commercial Direc-
tor at Mitsopoulos Farm (www.mitsopoulos. farm). “Gyros is one of our national foods and one of Greece’s most popular dishes abroad. In fact, it cannot be branded as a street food trend anymore; instead we see that it has been integrated into the menus of ethnic restaurants. In recent years, Greek meat companies have realized this trend and are actively promoting gyros in international markets through exports and the participation in international trade shows with the goal of expanding their customer base.”
BELLE MEAT Every country has certain elements that define its identity. Gyros, which is inextricably linked with Greek gastronomy, has become a global fast food.
MEGAS YEEROS The aim is to make gyros a global product. And its production cannot be left to chance. Consistency, responsibility, quality assurance and know-how is needed.
Gyros ma ga z i n e
THE EVOLUTION OF GYROS The demand for authentic ethnic cuisine has never been higher. And gyros is finally claiming its seat at the table as a quality fast food.
gyros demand and sales have been growing and restaurants serving exclusively the Greek fast food have been invariably popping up across the globe. As per Mr Panitsas, “It is necessary to push all efforts for the export of Greek flavors, as well as include gyros in the Greek national products list. The steadily growing demand from international markets and the trend towards ready meals, which includes pre-grilled gyros, confirm that there is great scope for gyros as a global food trend.” Furthermore, tourism has had a lot to do with the global proliferation of gyros. With approximately 30 million people visiting Greece each year and enjoying local food, souvlaki, feta cheese, Greek salad, and gyros have been experiencing international fame. “The first countries where gyros is experiencing significant growth are those where either there is a large Greek community or people visit Greece for their summer vacations, such as countries in Central Europe (Germany, Belgium, etc.) as well as the Balkans and Scandinavia. On the other hand, since gyros is now a major food trend, there are many other countries, such as the UK, where it is rapidly developing,” insists Ms Tsoutsa. Dr Stelios Skaribas, asserts that “There is clearly room for further development worldwide. Gyros is a unique product with superior taste and quality compared to any similar product, such as shawarma or doner. However, proper legal regulation is needed so that the product can be defended against any future exposure to unfair competition.” “The lack of proper legislation,” argues Dr Skaribas “has allowed foreign competition to exploit the good name of Greek products without meeting either their quality characteristics or their flavor.”
Operation & development Manager
Visitors to our country will be looking for something to remind them of their holiday in Greece. And gyros is, gastronomically, an important element that draws memories of Greece.
Gyros ma ga z i n e
PROTECTED GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION PRODUCT
yros is on its way to become a According to Mr George Economou, Chief Protected Geographical Indica- Executive at SEVEK, in recent years, very large tion (PGI) product. The PGI qual- quantities of gyros produced in other counity scheme designates a product tries have sprang up, with the use of forbidoriginating in a specific place, region or coun- den additives and with surprisingly low sale try whose given quality, reputation or other prices. “We hope that the registration of characteristic is essentially attributable to its Greek gyros as a PGI product, with the disgeographical origin and at least one of the tinct ingredients and the limited fat content production steps of which takes place in the prescribed by strict Greek legislation, will defined geographical area. A PGI designation help us protect it from unfair international creates an exclusive right over the registered competition, and strengthen Greek export growth.” product name. According“The truth is this has been ly, the registered product a long process,” concludes name can be used by only Dr Skaribas in his role as those producers who conDeputy Secretary Generform to the registered proal at the Association of duction method and prodGreek Meat Processing Inuct specifications. STELIOS SKARIBAS dustries. “It took a long The Association of Greek Managing Director time and a lot of effort to Meat Processing IndusELVIDA FOODS / register these Greek Prodtries (SEVEK) points out ucts, which are produced the need to certify gyros HELLENIC GYROS in Greece, consumed as a as a PGI product in order Gyros is a unique product with favorite food by Greeks, to create added value at superior taste and quality. national, European and in- Proper legal regulation is needed and have had a dynamic export performance for the ternational level as a tradito defend it against any future exposure to unfair competition. last 10 years.” tional product of Greece.
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Olive Greek Cuisine Oil ma ga z i n e
files Know thy olive oil, the say and it’s true that Greek extra virgin olive oil is second to none. You don’t have to take us at face value, either; just look at the stats, facts and data –more likely than not, you’ll be surprised!
346,500 TONS OF OLIVE OIL PRODUCED IN 2017-18
OF GREEK OLIVE OIL PRODUCTION COMES FROM THE KORONEIKIVARIETY
MILLION ACRES OF OLIVE GROVES FOR OLIVE OIL PRODUCTION
OF THE WORLD’S OLIVE OIL PRODUCTION
MILLION OLIVE TREES IN GREECE
INCREASE OF BRANDED OLIVE OIL EXPORTS IN 2018
LARGEST PRODUCER OF OLIVE OIL IN THE WORLD
126,440 TONS OF EVOO WERE EXPORTED IN 2018
COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD IMPORT GREEK OLIVE OIL
OLIVE OIL MILLS IN GREECE
OF GREEK OLIVE OIL PRODUCTION IS EVOO
OF EXPORTED OLIVE OIL IS HEADED TO ITALY
MILLION IN EXPORTS FOR THE YEAR 2018
Olive Oil ma ga z i n e
GREEK OLIVE OIL PRODUCTION TO RISE IN 2019-20
he first global provisional figures for the 2019/20 olive oil harvest season have recently surfaced, indicating that Spanish production will be slightly reduced, but improved figures are expected in other producing countries that faced serious problems the previous year. Namely, for the upcoming season, Spain’s olive oil sector is expected to yield 1.35 million tons of olive oil. Italy will likely make a jump to 270,000 tons and Greece to 300,000 tons, a big improvement from the 175,000 and 185,000 tons they respectively made the past season. The European Commission foresees that the climatic conditions support the recovery of production in Italy and Greece and sustain the growing trend of Portugal in the 2019/20 campaign. In a report on agricultural perspectives, the Community Executive notes that in the months of April
and May the rains favored the flowering of the olive groves in Italy and Greece. Furthermore, the Commission forecasts that the European production of olive oil for the 2019-20 season could be around 2.1 million tons (-8% year-on-year, but 4% more than the average of the last five years). The total global yield of olive oil for the 2019-2020 season is estimated to reach 3.67 million tons, compared to 3.13 million tons previously. In addition, as reported by a survey carried out by Global Greece, olive oil (and especially extra virgin olive oil) tops the list of the 30 most significant Greek agri-food products for the country’s exports, at least for the year 2018. Namely, extra virgin olive oil exports amounted to €585,214,331 in 2018 when compared to €480,217,589 in 2017.
Special thanks to the Association of Hellenic Industries for the Standardization of Olive Oil (SEVITEL), the International Olive Council, the Greek Exporters Association (SEVE) & the Hellenic Ministry of Reconstruction of Production, Environment and Energy, and Rural Development
GREEK OLIVE OIL PRODUCTION PER REGION*
Ionian 6.1% Peloponnese 44.5%
Central Greece 8.7%
*Source: Hellenic Ministry of Reconstruction of Production, Environment and Energy, and Rural Development
100% Greek Products
Olive Oil ma ga z i n e
GREEK OLIVE OIL: TOP 10 EXPORT DESTINATIONS (IN VOLUME)* ITALY
*Source: Eurostat & the Greek Exporters Association (SEVE)
WHY CHOOSE GREEK OLIVE OIL • Greece is the world's largest exporter of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. All those involved in the production and marketing of olive oil know the superior quality and the excellent organoleptic properties of Greek olive oil, which exported in bulk, quietly sneaks into bottles and cans to silently grant its unparalleled taste and aroma to olive oil packaged and sold elsewhere. Therefore, a regular olive oil consumer has tasted Greek Olive Oil at least once. • 31 Greek olive oils are labelled as Protected Designation of Origin and Protected Geographical Indication products, representing excellence in European food production. Namely, there are 19 PDO and 12 PGI olive oils. • Greece offers the ultimate biotope for cultivating the olive tree. During the passing millennia, Greek cultivars have developed distinct characteristics that make their olive oil stand out. Especially Koroneiki, one of the oldest varieties in Greece, produces an exceptional extra virgin olive oil with a fruity, fresh flavor and a low acidity level.
• Extensive research indicates that Greek olive oil contains more polyphenols (antioxidants which can reduce the risk of developing a number of health problems including coronary artery disease) than extra virgin oils of other origins. And no wonder, since tradition, modern technology, and scientific research are harmoniously combined in the cultivation of the Greek olive trees, and the production of olive oil, while the most appropriate harvesting techniques are used to ensure the best possible outcome, as well as a product with excellent organoleptic characteristics..
• Even conventional olive groves are somewhat organic in Greece, since farmers employ traditional cultivation practices with limited –or in some cases not at all– use of pesticides. In fact, in recent years, the most dangerous pesticides have been banned and aerial spraying of crops has stopped altogether. Almost always, at least as far as Greek EVOOs are concerned, there are no pesticide residues, even in the non-organic ones, since Greeks never spray excessively their olive groves.
Legumes ma ga z i n e
Pulses have been savored in Greece since time immemorial. Tasty, healthy and hearty, they have been kitchen staples, an easy, cheap and yet nutritious way to feed body and soul.
GREEK LEGUMES FACTS & FIGURES
TONS PRODUCTION IN 2017
ACRES ARABLE LAND FOR PULSE CROPS
EUROS IN ANNUAL TURNOVER
OF PULSE LAND ACCOUNTS FOR BEANS
Legumes ma ga z i n e
A GREEK PULSE PRODUCTION (2017)*
TONS OF BEANS
TONS OF CHICKPEAS
TONS OF LENTILS
TONS OF SPLIT PEAS
* Source: Hellenic Statistical Authority, Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), & Mr Kassandros Gatsios, agronomist (SymAgro.com)
ccording to the Hellenic Ministry of Rural Development, Greece has the ideal climate for the cultivation of legumes and can considerably increase production in order to cater to even higher export demands. The fact that the rest of Europe has neither the climate nor the appropriate conditions to grow legumes puts Greece in an advantageous position compared to the competition, especially when considering that products, such as beans from the north of the country, hold PGI and PDO status, a fact that ensures their high and reliable quality. According to Mr Tryfon Fotiadis, CEO of Arosis (www.arosis.gr), one of the major pulse processing companies in Greece, “Compared to legumes from other countries, Greek pulses are in fact more flavorful. This is mainly due to the country’s microclimate, the particular soil conditions, as well as the producers’ know how and experience.” The Region of Larissa is dominated by lentils (approximately 28% of the arable land), while bean cultivation, which is the main crop of legumes in the country, is mainly grown in the prefectures of Florina, Kastoria and Kavala. Chickpeas are produced mainly in the prefectures of Euboea, Boeotia, Pthiotis and the Cyclades, broad beans in the prefectures of Heraklion and Arcadia and split peas in the region of Corinth. “Greek legumes are especially nutritious, while they stand out for their quality due to their place of production, as well as the way they are pro-
Compared to legumes from other countries, Greek pulses are in fact more flavorful duced,” agrees Mr Constantin Nalpantidis, President of the Agricultural Cooperative of Bean Producers Prespa National Park “Pelican” (www.prespabeans.gr) operating from Florina, northern Greece. “Prespa beans, in particular, have special quality features compared to similar beans produced in other Greek regions. It has been proved that they have more proteins caloric value, energy and carbohydrates, as evidenced by relevant chemical analyses.” Following Greece’s institutional challenges and ongoing economic downturn, consumer consumption is shifting towards inexpensive and healthier meal choices, such as lentils, dried pulses, peas, and chickpeas. Greek farmers are also looking for new opportunities, and major pulse processing companies are investing into contract farming –usually as a joint venture with small, family-owned farms– to secure specific quantities as well as quality standards. However, according to the Greek Exporters Association (SEVE), exports are fluctuating: from 3,037,300 kg in 2016, they increased to 5,957,300 kg the next year, yet fell to 3,292,700 kg in 2018 (a drop of 44.7% from 2017), with beans representing the greatest volume (2,209,911 kg or 67.1% in exports for the year 2018).
