Kozani Red Saffron ma ga z i n e
There are approximately 3,000 decares planted with Kozani Red Saffron in N. Greece during the early postwar years (1941-1950), it now covers roughly about 3,000 decares, 1,000 of which is land used for organic cultivation. Greek saffron or Kozani Red Saffron or Krokos Kozanis, as it is known in the country, is a dynamically evolving product with significant potential in the domestic and international markets. The Saffron Producers Cooperative of Kozani, which has the exclusive responsibility of harvesting, sorting, processing, packaging and trading the whole Krokos (saffron) production, owns modern facilities, while it trains staff and farmers to implement innovative programs and methods. In addition, in cooperation with various scientific institutions and with the full support of the local authorities, the Cooperative has set important goals for the promotion of saffron. An important prospect is the creation of infrastructure that will contribute to the expansion of cultivation of additional aromatic plants in the region, setting up new prospects for organic and profitable crops. Furthermore, actions are being taken to analyze the saffron genome in order to develop reliable techniques to combat bio-adulteration and fraud. Greece plays an important role in the world distribution of the valuable spice. Even if it shares a mere 5 percent of total world production, it can still cover a good part of the demand. Greek
WORLD SAFFRON PRODUCTION
Iran Greece India Others
80% 5% 5% 10%
5% 5% Source: Kozani Saffron Producers Cooperative
saffron is competing with produce from Iran and Spain, but many chefs regard it among the best –if not the best– in the world.
Saffron superfood status Kozani red saffron is an organic product, which ranks high on the Greek superfoods list! According to chemical analysis, Kozani red saffron has a 45-points higher coloring power than all other varieties of saffron, a fact that intensifies its properties. It contains picrocrocin and crocin, responsible for its vibrant red colour. It also contains vitamin B12, lycopene, zeaxanthin, alpha-beta carotene and vitamin C, iron, potassium and magnesium. The complex of vitamins and ingredients contained in Greek saffron contributes to a wide range of benefits, some of which are anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-aging and anticancer. In addition, it enhances brain function and memory and it has a beneficial effect on people who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It has antidepressant properties and, if used externally, it helps treat skin diseases and prevent aging.
1 Saﬀron picking in the district of Kozani, northern Greece.
2 “Saﬀron picker” a painting found in the palaces of Knossos.