1 64% of the land cultivated with legumes is dedicated to beans.
Legumes ma ga z i n e
EXPORTING QUALITY & FLAVOR Statistics show a steady upward trend in the cultivation of lentils, chickpeas and split peas in Greece.
reek pulses are more expensive than most of the pulses produced elsewhere in the world. This is mostly due to their high quality as well as the fact that Greek production is somewhat limited. They do, however, have significant export potential. “If sold to premium markets, with a distinct packaging and by promoting their comparative advantages, they could indeed become export ‘gold’. Greek pulses are mostly known to Greeks living abroad and comparatively unknown to local/international customers,” explains Mr Fotiadis. “Brands should, nevertheless, highlight the Greek legumes’ differentiating features (flavor, climate, location, indigenous varieties, small production) and seriously invest in marketing and advertising.” “Exports are a one-way street as a result of the decline in the purchasing power of Greek consumers,” sums up Mr Nalpantidis. “We usually stumble, however, on the price. Chinese beans are especially cheap and a great
competitor. But our products are of a far better quality, healthier and way tastier.”
Ideal country for pulse production The prime growing area for beans is in the north parts of Greece, specifically at relatively high altitudes (around 800m), cool temperatures and in the presence of a lake. Some of them have even won a PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) distinction from the EU, in recognition of the special organoleptic and nutritional characteristics these places confer to the crops.
The power of the pulse Pulses have a remarkable nutritional profile and are a rich source of healthy fibers and protein. They are a good source of plant protein –half a cup of cooked beans provides between 6 and 9 grams– and they’re packed with other nutrients, such as folate, calcium, potassium, zinc, B vitamins, and antioxidants.
TOP 5 EXPORT DESTINATIONS FOR GREEK PULSES (2018)* Cyprus
* Source: Eurostat & the Greek Exporters Association (SEVE)
Legumes ma ga z i n e
PGI BEANS SOUGHT-AFTER PULSES Greek beans have inseparable ties with their area of origin and high qualitative levels. Here are the best of them. Fasolia Gigantes Elefantes Prespon Florinas
Fassolia Gigantes Elefantes Kato Nevrokopiou
Grown in the Prespon area in Florina prefecture, these large beans have been cultivated ithere since the 16th century. They have a thin, smooth, white skin and a distinctive kidney shape. The unique microclimate and composition of the soil the main reasons why these beans are so rich in minerals and trace elements and so low in cholesterol and fat.
These giant beans are cultivated using traditional techniques in the Kato Nevrokopi basin in Drama prefecture. They are white, kidney-shaped, and quite large –1,000 seeds of this bean weigh around 1,200g. They are harvested manually, sun dried, and sorted before being graded and packed mechanically. They are usually baked in a tomato sauce.
Fasolia (plake megalosperma) Prespon Florinas
Fassolia kina messosperma Kato Nevrokopiou
This is a variety of the common bean cultivated in the rural areas of the Prespon area of Florina prefecture. They owe their exquisite organoleptic properties to the unique microclimate and warm and fertile soil of the area. When cooked, they are very tender and rich in flavor. Due to their creamy texture, they are often used to prepare a traditional Greek bean soup called “Fasolada”
This is a variety of the common bean traditionally cultivated in the Kato Nevrokopi basin in Drama prefecture. They are medium-sized beans and cylindrical in shape. They are cultivated in open fields in limestone-free soils. Fassolia kina Messosperma Kato Nevrokopiou are mostly consumed in Greece, but are popular in the European Union as well
Fasolia Gigantes-Elefantes Kastorias
Fasolia Vanilies Feneou
The prefecture of Kastoria where these beans are cultivated is an area with a unique climate and fertile soils sheltered by Vitsi and the Grammos mountain range. These beans are white, kidney-shaped, and have a very thin skin. The importance of bean cultivation in Kastoria is witnessed by the many bean festivals held in the region.
This common bean variety is produced in the municipality of Feneos in the Peloponnese. They have been grown in the area using traditional methods since the end of the 19th century, when the waters of Lake Feneos drained away. They are small, white, shiny with a thin skin. The name “Vanilia” emphasizes their flat white color and sweet flavor, reminiscent of vanilla.
Special thanks to the Greek Exporters Association (SEVE), the Hellenic Ministry of Reconstruction of Production, Environment and Energy, and Rural Development, the Hellenic Statistical Authority & Mr Kassandros Gatsios, agronomist (SymAgro.com)
Vassilitsa - G. & A. Nousias G.P.
Feta has been a part of Greece for nearly as long as humanity itself. Cheesemakers Vassilitsa - G. & A. Nousias G.P. are true artists when it comes to making the famous cheese.
heesemaking is a tricky business – equal parts science, art, and even politics. And this fact aptly applies to Feta cheese and its production, especially in the region of Thessaly where Feta reigns supreme. Vassilitsa - G. & A. Nousias G.P. has been making, for approximately 50 years now, Feta cheese using traditional methods and passionand combining them with state-of-the-art quality controls and packaging –in fact, Vassilitsa was the first Greek brandto export its excellent Feta to West Germany in 1967. Fast forward 53 years, and Feta is still produced in the company’s factory in Nea Lefki, on the out-
skirts of the city of Larissa, using the same millennia-old process that ensures the product’s toptier quality and unparalleled flavor. And although the brand produces numerous other dairy and cheeses, Feta remains at the core of their business.
Feta PDO Made from sheep and goat milk (70%-80% sheep and 20%-30% goat) from mainland Greece in order to meet PDO specifications, Feta Vassilitsa PDO stands out because of the excellent quality of Greek milk used, paired with asignificant know-how, that upholds tradition while adapting it to the latest technological requirements.
FETA VASSILITSA PDO IN NUMBERS
SHEEP & GOAT MILK
PRODUCTION A YEAR
PRODUCTION IS EXPORTED
ΟRGANIC FETA PDO
Actually, according to Mr Konstantinos Nousias, third generation cheesemaker, “Real Feta is the only authentic Feta cheese; its roots date back to ancient Greece and only Greeks know its authentic recipe.”
Organic Feta PDO In the case of organic Feta cheese, Vassilitsa G. & A. Nousias G.P. uses organic milk exclusively from farms in Thessaly that respect natural balance and the well-being of animals. The sheep and goats that produce this milk are fed organic foods with no synthetic chemicals. In addition, farmers maintain their grazing areas without any pesticides or chemical fertilizers, and refrain from using hormones or genetically modified organisms, as specified by the Greek legislation that prohibits the use of GMOs.
Marketing Feta across the world
Find out more about Feta Vassilitsa PDO on www.fetavassilitsa.com
· Feta cheese in Greece is usually sold in bulk from metallic containers. Feta Vassilitsa PDO offers metallic containers in the following volumes: 15 kg, 8 kg and 4.5 kg. · The plastic sealed vacuum package is the first try of the dairy industry to pack Feta cheese in small quantities. Feta Vassilitsa PDO sealed packages come in 2kg and 200g sizes. · Feta cheese Vassilitsa is available in a plastic package that preserves the famous cheese in its brine, keeping it fresh for longer. Feta Vassilitsa PDO is available in the following plastic packaging with brine: 200g, 400g, 500g, 1kg, and 2kg.
Greek Cuisine sheep ma ga z i n e
Sheep farming is one of the major activities in Greece, contributing 18% to the total value of agricultural income.
BLEAT THE WAY!
heep and goat farming is traditionally one of the most dynamic sectors in Greece, contributing approximately 18% to the country’s total agricultural income. This specific area of production was based on the abundant natural resources and was adapted to the particular climatic and soil conditions of the country. Actually, sheep and goat meat and milk contribute both significantly to the income of the inhabitants of the country’s mountainous and disadvantaged regions. It is worth mentioning that the main strength of this particular sector is the top-tier quality of the meat produced, thanks to a number of parameters that characterize the Greek animal farming reality, such as the extensive farming system, indigenous breeds and the diversified feedingstuff given to the animals.
Livestock farming the traditional way Sheep and goat farming is largely practiced (85% of the animals and about 80% of the farms) in the mountainous and disadvantaged regions of the country, which make up about 85 percent of the country’s total surface, thus utilizing areas which are not by nature ideal for intensive exploitation, such as mountainous, semi-mountainous, steep and slopping, with poor vegetation, etc. Instead, the millenniaold extensive farming practice –a system which is characterized by low inputs and relies on the movement of animals for food (grazing)– is used. As a result, sheep meat in Greece is free from hormones and antibiotics, indeed healthier than other meat options out there. Mr Eleytherios Gitsas, President of the Greek Interprofessional Meat Organization, explains that “Sheep and goat farming in Greece is linked to sustainability. Without sheep and goats in our mountains, in our countryside, all these unique plants that we pride ourselves on having, and do have, are perpetuated and renewed by grazing of sheep and goats. In addition, thanks to the extensive farming used, Greek sheep feed on this one-of-a-kind flo-
ra which makes their meat tastier, delicious. The Greek, extensively farmed sheep is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, something that other sheep around the world can’t claim.” Panagiotis Moulkiotis, owner of Moulkiotis P. Group LLC (www.kreopoleio-mandra.gr) concurs that “Intensive livestock farming may be more profitable, but the flavor of the meat is completely different. If we want to keep selling and exporting Greek sheep –indigenous breeds and the unique flavor consumers have associated with them– we must continue to use the extensive farming system. In fact, the Greek mountainous and semi-mountainous landscape is the ideal place for it.” In recent years, a trend has been observed for the development of systematic, confined sheep and goat farming in some lowland areas of the country. Founded mainly by young farmers and old progressive breeders, units of this type have animals of good yield, from indigenous (Chios, Fryzarta, Skopelos) or foreign breeds (Lacaune). “Intensive livestock farming can coexist with extensive farming –the two are not mutually exclusive. Greek sheep farmers can use a combination of the two, to get the best of both worlds,” says Mr Gitsas.
Meat or milk? Sheep and goats in the EU are farmed mostly for their meat, while in Greece essentially for their milk –in fact, 95 percent of animals in Greece are milked, while only a small percentage is used for their meat. According to the latest data from the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery Statistics 2019 review published a couple of days ago by Eurostat, Greece is one of the top producers of non-cow milk in the European Union, with Greece producing 0.8 million tons a year. On the other hand, Greek sheep and goat meat production for the year 2018 amounted to 9% of the total EU output (the country is in 4th place). Mr Gitsas discloses that unfortunately sheep farming in Greece is almost entirely focused
Greek sheep ma ga z i n e
on milk-production. “Meat producers should be encouraged. The Interprofessional Organization is working together with 3 cooperatives in Northern Greece and the scientific department of the American Farm School in Thessaloniki, to help with the fattening of the sheep so that it is done in a coordinated fashion.” Sheep and goat meat production in the country for the year 2015, covers 88.5 percent of local consumption, when 108,769 tons of sheep and goat meat were produced. In addition, 33,000 of Greek animal farmers (39% of the total) are small owners with less than 50 animals each, while almost 24 percent give 65 percent of the total Greek milk and meat production. Greece is the only country in the Balkans that has managed to maintain its sheep numbers almost intact (approximately 9 million).
Greek sheep and the world “International markets are very interested in Greek sheep meat,” maintains Mr Moulkiotis. “Everyone knows that sheep meat from Greece is exceptional and second to none. Demand is strong for either fresh and packed or processed in some kind of charcuterie.” Mediterranean countries, such as Italy, Spain and France are on the forefront of exports, since they are well aware of the benefits of sheep meat consumption and have already experienced the superior characteristics –organoleptic and nutritional– of Greek lamb and mutton. The same applies in Muslim countries, where sheep meat is not restricted on religious grounds. Transparency, traceability and convenience are paramount and more and more consumers all across the world are looking for di-
GREECE HAS NOT BEEN PLAGUED BY ANY FOOD SCANDALS. GREEK SHEEP MEAT PRODUCTION IS TOTALLY SAFE verse offerings that could be cooked in different ways and replace, in some cases, other meat options. “Exporting packaged fresh meat and meat cuts, helps consumers trace the source of the meat on their table and gives Greek producers a significant competitive advantage,” adds Mr Gitsas. “Greek sheep production is totally safe. Our country has not been plagued by any food scandals and sheep and goat farming is the healthiest choice one could make,”
GREEK SHEEP FARMING IN A NUTSHELL*
INCREASE IN SHEEP MEAT DEMAND
100,000 +28.85% TONS/YEAR PRODUCTION SHEEP & GOAT MEAT
FIVE-YEAR AVERAGE IN SHEEP EXPORTS
84,000 FAMILIES EMPLOYED IN THE SECTOR
85,433 SHEEP & GOAT HOLDINGS
Sheep meat in the age of climate change
1 In manufacturing, the highest safety standards are met.
2 Greek sheep meat businesses are experiencing an unprecedented boom.
3 Gourmet mutton meat preparations are also becoming increasingly popular.
According to data, livestock farming is the second largest contributor to human-made greenhouse gas emissions after fossil fuels and is a leading cause of deforestation, water and air pollution and biodiversity loss. In fact, widely cited 2013 report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), estimates about 14.5 percent of global GHG emissions, or 7.1 gigatons of CO2 equivalent, can be attributed to the livestock sector annually. Mr Gitsas insists that these numbers are exaggerated. He acknowledges, however, that “We are well aware that in the future, because we will take some necessary –and significant for livestock farming– action, meat products will get more expensive, while the consumer will know that these products are indeed safer.” With regard to Greece, the country is already relying on non-invasive traditional methods of breeding. So it would be very easy to achieve whatever "green" goals are set. “Extensive farming has a low carbon footprint, while intensive is damaging to the environment,” clarifies Mr Moulkiotis, while Mr Gitsas suggests that Greek animal farming is thus fashioned that “All this talk about the environment and livestock breeding is a problem that we, in Greece, can turn it into an opportunity.”
SHEEP WITH DENOMINATION OF ORIGIN
Authentic meat products are gaining attention through their unique quality characteristics linked to their origin. Case in point, in the area of Elassona, in the prefecture of Larissa, as well as in the district of Damasios in the Municipality of Tirnavos, approximately 45,000 sheep and goats, which produce roughly 100 tons of meat, are reared. In addition, almost 7,000 tons of sheep milk are also produced each year. These sheep have been identified as a Protected Designation of Origin under the name “Arnaki Elassonas».
Greek sheep ma ga z i n e
GREEK SHEEP & GOAT PRODUCTION PER REGION* ATTICA
218,109 SOUTH AEGEAN
738,518 WESTERN MACEDONIA
623,507 CENTRAL MACEDONIA
1,371,457 EAST. MACEDONIA & THRACE
908,656 NORTH AEGEAN
789,695 *Source: Greek Interprofessional Meat Organization
GOURMET PRODUCTS FUELING EXPORTS Gourmet and other specially formulated preparations, as well as specific meat cuts are creating new export opportunities as far as mutton and lamb meat is concerned.
onsumers are now much more interested in gourmet and specialty foods And although the gourmet food segment is still a niche market, it is nevertheless rapidly expanding, even in countries such as China or India. In fact, the growth of specialty food sales outpaced all US retail food by a margin of three to one. Sheep meat, on the other hand, is highly prized in international markets and sheep meat and sheep meat preparations hailing from Greece are finally recognized as products of top-tier quality. In fact, according to a survey carried out by Global Greece, which put under the microscope 30 of the most important exportable Greek F&B products based on the growth of their exports over the last five years, sheep meat is among the products showing the biggest rise in exports, with a +28.85% five-year average. Accord-
ingly, gourmet mutton offerings are slowly but surely gaining ground as products of excellent organoleptic characteristics and high nutritional value. As Mr Moulkiotis states, “There is a strong interest in original, innovative products abroad, such as ewe prosciutto, while many restaurants and foodservice businesses are looking for special cuts. In fact, we do export cuts such as carré of lamb or rolled lamb saddle, and I have noticed that ‘gourmet’ offerings are more popular than ever.” “I believe that by taking the appropriate steps –by giving a product PDO or PGI status or by advertising– Greek original, innovative products will grow even more. I think that Greek lamb and mutton meat is delicious and that with the proper curing and processing we can create great gourmet offerings that the world will love,” he concludes.
Success Story m agaz i ne
c k he e fs
Interviews: Vana Antonopoulou & Eleni Donou
A T IN G T H E S
Translating their mastery of haute cuisine and their passion for exceptional ingredients into impeccable dishes, Greek chefs Philip Chronopoulos and Asimakis Chaniotis have become the youngest Michelin star chefs in Paris and London, respectively, and the first Greeks outside of Greece to receive this prestigious accolade.
A GREEK IN PARIS
FROM LONDON WITH PASSION
Success Story ma ga z i n e
ust a few weeks after its opening, the Restaurant du Palais Royal has proved a definite success, thanks to the cuisine by Philip Chronopolous, a native Greek who has trained with Alain Passard and who was head chef at the Atelier Etoile de Robuchon for several years. At the Restaurant du Palais Royal he signs a menu that pays tribute to French cuisine without forgetting his original influences, while placing the produce first. What has changed in your professional life after receiving the Michelin star? Personally, I haven’t changed. Everything continues with the same intensity, effort, love, and passion. What has changed is the way people treat me. I feel that now they have more respect towards my work. Do you feel extra pressure after the star? There is indeed pressure, but not on how to keep the Michelin star. The pressure is on what to do next, where to go next; how to further develop the flavors, the dishes. You see, a Michelin star is only the beginning. So, you either stand still or you move forward. Has your heritage affected the way you cook? I cook with my heart and my emotions. This is something I was never taught, but, instead, learned from my Greek mother and grand-father. Greek cuisine is always at the back of my mind. However, when I want to create something, I don’t think of a specific Greek recipe. I simply use ingredients the Greek way. The way we cook them in Greece.
I try to serve “emotional” dishes and distinct flavors. I cook to express myself & not to impress Mediterranean and Greek cuisine is a major trend. International consumers love Mediterranean flavors. They are impressed by the unexpected mix of ingredients. I never cook 100% Greek, but I do use some Greek touches in my dishes. People outside of Greece are now discovering Greek cuisine and are constantly amazed by its flavors. Do you think there is a New Greek Cuisine? Greeks have finally realized that they have exceptional ingredients in their hands. And this makes them more demanding. The bar is currently set very high and customers recognize and appreciate this kind of top-tier quality. To me, New Greek Cuisine does not mean that we must discover something new. Young Greek chefs are more open, they travel more, and they adapt Greek flavors to recipes and dishes from other countries. Nowadays, we pay more attention to what we make, what we serve and where our ingredients come from. How would you describe the menu at the Palais Royal restaurant? I try to serve “emotional” dishes and distinct flavors, by attempting to find the right way to cook things in order to bring out the flavors and aromas of each ingredient. I cook to express myself and not to impress.
e! We participat
7 - 9 MARCH 2020 AT H E N S â€¢ G R E E C E
Success Story m agaz i ne
bout two years ago, Pied à Terre, one of the best restaurants in London, announced the appointment of Athens born and raised Asimakis Chaniotis as its new Head Chef. Having served as sous chef under both Marcus Eaves and Andy McFadden, Asimakis, aged just 28, brings a fresh vision for the future and yet another Michelin star to the French restaurant in the British capital. How did the love affair with cooking start? And how did you find yourself in London? Everything started because of my love for food. My mother was and still is a great cook, so I was used to well-prepared food from a very young age. From then on, my interest in food turned into a dream for an illustrious career. I worked in many kitchens, from hotels to restaurants to British pubs to exhibition centers and so on. I even did a stint as private chef on a cruiser. Yet, nothing made me more passionate about cooking than French cuisine with its precision and creativity. To me, it is like an art form. London came about in the form of a personal need, to travel, to break new gastronomic ground. This city has been a real challenge. How would you describe your cooking style? The restaurant specializes in French cuisine with Greek influences, which I added personally, because of my heritage. I always seek perfection and to me it is very important to use quality, fresh ingredients. Do you use Greek products and flavors in your kitchen? For every chef, memories are very important and definitely inspire his or her dishes. The same goes for me. One vivid memory, as well as my favorite dish is escargots “stifado” my mother used to make pretty often. The restaurant
I am a perfectionist and I feel it is very important to use fresh and top quality products kitchen is inspired by my Greek heritage and my preferences regarding Greek food. Some of the restaurant’s dishes include trahana, bottarga, Greek cheeses and, of course, the family olive oil with which we supply the restaurant. What are your favorite ingredients, and which is the dish that stands out? I think that the most popular dish –and my favorite– is the smoked quail with celeriac, truffle, roasted hazelnuts, Parmigiano and confit egg yolk. My favorite ingredient is foie gras. You are the youngest and first Greek chef to receive a Michelin star nod outside Greece. How does that make you feel? I felt very proud; all that hard work my team and myself put in was recognized! Every chef dreams and works hard to get a Michelin star. Personally, I am a perfectionist and I feel it is very important to use fresh and top quality products. At the same time, I try to constantly evolve, to use new cooking techniques, to learn more about wine and to create a unique, unforgettable experience for my guests.
The secrets of a good pie, are pure ingredients very ﬁne wheat ﬂour, patience and passion. Pie is bread and food at the same time and that makes it a complete and substancial meal that can be stored many days and carried easilly.
Mediterranean Bakeryʼ s pie
Creamy “Bougatsa” pie
Feta Cheese pie
Spinach - Feta Cheese pie
Spinach Vegan pie
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F&B Greek Cuisine Innovation
ty inali orig
on ti u ol ev
inno vatio n in s pi r in g
ma ga z i n e
s u o i ic del
pr oc es si ng
thought Food is more than just nutrition. It has to be delicious and inspiring. And no one takes that to heart more than Greek food processing companies. Fostering creativity and originality, they aspire to turn every foodstuff into a tasty and exciting experience.
ood is an essential commodity as well as social and cultural heritage. Innovation and originality across agri-food related sectors and food value chains has become a necessity for companies that search for new production and business opportunities. Furthermore, preference for certain types of food is now core to some consumers’ identities, especially in developed economies, which is driving the demand for gourmet, original food options. As a result, companies are targeting consumers by coming up with new and innovative added value product lines. The food industry in Greece remains among the country’s most rapidly evolving sectors. And as such it must cater to the satisfaction of the ever-growing quest for food curiosity and the need for exciting, creative flavors. In addition, the food processing companies operating in the specialty/gourmet food market utilize the latest technology and invest in research to invent new foods that go off the beaten track.
High risk investments As most of the food players will attest, new product development is a highly capital-inten-
sive and time-consuming process. Mr Dionysis Papadeas, owner of Dionysios P. Papadeas & Co – Messino (www.papadeasvinegar.gr), which specializes in the production of wine vinegar and lemon flavorings, confirms that innovation is a long, complex process and inspiration can be found in the most unusual places. “The idea for the production of balsamic pearls emerged during our company’s effort to offer innovative and quality products to consumers. Molecular gastronomy, which has gained significant ground worldwide in recent years even in Greece, has been a major influence. Pearls are widely used in molecular gastronomy and are produced by the chefs themselves through a complex process. So after a long period of research and extensive experimentation, we managed to create this new product.” R&D, especially for original, one-of-a-kind products always carries an element of risk because it involves trying out new, untested ideas –there won't always be a return on that investment and sometimes one could lose their outlay entirely. On the other hand, returns from innovative ideas and projects can be considerable and could even ensure the business’ future survival.
F&B Innovation ma ga z i n e
1 Original flavors and a focus on quality ingredients are key to success.
2 Innovative products require knowhow, testing and experimentation.
As Mr Chris Aesopos, creator of Aesop Works (www.aesopworks.gr), a new, healthy take on the traditional sausage, found out himself, “The risk is indeed high, but I love this project so much that I outgrew the whole concept of risk. Everyone was telling me that I must be crazy to get involved with something like that. I, however, saw it as an investment and was intent to do it for my own personal reasons.” And yet, not every idea is successful, not every innovation sees the light of day. In fact, as Mr Stavros Konstantinidis, CEO of the Greek pasta production company Eurimac (www.eurimac. gr) explains, sometimes things need the right timing to come to fruition. “The second generation in the company implemented innovative ideas. One of these was whole-grain pasta, first launched by the company in 1986 under the brand name “MAKVEL-Healthy”. The name was based on dark chocolates that had just appeared and had the moniker “healthy” in their logo. The idea was brilliant, but the timing was wrong. Consumers did not buy them.”
Innovation and transparency Variety and originality are two major “ingredients” that help create added value and make products stand. “I took the risk to create sausages with unique flavors,” discloses Mr Aesopos. “I travel a lot in my ‘day’ job, so I drew inspiration from all these trips. These sausages are therefore ideas I got from here and there that I adapted to my own personal taste.”
The road to original, gourmet products is a difficult one, that goes off the beaten track According to Mr Aesopos, quality and transparency are critical to the success of a unique product. Especially when talking about foodstuff where safety is paramount. “In some countries, people say ‘You don’t want to know what’s inside’. I want people to know what’s inside. I want to describe the ingredients one by one.” Furthermore, innovations are an important instrument for food companies to satisfy consumer expectations. In this regard, functional foods play an outstanding role, as demonstrated by their increasing demand. No wonder Greek businesses are always trying to create new, tastier and healthier options. “Our Graviera cheese with cannabis is part of a range of specialty dairy products infused with herbs, spices and seeds. This product came about as part of an effort to create cheeses with supefoods,” says Ms Christina Kabaki, third generation owner of Tseligas Delicatessen (www.tseligas.gr), a gourmet cheese and dairy production company. “We have decided that the production innovative, branded, limited edition oils with added value is a one-way street for us,” states Mr Nikos Sakellaropoulos, Production Manager and Co-owner of Sakellaropoulos Organic Farming (www.bioarmonia.gr).
F&B Innovation ma ga z i n e
INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR GREEK ORIGINALITY Quality and consistency are vital when talking about exporting innovative, gourmet products.
he market for Greek original, gourmet products is growing. People whose incomes have increased, are constantly raising the quality of their food; they are now interested in original products and do not hesitate to procure them from all across the world. According to Greek companies, every business that manufactures or markets a product in international markets must endow it with a distinct “identity” and added value, so that their foreign partners and especially consumers will trust both the product and the company that produces it. Of course, it takes tremendous know-how, training, investment and love to deal with innovative gourmet products. Exports to discerning international markets are not easy, there is strong competition and, unfortunately or fortunately –however one may perceive that to be– only
the best survive. “Foreign markets want consistency. Unfortunately, Greece is a bit lacking in that respect and not in innovative, original products,” stresses Mr Aesopos. “International demand for gourmet products is increasing. Quality is winning over both foreign buyers as well as consumers. We are very pleased to be able to compete with leading industry pioneers, mainly from Italy and Spain,” points out Mr Papadeas, while Ms Kabaki explains that Greek original products, such as the salami with cannabis or the Graviera cheese with cannabis her company produces, are big hits with international clientele. “There is significant interest from other countries. However, we do not have the infrastructure to support exports on a grand scale, so we are proceeding with caution.”
ma ga z i n e
THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT
olives They’re famous, delicious and one of the top Greek export products. But, are you sure you know everything there is about table olives produced in Greece?
EXCELLENT ORGANOLEPTIC CHARACTERISTICS
ABOUT GREEN & BLACK OLIVES
Unlike white and red wine cultivars, olives begin their life cycle as green and gradually darken to black or dark purple as they mature. Even varieties known for their green fruit, such as Chalkidiki olives, eventually turn to a darker color, if left to ripen on the tree. However, to produce the excellent trade preparation known as “Chalkidiki,” the fruit should be collected while still green and at full size and not at a later date as theywill not have the optimal organoleptic characteristics associated with the “Chalkidiki” variety, and will never be packed for consumption.
There are several trade preparations in Greek table olives; the most sought-after are: i) green olives in brine, and ii) natural black olives in brine. Τhis particular preparation also includes the famous “Kalamata” olives. Apart from those, Greece produces other trade preparations, but in smaller quantities, such as “dehydrated and/or shriveled black olives”, “natural green olives in brine” or “black olives in brine”. All these preparations are products of excellent organoleptic characteristics, highly prized by consumers in high-income countries. Regarding their nutritional benefits, all natural preparations are of great value. However, “natural black olives in brine” have a slightly higher nutrient content since they contain more olive oil (fat content).
TABLE & DUAL-PURPOSE CULTIVARS
All olive varieties could potentially produce oil. Nevertheless, each cultivar produces different oil content. Certain varietals contain much heavier concentrations of oil than others. Generally, the best table olive varieties have low olive yield and high sugar content. In Greece, there are three major, excellent table olive varieties: “Kalamata”, “Chalkidiki”, and “Konservolia”. It is also important to take into account that table olives are selected as they enter the factory, and all fruit deemed unsuitable for further processing are sent to the olive oil mill. However, it is not in the interest of the producer/company to make olive oil as these varieties have a low oil yield and generate more money as table olives.
STORAGE & EXPIRATION DATE
Table olives like all other natural edible products, undergo constant physicochemical changes, even when packed. Of course, when they are stored in optimal conditions (in wine cellar conditions, with a temperature at around 15°C), table olives can last for a long time and keep their organoleptic characteristics intact. Generally, two years is the average time to keep table olives, but again it depends on the storage conditions as indicated by the manufacturer/ producer.
THE BIGGER THE BETTER?
Table olive varieties usually produce large fruit –the olive's suitability for table consumption is a function of its size. Olives between 3 and 5g are considered mediumsized, while those weighing over 5g are large, like the “Chalkidiki” olives which can come in sizes up to 181-200/kg. Nevertheless, sizes can vary from tree to tree (sometimes, when a tree has too many fruit, their size is smaller). There are 14 commercial sizes in table olives and the fruit are accordingly sorted during the selection process. The organoleptic characteristics of the end product, however, usually do not correspond to the size of the fruit, but depend on the olive variety, as well as the processing.
Special Feature ma ga z i n e
in nature Tradition and technology, passion and innovation. We caught up with Sparta Gourmet's COO Ioannis Bardis to discuss exports, business strategies and the secret to success. How did you decide to establish Sparta Gourmet?
Mr Ioannis Bardis
My wife’s family is based in NYC and every year they would bring back their olive oil and olives from their ancestral groves in Sparta, Greece because they could not find the quality and taste in stores in the States. Giving their olive oil and olives to friends and even fellow Greeks started causing a demand they couldn’t meet with their suitcases! The demand was there and we decided to head back to Greece and organize the process to export the only olive products they would serve in their own home, 100% Greek Extra Virgin olive oil and Kalamata olives, with guaranteed quality and consistency.
What is the Sparta Gourmet philosophy? We adhere to some successful American business values, such as respect for the product, the customer, and the process and we couple that with the Spartan region’s agricultural wealth of the Koroneiki variety EVOO and Kalamata olives. The business practices and the product are proven, we are adding a lot of hard work, research, education and collaboration with key stakeholders to take it to the next level. We believe in the saying, “You reap what you sow”; we will put in the effort, we will emulate best practices, we will learn, we will cooperate, we will respect the land, the farmers that work it and we will promote its glorious fruits.
What makes Sparta Gourmet products stand out? We don’t believe the Sparta Gourmet products themselves stand out any more than the many small producers and brands in these categories but we do have a competitive advantage due to our large-scale operation that handles both olive oil and olives, which is rare, and our storage capacities which enable us to secure product, lock in long term pricing and export large quantities, meeting all the requirements of large international clients that small producers cannot service. I’d like to think we stand out in terms of the commitment to improving quality, engaging our producers with educational and technical know-how to improve their product and the condition of the land, and our belief that by pursuing sustainability, biodynamic agricultural processes, and eco-conscious methods, we are supporting tomorrow’s farmer and production in an industry that will need the resilience and adaptability to thrive for generations to come. We might be a bit unique in that our business is first driven by a calling home, to honor our roots, to create economic development for our community, and to serve as a model for the industry, and then a business.
How important are exports? Exports are the epitome of importance as our packaged products are exclusively exported. Starting this year, we will begin making our products available in the Greek market. Sparta Gourmet products in addition to our private label customer products are currently on shelves in the US, Australia, New Zealand, China, UAE, Israel and various European countries. What differentiates us from the competition is that our products are exported packaged and with a Greek flag on them and are exclusively Greek. We believe this is the only way for Greece to increase the value of its agricultural food products.
What does the future hold? There is a lot of hard work, plenty of education, there are a lot of conversations to be had with stakeholders from top to bottom, new offerings and the diversification of products. We are currently engaging our producers to begin contract farming, introduction of biodynamic sustainable farming methods and a reduction in pesticide and herbicide use resulting in higher quality olives and olive oil and increased resiliency of the region’s trees and protection of our natural resources.
Sparta Gourmet in numbers
TONS STORAGE CAPACITY
More information on www.spartagourmet.com
Citrus Greek Cuisine Fruit ma ga z i n e
Squeeze the day! Citrus fruit are big in Greece. In fact, they are in second place as far as crop area is concerned, while production amounts to approximately 1 million tons of fruit a year.
GREEK CITRUS FRUIT AT A GLANCE*
TONS EXPORTED IN 2018
INCREASE IN EXPORT VOLUME FROM 2017
OF CITRUS EXPORTS GO TO ROMANIA
* Source: Eurostat & the Greek Exporters Association (SEVE)
4.2 ANNUAL AVERAGE EXPORT GROWTH
Citrus Fruit ma ga z i n e
THE FRAGRANT MANDARINI CHIOU PGI They're zesty and oh-so-delicious. Mandarins from the island of Chios are export gold.
1 Mandarins are used for delicous jams and spoon sweets.
2 Citrus fruit production in Chios is located in the area of Kambos.
hios has a reputation for bearing unique produce (particularly its mastic gum and citrus fruits), a source of pride for the people who continue to cultivate the land with respect for the natural environment and the traditional way of growing things. Known in Greece since the 19th century, the Chios mandarin, recognized by the European Commission as a Protected Geographical Indication product since 2012, under the trademark Mandarini Chiou, is a particularly nutritious variety that stands out thanks to its bold aroma and flavor. Grown on the island of Chios, in South Aegean, and mainly in Kambos (there are currently 200 citrus orchards in the area), a traditional settlement just 6km from the town of Chios, the mandarin has acquired its special organoleptic characteristics –a tender, tasty, slightly orange flesh with an intense aroma as well as exceptional quality and high sugar content– as a result of the region’s amazing weather, great exposure to the sun and properties of the soil. This variety of mandarins (Citrus deliciose tenore of the Common Chios variety) is among
the most aromatic in the world. Even when they are unripe, the intensity of their aroma will make anyone love them at first bite. Amazingly, their aroma escapes the citrus groves, taking over the entire island, making Chios known both in Greece and abroad as “Myrovolos”, the fragrant isle. The area of Kambos, experienced a period of decline starting in the 1960s which led to the gradual abandonment of its orchards. Those that still remain active are cultivated using traditional methods. The term Mandarini Chiou was established on the market at the end of the 19th century to identify the island with this original, soughtafter product. In order to preserve the fruit’s high quality, the growers of Chios invented the procedure of paper wrapping the mandarins immediately after harvesting. Chios mandarins are used in a wide variety of products, such as marmalade, juice, fruit drinks, marmalades, and sweets.
KUMQUAT KERKYRAS PGI THE GOLDEN FRUIT CORFU KUMQUAT IN NUMBERS*
7,400 KUMQUAT TREES
190 ACRES OF LAND
IN THE ISLAND OF CORFU
DEDICATED TO KUMQUAT
200 TONS OF ANNUAL *Source: Ionian Islands Region - Directorate of Tourism, Production & Development, Department for Rural Economy
rought to the Greek island of Corfu by British botanist Sidney Merlin in 1860, the kumquat comes originally from China where it has been cultivated since the 12th century. The kumquat flourished in Corfu and Corfiot people took advantage of it. Since 1924 kumquat has been widely cultivated on the island providing the local market with a variety of products ranging from spoon sweets to perfumes and cosmetics. Nowadays, kumquats are mostly grown in the northwest part of the island, near the village of Nymphes, as well as in central-west Corfu, where the fertile soil, the mild climate and the abundance of water are the main factors that favor their growth. The kumquat is part of the citrus family and the fruit looks like a small orange. It is a trademark of the Ionian island and has been a PGI product since 1996. The tree is about 2-3 meters
high and the fruit is about 2 centimeters in diameter and round. Its thick and fleshy peel is yellow-orange in color and the inside is sweet. Around December the fruit ripens, changing color from green to orange. The harvesting season lasts from January to May. Like all citrus fruit, kumquat is rich in vitamin A, C and other 13 vitamins, while it nourishes and moisturizes the skin. It also contains folic acid, vitamin B2 and thiamin, and it is rich in flavonoids, which act against hypertonia, and contains antioxidants. Last but not least, it is rich in limonene, an essential oil with anticancer properties. Usually, the kumquat is not consumed raw, but is used in the production of spoon sweets, jams, syrups, and liqueurs. In fact, the most famous product of Corfu is kumquat liqueur. This liqueur can be made by macerating kumquats in vodka, gin, brandy or other clear spirits.
Citrus fruit ma ga z i n e
PORTOKALIA MALEME CHANION KRITIS PDO Truly unique in terms of flavor and appearance, these oranges are among the most exquisite in the world.
A MALEME ORANGES IN NUMBERS*
CERTIFIED MALEME ORANGE PRODUCERS
ACRES OF LAND DEDICATED TO MALEME ORANGES
TONS OF ANNUAL PRODUCTION
TONS EXPORTED TO EUROPE PER YEAR *Source: Agricultural Cooperative of Chania
lthough Crete, and especially the region of Chania, is mostly famous for its olive oil, Cretan oranges are another well-known product of the land. The special microclimate in the area of Chania, as well as the abundant water available from the Cretan White Mountains, contribute to the growth of juicy oranges, filled with Vitamin C and other nutrients. In addition, traditional farming practices applied by producers in combination with high quality sorting and packaging, make these oranges unique. Maleme oranges have been a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product since 1996, the only citrus fruit in Greece bearing this designation of superior quality. These oranges of the Washington Navel variety are harvested by hand from the middle of December until the middle of May â€“Chania is perhaps the only region in the world that produces Navel oranges from November until the end of May, thanks to two separate locations: the cultivations close to the sea and the hilly areas of the hinterland. They are quite large, slightly elongated, and quite firm, which makes them easy to transport. It is often said that Cretan oranges are the best in the world. And
no wonder; the proximity of the orchards to the sea, the combination of appropriate atmospheric humidity and the sandy soil with relatively high temperatures, give these particular oranges special organoleptic characteristics. Maleme oranges are truly unique in terms of taste and appearance, and are the most exquisite citrus fruit hailing from the island of Crete. Portokalia Maleme Chanion Kritis PDO are well-known in the Greek and the European markets. The Citrus and Avocado Producers Association of the Agricultural Cooperative of Chania is responsible for the production of these exceptional oranges and have been exporting them through their partners in the Netherlands, Germany and North Europe for 25 years now. The cooperative also implements organic farming methods for the production of organic oranges, while also participating in programs for the biological control of the diseases and insect enemies of oranges. Rich in Vitamins C, B and A, Maleme oranges are usually consumed raw. There are, however, many recipes for tasty jams and pies that can be made from this fantastic fruit.
Special thanks to the Agricultural Cooperative of Chania, Citrus SA, the Ionian Islands Region & the Greek Exporters Association (SEVE)
Greek Hippophae Cuisine ma ga z i n e
FOR THE SKY Hippophae production in Greece is developing at a fast pace, while exports are also in the works. No wonder sea buckthorn area has increased sixfold within only one year.
ea Buckthorn is grown primarily in the mountainous and coastal areas of eastern Europe and China and records date it back to ancient Greece. The tractates of Tibet monks are among the most ancient written sources where sea buckthorn is mentioned, while it is also mentioned in the writings of ancient Greek scholars, such as Theophrastus and Dioscorides. According to legend, sea buckthorn was a key part of the diet for racehorses; this and its ability to do wonders for the horses’ outer appearance led to its name “hippophae”, which means “shiny horse.” Alexander the Great brought the trees to Europe, while Genghis Khan, who created one of the largest empires in the 13th century, relied on 3 headstones: a well-organized army, strong discipline and the sea buckthorn.
Superfood status During the past few decades scientists have carried out extensive research on the medicinal ingredients of the sea buckthorn. The plant contains different kinds of nutrients and bioactive substances such as vitamins, carotenoids, flavonoids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, free amino acids and elemental components, etc. These components vary substantially among populations, origins or subspecies, however the extensive clinical trials carried out confirm its medicinal and nutritional value, suggesting a great potential of the plant for maintaining and promoting human health. Namely, sea buckthorn is full of antioxidants, which help protect against aging and illnesses like heart disease, while it may also be one of the only plant foods known to provide all four omega fatty acids.
GREEK SEA BUCKTHORN FACTS & FIGURES
TONS PRODUCTION IN 2019
HECTARES OF SEA BUCKTHORN
€150,000 PRODUCTION VALUE
Hippophae ma ga z i n e
Greece, the land of plenty Although sea buckthorn is a relatively new crop in Greece, there is an upward trend in its cultivation because of the very good prospects. Mr Yury Zubarev, head researcher at the Lisavenko Research Institute of Horticulture in Siberia, insists that sea buckthorn cultivation in Greece can generate almost double the profits compared to the other European countries and three times more than Russia's ultra competitive market. “The Greek land is unique. The conditions for the production of edible sea buckthorn are ideal, found nowhere else in the world!” According to Institute data, each hectare of sea buckthorn in Greece can make producers between €30,000 and €45,000, while in Europe for the same area profits amount to around €12,000-€24,000. Furthermore, when Greek producers plant Siberian sea buckthorn varieties the yield amounts to 1.5 ton/acre, on average.
The cultivation of siberian varieties has created a superior fruit with high added value Revolutionizing the plant Greek sea buckthorn producers are ready to expand their presence into international markets. In fact, a group of 95 growers in Greece has created a cooperative under the name Hippophae Hellas and is currently the sole and official supplier of the Siberian sea buckthorn varieties in Greece, the Balkans and Italy. According to Mr Lefteris Doukas, CEO of Hippophae Hellas
1 “The cultivation of Russian varieties has created a superior fruit with a huge competitive advantage on the world market, while resulting in significant profitability for its growers.” The effort to cultivate Siberian sea buckthorn varieties in Greece began in 2012 and at first only 250 hectares of land were given to the plant. Development took place at breakneck speed; sea buckthorn land increased about 540% in just 5 years and is expected to rise another 375% within the next five. The particular sea buckthorn varieties cultivated in Greece come from an exclusive agreement with the MA Lisavenko Institute of Russia, the most important institute in the world regarding sea buckthorn research, dating back to 1963. As Mr Doukas explains “Greek climate and soil are ideal for the production of sea buckthorn and these varieties have managed to give a product of top-tier quality and high added value.” Greek sea buckthorn fruit is very large in size (almost three times larger compared to regular sea buckthorn), with very low acidity, i.e. 1.2% compared to the 3.2 % from other varieties, and exceptional flavor due to elevated sugars (at 10% as to 3.5% of the rest, on average). “The fact that you can’t find Siberian sea buckthorn in any other country, at least in Europe, gives Greek growers a huge competitive advantage on the world market,” says Mr Doukas.
1 Greece has the perfect conditions for the cultivation of the crop.
2 Greek hippophae is three times larger than the fruit from other countries.
the site of Greek products and tourism
H NUT I G RIT VAL IONAHL PRO UE DU C TS
FARMERS UNION Farmers Union organic extra- virgin olive oil of Aeghion Agricultural Cooperatives, combines superior taste with high biological value. It is produced in the high tech installations of the Cooperative, and according to the strictest food industry specifications. Greek black Corinthian raisin “ super food” is also produced by Farmers Union. It is classified to “functional food”, which means that they provide benefits beyond basic nutrition.
Agricultural Cooperatives Union Aeghion SA www.pesunion.gr, Korinthou 201, Aeghio, P.C. 25 100, Greece
Agricultural Cooperative of Naoussa www.acn.com.gr
KROKOS KOZANIS (RED GREEK SAFFRON)
Naxos graviera, by the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Naxos, awarded for consecutive years, has once again got an honorable distinction from the International Taste & Quality institute 2016(2 stars) this time for the Naxos graviera with truffle mushroom. The famous PDO graviera of Naxos, combines great taste and high content of calcium. One Kilo of Naxos graviera is made by 12 kilos of fresh cow milk. That’s why it gives special extra flavor to soufflé or quiches.
Agricultural Cooperative of Naoussa Protected Destination of Origin peaches, are famous for their distinctive taste, rich aroma and their freshness since they are packaged directly after being picked from the tree. Naoussa PDO peaches, are holding a leading position in Greek and international markets, as Russia and the Arab world.
Krokos Kozanis was 2 stars awarded , as a PDO biological product by the International Taste & Quality institute 2016. The Greek red Saffron belongs to the highest quality of Saffron in the world. It is well known for its anticancer, aphrodisiac and memory enhancing properties. It has also antidepressant, antioxidant and anti ageing action. Krokos Kozanis saffron, gives to dishes a delicate aroma, a subtle spicy flavour and a beautiful yellow color. It goes perfectly with rice, pasta, meat and sweets.
Eas Naxos www.easnaxos.com, Galanado Naxou, Naxos, Cyclades, P.C. 84300, Greece
The Kozani Saffron Producers Cooperative www.safran.gr, Krokos Kozani, P.C. 50 010, Greece
The Agricultural Cooperatives’ Union produces apples which are tested, of high quality, certified with the qualification of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). This distinction certifies that the Zagorin apple is a product of high quality. By using the “Integrated Production” method the Zagorin apple is clean, healthy, tested and this is why consumers in Greece and all around the world trust it. Agricultural Cooperative of Zagora-Pilio www.zagorin.gr, Zagora Pelion, P.C. 37001, Greece
VIOLANTA Full 45 Cookies with Yogurt. An innovative proposition by Violanta, 45% filling with yoghurt cream. Yogurt is now in our daily diet and a valuable element for our health, ideal snack for kids and grown ups. VIOLANDA has a rich variety of pure products, biscuits and cookies that combine traditional recipes and delicious flavor. Made according to the quality guarantee of VIOLANTA. Violanta S.A. www.violanta.gr, 6th km Trikala - Karditsa Road P.C. 42100, Trikala, Greece
The Papayannakopoulos winery participated in the 16th Annual Congress of the European Council of the Gastronomy & Oenology, held in Zappeion. Kidonitsa Papayannakopoulos and Ypsilon Agiorgitiko red, were selected for the official dinner-gala, offered to the speakers and the greatest Chefs of Europe! The winery gives great emphasis in making quality wines with a distinct character that represents fully the potential of the variety they come from. PAPAYANNAKOPOULOS WINERY www.papagiannakopoulos.com
Special Feature ma ga z i n e
of excellence! With significant expertise in the field of organic products, Bioagros is constantly developing new, exciting products that improve the quality of life of consumers worldwide.
ioagros was founded in 1990 by agronomist-organic farmer Kostas Papadopoulos and for 30 years now it has grown to one of the largest and leading Greek organic food companies, offering consumers high nutritional value. The company, which is based in Pella, northern Greece, has significant expertise in the field of organic products and tries to constantly evolve through the research and development of new offerings. Bioagros respects consumer needs by constantly optimizing the quality standards of its products. In addition, the brand is following all the latest trends in gastronomy and nutrition, while focusing on top-tier raw materials and rigorous quality controls that ensure not only an excellent end result, but also healthier and safer products for all consumers.
Philosophy The company philosophy is built upon promoting a healthy lifestyle and a proper nutrition based on organic products free from chemicals, pesticides, GMOs and other hazardous substances for both the human body and the environment. At the same time, Bioagros advocates Zero Waste by gradually reducing the use of plastic and paper packaging and replacing them with biodegradable materials, which contribute even more to the protection of the natural environment. Additionally, Bioagros invests in extroversion that boosts Greek economy; they export Greek products and, with them, the Greek culture by promoting them in international markets. They also work with Educational Institutions and competent bodies on education and research programs aimed at the continuous development of organic products in the field of agriculture.
Present & future endeavors Exports for Bioagros play a major role in the brand’s development. For this purpose, the company has built, within the last three years, a separate export department, dealing exclusively and extensively with overseas markets. Today, Bioagros exports to over 17 countries, such as Bulgaria, Albania, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Romania, Kuwait, the UAE, Switzerland, the USA, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, etc. It also participates into numerous international trade shows, while it continuously researches foreign markets in order to develop suitable products that meet the nutritional profile of each country. The company’s objective is to create products that respond to the needs of modern, diverse lifestyles, beneficial effects to the human body and improve the quality of life for consumers. That is why, the Greek brand is developing a fully-organized R&D department, while a new unit for the standardization of glu-
ten-free products, as well as a plant for the production of organic nut spreads and other related foods are nearing completion.
More information on www.bioagros.gr
Star product Bioagros proposes a wide range of products ideal for people who follow a special diet and a healthy lifestyle while looking for delicious alternatives to gluten-free, sugar-free or salt-free offerings. The best seller product of Bioagros is the strained goat yogurt “Veloudo”, made from 100% fresh goat milk, which is pasteurized within 4-6 hours from the moment the milk is collected, so it can preserve all of its nutrients. When yoghurt thickens, it is placed in special bags, called “tsantila” and stays there for 24 hours, where it is strained in a natural way. This process, based on a traditional, ages-long recipe, together with the fact it is produced using goat milk, give “Veloudo” its dense, velvety texture and richer –compared to other yogurts– taste.
FACTS AND FIGURES
PRIVATELY OWNED FACILITIES
COOPERATING PRODUCERS IN GREECE
2,000+ PRODUCT CODES
COUNTRIES OF EXPORT
Greek Cheese ma ga z i n e
Cheese-making in Greece is an activity dating back millennia, while cheese is served with almost every meal. Not to mention that the country boasts 22 exceptional cheeses with designations of origin!
It is a traditionally prepared PDO cheese, preserved in extra virgin olive oil, hence its name; Ladotyri means “oil cheese” in Greek –this method of preservation was used until household refrigerators became common in the 1960s. The production area of Ladotyri Mytilinis is on the island of Lesbos, in Northern Aegean, where it has been produced since ancient times. This cheese “is an emblematic product for the local population with strong cultural connotations”.
It’s been called the Greek Parmesan, but San Michali has a distinct identity. It is produced in Syros island using the same recipe for over half a century and has been recognized since 1996 as a PDO product. The name of the cheese comes from a mountain in the north of the island where a village named San Michalis is located. It was the Catholic rulers of the island of Syros who began production of this cheese. In fact, they produced the first cow’s milk cheese in Greece.
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It is produced exclusively in Grevena and Kozani. Its history is linked to the tradition of producing cheese with the milk from goats and sheep that graze on the mountains of the area, at an altitude of approx. 800m. The shepherds milked the animals in the morning, collected the milk in cauldrons and added rennet; in the evening, they found the cheese on the surface, separated from the whey. The name of the cheese derives from this practice, since Anevato means, “risen”.
It is a spreadable cheese that has been produced for over 50 years exclusively in the Siteia region of Crete from raw goat or ewe milk or a mixture of both, from native breeds around Siteia, which feed on a diet of local herbs and aromatic plants. Sheep milk is only used when not enough goat milk is available, but in this case the fat content is adjusted to keep the fat content of the final product under 46%. The word “xygalo” means “acid milk”.
It is produced in the island of Naxos. It has external rind, yellow under-color and compact mass with small holes spread around the mass. Other than Feta, it is probably one of the cheeses easiest to find outside of Greece. It is sold in wheels or wedges and one can often identify it by the crisscross marks on the rind, from the cloth used to drain it. It is made with cow’s milk from herds raised and adapted to the particular region, whose diet is based on local plants.
Feta cheese is produced from sheep’s milk or in combination with goat milk in the regions of Macedonia, Thrace, Epirus, Thessaly, Central Greece, Peloponnese and Mytilini. It can be characterized as organic since it is produced from milk from herds allowed to graze freely in areas where no pesticides or other pollutants are used. Feta is the most famous Greek cheese, and has been produced since the times of Homer. It was listed as a PDO product in 2002, is protected by EU legislation and can only be manufactured in the above-mentioned areas.
Formaella Arachovas Parnassou Formaella is a traditional Greek cheese, produced according to ancient methods exclusively in the region of Parnassos, Arachova and the surrounding villages. The name comes from “formos”, the moulds or baskets used for draining the curd. It is a PDO product since 1996. It has been produced in that region for over a century and it is popular for its special flavor and high nutritional value. It is a semi-hard cheese, made of milk from sheep raised free in the area.
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ma ga z i n e
Kalathaki Limnou, from the northern Aegean island of Limnos, is made like Feta but the curd is shaped into small, one-kilo heads in basketlike molds (“kalathaki” means small basket in Greek). Sheep’s milk with some goat milk is used. Matured in brine, the little heads develop a special flavor. It is milder than Feta with a pleasant taste and no evidence of ageing. It bears the marks of the willow basket in which it has matured. In fact, according to the traditional method, the cheese-maker, puts the curd mass into small baskets in brine, where the cheese ripens for 60 days. It was registered as a PDO cheese in 1996.
Manouri is a semi-soft, rindless fresh white cheese, with compact mass and no holes, of protected designation of origin (in 1996), traditionally produced in the regions of Thessaly and Macedonia. It is found in various sizes and weights. Made from the whey drained during the production of Feta with the addition of pasteurized sheep and goat’s milk cream, Manouri has a firm texture, a rich, buttery flavor and a milky aroma. Creamier and less salty than Feta, it makes a versatile choice adding a distinctive flavor to both savory and sweet dishes. It has about 36-38% fat, but only 0.8% salt content, making it much less salty than Feta.
It is a medium-hard pale yellow cheese made from sheep’s milk with very little, if any, goat’s milk mixed in. It can be cylindrical, 25-30cm in diameter and 7-10cm in height, or rectangular in shape. Kasseri is found in the regions of Macedonia, Thessaly and in the prefectures of Lesvos and Xanthi. It belongs to the pasta filata family of cheeses, like Provolone or Mozzarella. The use of fresh unpasteurized milk is necessary to obtain the correct flavor and texture, and aging of at least four months is required for the development of flavor. Aged kasseri faintly resembles Parmesan but is not as creamy. Kasseri was listed as a PDO product in 1996.
Greece ranks third in the EU with regards to its production of PDO cheeses
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Graviera Agrafon, made on the Agrafa mountains of Western Thessaly/Evritania, has evolved from earlier hard cheeses made with milk from herds that roamed in the area for centuries. It is made from sheep’s milk or in combination with goat milk. Graviera Agrafon has a 38% maximum humidity and a 40% fat content. It is a hard, round rind cheese, usually available in 2-3 kg and 9-10 forms of varying sizes. Its mass is compact and full of small round holes. When mature, this cheese has a subtle, nutty flavor free of any sharpness. It is salted and buttery and makes for an excellent table cheese served with fruit.
It is produced in the islands of the Cyclades from sheep, cow or goat’s milk or a combination of all three. It has a strong salty and peppery taste and rich aroma. Milk used for its production comes exclusively from herds of sheep, cows and goats traditionally raised and adapted to the particular region, whose diet is based on locally found plants. “Kopanisti” in Greek is used to describe something that has been beaten. In Kopanisti cheese this refers to its method of preparation. It is an off-white in color, creamy cheese, consumed as a table cheese or in cheese pies and as a starter with wine and ouzo. It has been a PDO cheese since 1996.
It is a white cheese that looks like Feta but is denser and saltier and acquires a special flavor when the curd is reheated after fine cutting. Aged in brine, either in wood or tin, it develops a characteristic piquant taste and mozzarella-like texture prized in its home territory in Southern Peloponnese (Messinia and Laconia), where it is sometimes grilled. It is produced from fresh, non-pasteurized sheep and sometimes goat milk in rectangle pieces weighing 1kg. It is a semi-hard brine cheese with many small cuts. Its shape is that of long rectangular stripes called “sfelides”, hence its name, and its color is off-white.
Metsovone cheese is produced from sheep, cow or goat milk or their mixtures, in the Metsovo region (in Epirus), hence its name. Milk used comes exclusively from herds traditionally raised in the region, whose diet is based on locally found plants. Metsovone is exclusively produced at the dairy of the foundation of the baron Michael Tositsas, operating in Metsovo since 1955. The vision was for the dairy to become a school and local young boys were sent to study in Italy. The young men combined the production method of certain Italian cheeses with Greek recipes and techniques, creating Metsovone.
1 3 4 2 ma ga z i n e
The history of Batzos PDO (since 1994) is linked to its traditional preparation method which builds on the milk from goats and sheep bred in a traditional manner, within the regions of Western and Central Macedonia and Thessaly, and on the ripening in local cellars. The cheese takes its name from the Vlach word for the thatched mountain hut in which it was traditionally produced, as one of the seasonal cheeses of itinerant shepherds in the north-western parts of Greece. Batzos is a rindless, semi-hard, low butterfat cheese made by hand churning the newly formed curd, forcing some of the butterfat into the whey.
Kefalograviera is a relative newcomer in the vast history of Greek cheeses. It is a hard table cheese produced traditionally from sheep’s milk or mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk. According to the PDO filing (in 1996), the name applies only to cheese produced in Western Macedonia, Epirus, and the regions of Aetolia-Acarnania and Evrytania and it is considered a mix between Kefalotyri, the widely produced salty, piquant cheese, and the buttery, aromatic Graviera, hence its name. The result is a balance of flavors which can vary from the sweet and buttery to spicy. It’s often used in baked dishes, grated for pasta or fried as “saganaki”.
It is a soft, smooth, white, slightly tart and lightly salted spreadable cheese that comes from Chania in western Crete. It is made with a blend of sheep’s and goat milk, coagulated at low temperature with natural animal rennet. Pichtogalo means “thickened milk” and people in the region use it just that way. They spread it on country bread adding herbs and spices for a snack and include it in meat casseroles and sauces. It is a white table cheese with a fresh taste and aroma. It has a compact mass without rind or any cuts and holes. It has a 65% maximum humidity and a 50% minimum dry fat content. It became a PDO product in 1996.
Galotyri is made in the traditional enclaves of the once itinerant shepherds who roamed mainland Greece: Epirus, in the northwestern part of the country, and Thessaly in the center of the country, from sheep milk, goat milk or a combination of both. It is a soft, creamy cheese, without skin, with an acescent, pleasant and fresh taste and aroma. It is consumed as a table cheese. It has a 75% maximum humidity and a 40% fat content. Galotyri is considered as one of the oldest traditional cheeses in Greece and is a PDO cheese since 1996.
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Xynomyzithra Kritis differs from the other soft cheeses; it is a whey cheese, quite tart and low in butterfat content. The Cretans spread it on their renowned paximadia (rye and or barley rusks) and use it in tyropita and kaltsounakia (cheese pies). It is produced in Crete from sheep milk, goat milk or a combination of both. It has a 55% maximum humidity and 45% minimum dry fat content. Milk used for its production comes exclusively from herds of sheep and goats traditionally raised and adapted to the island of Crete, whose diet is based on locally found plants. It was registered as a PDO product in 1994.
It is a yellow, hard, buttery, and aromatic table cheese –with a gamut of differences in textures and flavors, ranging from sweet and savory to the more piquant. Graviera Kritis PDO (since 1996) is made on the island of Crete where there is a very long tradition of sheep herding. It is produced from sheep milk, while, in certain circumstances, where goat milk is added, its percentage cannot exceed 20%. This is a milk particularly rich in fat and caseins, ingredients that are maintained almost completely during the transformation from milk to cheese, and as a result can be found in high quantities. It ages very well, developing a rich flavor.
A PDO cheese since 1996, Katiki Domokou is made in Domokos, central Greece. Although a traditional cheese, its production has been revived by a single family which still produces it exclusively. A goat cheese, with some sheep’s milk added occasionally, it is white, creamy, mild and slightly tart, with texture and flavor reminiscent of strained yogurt. The animals producing this milk are bred on the “Othris” plateau in the Domokos area. It is often eaten like yogurt and used as a topping for grilled and roasted meats. It is traditionally served as a spreadable cheese for bread and crackers, a dip, and used in sweets such as cheesecake.
This mature, yellow cheese is native to Naxos, the largest of the Cycladic islands. Arseniko is made from cow and/or sheep and goat milk. One of the traditional cheeses to be produced in Naxos, it gets its name from the Greek word for “masculine” because of its strong taste and high level of calcium. The cheese is aged between 4 to 16 months and the texture and intensity of its unique flavor will evolve slightly with aging. In general, Arseniko Naxou has got a firm, slightly buttery texture and a salty, piquant flavor.
Greek Retsina Cuisine ma ga z i n e
Back for good
Made with the addition of pine resin, Retsina, one of the most famous, traditional Greek wines, is undergoing a Renaissance. And itâ€™s all thanks to a new breed of producers aiming to change minds.
etsina is one of the best known traditional Greek wines, while its reputation –not always positive– had long overshadowed that of other distinguished Greek wines and appellations. Retsina is resinated wine, which means it is produced by the addition of the natural resin extracted from pinus halepensis (commonly known as Aleppo Pine) during fermentation. Having left only its aroma in the wine, the resin is then removed. Intensely aromatic, balanced and refreshing, Retsina is a wine that embodies the taste of Greek summer. It goes very well with fish, seafood, cheese and appetizers.
Retsina then and now The Greeks have favored Retsina since the earliest days of ancient winemaking, when they used pine resin to line and seal terracotta amphoras. According to archaeological finds and countless written accounts regarding its production and consumption, Retsina, or “retinitis oenos” as it was called in antiquity, has been steadily produced for thousands of years. In fact, the Greek tradition of making Retsina is considered over 2000 years old. Fast forward a few centuries and, and Retsina is still produced and bottled at specific locations in Central Greece: Attica (mainly the area of Mesogia), Boeotia and Evia. Nowadays, however, mass-market Retsina is usually the cheapest wine available in Greece. Often, in cities like Athens, it is mixed with soft drinks and consumed by those on low budget. These are the cheap versions that have given to even the most serious Retsina a bad rap. Vassilis Nikolou of Nikolou Winery (www.nikolouwinery.gr), located in the heart of Koropi, in
the outskirts of Athens, at the very place where Nikolou family has been producing wines since 1920, explains that “Retsina is a traditional wine, which has been considered for many decades as a cheap popular wine. This was a result of the industrialization of its production, as well as the oxidized profile of the wine itself, that over time created a bad reputation to consumers (and not unjustly), both on national and and on international level.” Nevertheless, Retsina appears to be undergoing a revival. There are several producers demonstrating that if Retsina is grown properly and vinified carefully, it can be a delicious wine that goes beautifully not only with a wide variety of Greek foods, but with many other cuisines as well. These producers who have embraced Retsina are in some cases trying to transform it into a complex wine, a cultural tradition of which modern Greeks can be proud. As Mr Stelios Kechris, oenologist, CEO and Commercial Director of Kechris wines (www.kechris.gr) in Thessaloniki, one of the leaders in quality Retsina, argues “As a winemaker, I can tell you that it is a difficult decision to invest in a wine as misunderstood as Retsina. However, Retsina is a unique product with quality potential that still remains unexplored. Despite beliefs to the contrary, quality Retsina is a very difficult wine to make. It is also a wine that could become a trademark for Greek wineries.”
RETSINA EXPORTS IN NUMBERS*
€13,386,859 IN EXPORTS FOR 2018
OF RETSINA GOES TO GERMANY
OF INCREASE IN EXPORTS
*Source: Eurostat & the Greek Exporters Association (SEVE)
COUNTRIES IMPORT RETSINA
Retsina ma ga z i n e
Why resin The main reasons for the use of pine resin used in the vinification of Retsina since antiquity, were the following: The proximity of vineyards to resin-producing pine forests, especially in Central Greece; resin was used to seal the mouth of amphorae (ancient ceramic vessels used for storage and transportation of wine) and coat their interior for insulation and preventing the wine from coming into contact with the air; it was also added as a wine preservative; resin, as an additive, improved the composition of inferior wines; and it lent the wine its particular aroma. “By adding pine resin, from woods mostly in Southrern Attica, the wine acquired exceptional characteristics, such as botanical, mastic and rosemary flavors and aromas, combined with the characteristics of the Savatiano and Roditis varieties,” adds Mr Nikolou.
The taste of Retsina
1 Assyrtiko, Savatiano & Roditis varieties are mainly used.
2 Most Retsinas do not age well, but there are exceptions.
The specific taste of Retsina cannot be well explained to someone who has never tried it but in general it is mild, neither sweet nor bitter. Also, aromas and flavor vary from brand to brand and are subject to personal preference. Actually, Retsina does not exhibit flamboyant aromas. Rather, it’s more about texture and subtlety. Premium quality Retsina carries the characteristic balsamic aroma of pine which, however, does not inhibit grape aromas. The imperceptible sense of bitterness leaves a refreshing aftertaste akin to that of a carbonated refreshment and makes Retsina the ideal
research & experimentation should be key parameters for the development of Ρetsina companion of the flavorful dishes of traditional Greek cuisine. Aromas of linseed oil and lime peel lead into flavors of apples and roses, a perfume that ends on a pine-and-lime, saline finish. Retsina wines made with Assyrtiko grapes tend to be more angular in their style (but age longer) whereas, Retsina wines made with Savatiano grapes have a more generous taste with ripe apple and peach flavors, as well as an oily texture on the palate. In fact, according to Mr Nikolou, “a significant role in Retsina’s organoleptic characteristics was also played by the barrel and the peppery flavor from the carbon dioxide used for the fermentation of must. In the past, Retsinas were dark yellow to amber-colored, while the “savory” Savatiano variety gave a full-bodied aftertaste to the wine.”
Retsina varieties Retsina can be produced using several of Greece’s white grapes. Some of the best examples are made with Assyrtiko grapes as their
3 Retsina of Markopoulo & Retsina of Koropi are among the most famous Retsinas.
4 Natural resin from pines within the region of Attica is used.
base. These wines had the structure to age over 8 years and aged wines became more round, lush and seemingly sweeter. Another other popular choice is Roditis and Savatiano. By the way, Savatiano is Greece’s most planted white grape, and one can still find vines growing all around (and in) Athens. “The modernization of winemaking has highlighted not only the quality of Retsina, but also the Savatiano variety which is often used as “base” for the wine, giving added value to our wines through the dynamic aging system, discloses Mr Nikolou. “Innovative winemaking techniques such as the use of other varieties
(Assyrtiko, Malagousia, Xinomavro), the reduction of resin percentage to the fermentation, the sparkling Retsina (similar to Champagne, with a second fermentation in the bottle), the labeling of the variety and the date on the bottle, give added value to Retsina.” Contrary to popular belief, Retsina is not only white. According to legislation, in addition to white wine, retsina can also be rosé, usually from Xinomavro variety. However, “Regarding the composition of Retsina, the law does not specify which varieties should be used. Nevertheless, we consider it our duty to use exclusively Greek grape varieties,” stresses Mr Kechris.
Retsina is a process and not a wine
Whatever some may pertain, Retsina is a resinated wine and not a process. It is a wine where a controlled amount of resin is added during fermentation and then removed.
Retsina cannot age
Most Retsinas do not age well and it is advised to consume them within a year from their production. There are, however, some that are aged in a barrel and can undergo ageing for up to a decade.
Retsina is a cheap, obsolete wine
Retsina can be produced anywhere in the world
High demand had a negative effect in Retsina quality. The good news is that there are now excellent Retsinas as winemakers focus on innovation, quality and individuality.
Retsina is produced only in Greece, and is protected under EU law as a Traditional Appellation wine. Since 1979, Retsinas in regions of Attica and Central Greece are PGI wines.
Trade Show ma ga z i n e
GLOBAL SECTOR GATHERING WOWS
47,000 trade visitors B
IOFACH, the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Organic Food, and VIVANESS, the International Trade Fair for Natural and Organic Personal Care, have once again exceeded expectations. A total of 3,792 exhibitors from 110 countries showcased their products for trade visitors in a display area of 57,609 m2 (net area, excluding special shows). With the trade fairs occupying two halls more than last year, more than 47,000 professional
buyers from 136 countries were won over by the new developments, trends and innovations from all around the world. Making up the top five countries by visitor attendance this year were Germany, Austria, Italy, France and the Netherlands. And with just shy of 10,000 participants, the accompanying Congress confirmed its position as the largest international platform for knowledge transfer and networking. Highlight of the opening: the inspiring keynote by Dr Jane Goodall Dame Command-
This year’s BIOFACH, the world’s leading trade fair for organic food achieved record numbers with regard to exhibitor numbers, exhibition space and international attendance.
er of the Order of the British Empire (DBE). Petra Wolf, Member of the Management Board of NürnbergMesse, comments: “We are really pleased that BIOFACH and VIVANESS once again brought together more than 47,000 trade visitors in Nuremberg for the annual sector gathering in 2020. That’s only eight percent less than last year, in spite of the hesitation caused by the coronavirus. The chief focus in the exhibition halls was on networking, trade and interaction on topics of interest to the sector. The general atmosphere was highly positive, and the emotional highlight was beyond doubt the extremely impressive Dr Jane Goodall with her keynote.”
Opening ceremony with top-level attendance The combined trade fair was opened jointly by Julia Klöckner, Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, and Dr Jane Goodall, primate researcher, environmental activist and UN Messenger of Peace. The sector was deeply moved by the keynote given by Dr Goodall, and gave her a standing ovation. This was the first year that the BIOFACH and VIVANESS Congress gathered almost 10,000 delegates and discus-
BIOFACH & VIVANESS 2020 KEY FIGURES
47,000 Trade visitors
sion participants in 149 individual sessions, confirming its role as the most important international platform for sharing knowledge and information in the sector. Magnets for visitors: “New Organic Regulation: What will apply to farmers and producers starting in 2021”, with 250 participants (BIOFACH), and “The natural cosmetics market 2019: Facts, figures and outlook”, with 150 visitors (VIVANESS). The main congress theme, “Organic delivers!”, attracted an above-average total of 75 participants to each of the ten sessions.
VIVANESS 2020 IMPRESSES BIOFACH and VIVANESS 2020 provided even more space for organic foodstuffs and natural and organic cosmetics. Halls 3A and 3C, noted for their sustainability, impressed exhibitors and visitors alike, and were very well received. Feedback from the exhibition advisory board for the premiere of VIVANESS in Hall 3C was positive without exception: “This is a hall you feel at home in!”, “A real wellness hall!”, “Super because it’s so spacious and light!” The expansion of BIOFACH also went down well: “This combined event just keeps on getting better!”
57,609 m2 Εxhibition space
Market News ma ga z i n e
launch of the "Mega Meatless" product range, the first Greek plant-based protein
The “flexitarian” consumer is the target market of the “Mega Meatless” range which was recently launched by Megas Yeeros, one of the largest meat processing companies in Greece.
RODOULA Vegan pastry in the works
“Mega Meatless is the Greek answer to the meatless American products. Yeeros, burgers, meatballs, souvlaki. All from 100% vegetable protein from pulses, rice, peas, quinoa. Plant
based, gluten free, soy free, Non-GMO, cruelty free, with no added hormones or antibiotics, and high in protein,” said Mr Nikos Loustas, the company’s CEO. www. megasyeeros.com
Rodoula, one of the largest companies for frozen dough products in Greece, is ready to expand into vegan pastry. The Greek company is working towards the launch of vegan offerings in a bid to obtain a share of a dynamically growing market. In fact, Rodoula plans to launch, among other desserts, a cheesecake made from coconut milk. The new products are expected to be placed on the market in both Greece and abroad, where Rodoula is already exporting. www.rodoula.gr
80% GREEK YOGURT A Greek win in the Japanese market Greece has recently achieved a major international victory regarding the name “Greek yogurt”. The Japan Patent Office has ruled that the use of the “The Greek Yogurt” trademark by Japan’s dairy leader Meiji Co should cease. This decision is very important for the Greek side considering the fact that the Japanese market has a major scope in the yogurt sector, with a total worth of approx. €6 billion. Meiji Co has a 40% share in the Japanese dairy market. The decision halts the possible appetite of other players in the Asian market to put on their products the “Greek Yogurt” logo.
OF GREEK AQUACULTURE PRODUCTION IS EXPORTED TO 32 COUNTRIES, WHILE 58% OF EU SEA BASS AND SEA BREAM SUPPLY COMES FROM GREECE.
SIGNED BY NATURE a New program for sustainable goat and sheep meat production
GREEK EXPORTS Significant growth in the year 2019
The Greek National Interprofessional Meat Organization has just announced a new EU sponsored promotion campaign for the European sheep and goat meat production sec-
tor. The “Signed by Nature” program focuses on three EU Member States: Greece, Germany and Sweden, targeting consumers as well as professionals and opinion leaders
and intends to increase awareness by 5% and to make sure that consumers and professionals associate the sheep and goat meat sector with the values and heritage it holds.
OUZO WERE PRODUCED IN GREECE IN 2018, WITH 50% OF PRODUCTION TAKING PLACE IN THE ISLAND OF LESVOS. 65% OF PRODUCTION IS EXPORTED.
According to the February report by the Greek Exporters’ Association (SEVE), which analyzed data given by the Hellenic Statistical Authority, Greek exports showed critical increase during 2019. Specifically, for the period from January to December 2019, exports amounted to €33,8 billion, slightly, in other words, increased by €329.1 million (1%) compared to the same period of 2018. Foodstuff exports have played a particularly positive role in that respect. Namely, food exports were up by €209.7 million (4.6%) in comparison with the same eleven-month period in 2018, during which Greek food exports amounted to €4,216.9 million. With regard to export destinations, the situation remains unchanged compared to the previous months, since EU countries account for approx. 68.1% (reduced to 56% when mineral oils are taken together) of Greek exports, while third countries account for the rest 31.9% (44% when mineral oils are included).
MILK PRODUCTION Greece in top EU non-cow milk producers According to the latest data by Eurostat, Greece is one of the top producers of non-cow milk in the EU. Whilst cow milk is the major milk used by dairies, in several Member States other milks contribute significantly to milk production. Namely, in 2018, Spain produced 1 million tons of milk from ewes and goats, with Greece and France both producing 0.8 million tons. And whereas the collection of these other milks was dwarfed by that from cows in most countries, there were some exceptions. In fact, the majority (57.1%) of the milk delivered to dairies in Greece in 2018 came from ewes and goats.
Market News ma ga z i n e
KOZANI RED SAFFRON Exports lead to €2 million investment
Terra Creta Planning to export Cretan EVOO to China Extra Virgin Olive oil consumption in China has increased in recent years. Of the 28,000 tons of olive oil imported by China a decade back, imports have now exceeded 45,000 tons. Cretan company Terra Creta –94% of its production
is exported– aims to strengthen its presence in this growing market. “We hope to expand our business soon in the major Chinese market,” said Terra Creta CEO, Mr Nektarios Dadis. Apart from China, Terra Creta, which was established
19 years ago, is exporting its EVOO and other products to more than 40 countries, while it is collaborating with major retail chains such as Rewe, Edeka, Amazon, Costco, Wallmart, Colruyt Group, Auchan, and Mega Image. www.terracreta.gr
Following the increasing needs arising from the Kozani Saffron Producers Cooperative opening to the Chinese and Vietnamese markets, the coop has decided to invest approximately €2 million towards a 3-storey packing facility for the world-famous Kozani red saffron. The 1,000 square meters unit is expected to be completed by August 2020 and to employ 60 people. www.safran.gr
INCREASE IN GREEK AVOCADO PRODUCTION FOR THE YEAR 2018 COMPARED TO 2017. 90% OF AVOCADOS PRODUCED IN THE COUNTRY ARE GROWN IN WESTERN CRETE.
ANOTHER TWO GREEK AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS, AN EVOO AND A CHEESE, HAVE RECENTLY BEEN INCLUDED IN THE EU’S REGISTER OF PROTECTED GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS. ON DECEMBER 16, 2019, THE NAME "KRASOTIRI KO" (PGI) AND THE NAME "KRITSA" (PGI) WERE BOTH ENTERED IN THE ABOVE-MENTIONED REGISTER.
89% OF GREEK VINEYARDS IS PLANTED WITH INDIGENOUS VARIETIES NAMELY, THE AREAS PLANTED WITH GREEK VARIETIES AMOUNT TO 558,990 ACRES. THE MOST POPULAR VARIETIES ARE: WHITE SAVATIANO WITH 16.14%, ALSO WHITE RODITIS WITH 12.85%, AND THE RED AGIORGITIKO WITH 5.05% OF TOTAL VINEYARD AREA.
Market News ma ga z i n e
GREEK KIWI FRUIT
43.6% increase in exports at the start of 2020
PALIRRIA Ready meals set to travel to Germany Palirria, the No 1 dolma producer in the world, will start exporting ready meals from the company’s unit in Greece. The brand is working on a project to export its “Homemade” range to Germany, while within 2020 a number
of supermarkets will be put on trial for the ready meals in order to determine if there is sufficient interest from German consumers. The “Homemade” range of traditional Greek ready meals, which started with 5 product codes, is
now up to 10 and Palirria’s main goal is to expand sales points, both in Greece and abroad. People within the company have stated that sales of the “Homemade” range have exceeded expectations. www.palirria.com
Greek kiwi exports marked a major increase of 43.6% between February 1 and February 7 of this year. Greek kiwi production is constantly growing, especially during the last five years. In fact, Greece is among the top kiwi producers, reaching 3rd place in world ranking, while production is expected to increase twofold within the following 5 years, putting the country in 2nd place.
OF GREEK F&B EXPORTS FOR THE YEAR 2018 WERE PROCESSED FOODSTUFF, WHILE 49% WERE FRESH. EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL WAS IN 1ST PLACE WITH €585,214,331.
THE 2ND INTERNATIONAL OLIVE CONFERENCE WILL TAKE PLACE MAY 28-29, 2020, AT THE CAMPUS OF PERROTIS COLLEGE / AMERICAN FARM SCHOOL, IN THESSALONIKI, GREECE. THE CONFERENCE WILL FOCUS ON THE OLIVE SECTOR AND THE MAIN THEME WILL BE “SEARCHING FOR INNOVATION - DISCOVERING NEW TRENDS”.
MELIGYRIS ENGAGES IN THE PRODUCTION OF RARE TYPES OF HONEY FROM WILD HERBS OF THE CRETAN LAND. THAT'S WHY MELIGYRIS PRODUCTS ARE CONSTANTLY WINNING PRESTIGIOUS AWARDS, WITH THE MOST RECENT ONES BEING THE GOLD AND SILVER PRIZE AT THE AMERICA FOOD AWARDS 2020. WWW.MELIGYRIS.COM
Market News ma ga z i n e
part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Greece
DRAKOULAKIS SA A Greek leader in international catering design Since 1974, Drakoulakis SA is the leading fitting company in designing and manufacturing catering spaces, such as hotels, confectioneries, bakeries, café-bars, restaurants and cruise ships. With 120 employees
and over 10,000 clients worldwide (UK, USA, Canada, Cyprus, France, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Egypt). Drakoulakis SA has a quality-oriented mentality, advanced expertise and innovative products. The company
has produced custom made products and solutions in a wide range of constructions all over the world such as: display cases, refrigerated counters, bread shelves and stainless kitchen appliances. www.drakoulakis.gr
The Syros loukoumi that has been inexorably linked to Greece and the Cycladic island of Syros, in particular, has just recently become part of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Greece. The press release accomapanying the registration states that “the Syros loukoumi constitutes a registered trademark of Syros, as the island's name is inextricably linked to this product and vice versa.”
ΙNCREASE IN GREEK ARABLE LAND AS FAR AS LEGUME CULTIVATION (MOSTLY CHICKPEAS, LENTILS AND BEANS) IS CONCERNED, WITHIN ONLY ONE YEAR.
SELECT BAKERY, ONE OF THE LARGEST GREEK COMPANIES WITH BAKERY PRODUCTS, HAS A NEW DEAL IN THE WORKS: IT WILL START COOPERATING WITH KFC FOR THE BALKAN AND CYPRUS MARKETS. IT IS WORTH NOTING THAT LAST YEAR THE COMPANY STARTED DOING BUSINESS WITH BURGER KING. WWW.SELECTBAKERY.GR
FORUM SA, ONE OF THE LARGEST TRADE SHOW ORGANIZERS IN EUROPE, HAS DECIDED TO HIGHLIGHT THE QUALITY & EXPORT POTENTIAL OF GREEK FOODSTUFF BY CREATING GREEKFOODNEWS.COM, AN ONLINE PLATFORM COMMITTED TO DELIVERING ALL THE LATEST F&B NEWS TO PROFESSIONALS AROUND THE WORLD.
New Products ma ga z i n e
VEGANO, VEGAN COOKIES BY VIOLANTA
SELECT BAKERY PRESENTS KOULOURI SANDWICH
Drawing inspiration from nature, Violanta –one of the major companies focused on the production of quality and innovative pastry products in Greece– has just created Vegano cookies, made from 100% vegan ingredients and intended for a vegetarian or vegan diet, as well as for any natural and balanced diet. www.violanta.gr
Select Bakery has created a new product range for cold sandwiches! The first product codes that have been launched is the koulouri, aka Greece’s sesame bread ring, for sandwich. Select Bakery’s Koulouri Sandwich range will launch first: Wheat Koulouri Sandwich with Sesame and Wholemeal Koulouri Sandwich with Rye & Seed Topping (Sunflower Seeds, Oat Flakes & Black Sesame). www.selectbakery.gr
A UNIQUE ORGANIC EVOO FROM LESVOS Extra-virgin, organic, gold-colored, smooth-tasting olive oil, with an intense fruity aroma and an intriguing aftertaste. Comprised of a mix between the Adramitiani and Kolovi varieties, both unique to the island of Lesvos, Greece, EVOO Mitira is a highly nutritional, yet sophisticated and complex complement to fish, tarts, cold cuts and salads of all sorts. www.mitiralesvos.com
GOLDEN AND CREAMY PERFECTION
Bougatsa (Greek custard pie with phyllo) is a traditional Greek dessert made with the creamiest custard wrapped in golden brown crispy phyllo, sprinkled with butter and garnished with icing sugar and cinnamon. A traditional Greek dish, perfect for every time of the day, as a delicious snack or as a filling dessert. Get the original recipe only from Hellenic Bakery. www.brakopoulos.gr
at e! We pa rt ic ip
7 - 9 MARCH 2020 AT H E N S â€¢ G R E E C E
Greek Food & Beverages, with their superior quality, high nutritional value and export potential feature, as always, in the latest, tenth is...