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Winter 2 0 1 9

Fi ne food and drinks of Greece

North Aegean

Panorama of flavors

16 -17-18




The Mediterranean Food Experience

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Kozani Red Saffron ma ga z i n e


Contents ma ga z i n e

Contents > Editor’s Note > Business Insider > North Aegean: Gastronomic Adventures > Anatomy of a Greek Olive > Gyros in a Pack > Graviera PDO: Cheese from Heaven > Greek EVOO: Pressing Forward > The Beer Bang > Greek Cold Cuts: The Cure(d) > Mevgal: Focus on Quality & Extraversion > Peach Please > The Cheese Changemakers > State of the Tomato > Success a la Grecque > Condito: Food for You > Can you Say Bou-ga-tsa? > Halva Time! > Riding the Organic Wave > Bio Festival 2019 > Food Expo Greece 2019 > Market Report > FoodTech 2019 > What’s New

8-9 10-11 12-27 28-31 32-37 38-43 44-49 50-55 56-59 60-61 62-67 68-69 70-75 76-79 80-81 82-85 86-89 90-93 94-95 96-101 102-107 108-109 110-112

North aegean A Gastronomic Adventure

Graviera pdo The Unique, Exciting Greek Cheese


Greek evoO Separating facts from fiction


bougatsa Crunchy, creamy and delicious On the cover: Feta, olive oil, Chios Mastiha: Greek PDO products with added value.




Editorial ma ga z i n e




Publisher Nikos Choudalakis nx@forumsa.gr Publishing Director Thanassis Gialouris gialouris@forumsa.gr Sales Director

n 2009, Greece experienced an economic collapse that lasted longer than the Great Depression in America. Adding to the economic problem was the exodus of thousands of people from the country, searching for better living conditions abroad and resulting to an inevitable brain drain that will resonate for decades to come. Another one of its dire consequences was the downward spiral of the local marketplace that had a negative impact on the majority of businesses, from large companies to small-scale ventures. Indeed, the Greek debt crisis has changed normal behavior and expectations, yet opportunities arose even among the ones affected the most. For one, the Greek F&B sector managed to weather the storm and, what is more, not only created reaction strategies against the crisis and its economic consequences, but, also, reexamined its own role by seeking to gain more international recognition. The application of innovative practices and the creation of original products (hydroponics in tomatoes, ready-made gyros, etc.), the adoption of more dyThe Greek F&B sector namic and cost-effective manreacted against the crisis agement methods, the development of specialized and orby seeking to gain more ganic crops (i.e. escargots, alint’l recognition gae) have helped the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors survive and expand, and thus build awareness for the Greek brand all across the world. This against-all-odds success of the Greek F&B industry has triggered the birth of new ventures; trade shows that can highlight and further promote Greece as a product. To wit, apart from FOOD EXPO Greece, two brand new fairs, organized by FORUM SA and promising to build new momentum for local produce and businesses, are emerging: Bio Festival on 11-13 May 2019 and FoodTech, a trade show targeted at the production, packaging and handling technologies of Food & Drinks, on 12-14 October 2019. How about joining us on this new and exciting adventure?

Thanassis Panagoulias sales@forumsa.gr Creative Art Director Niki Galanopoulou ng@forumsa.gr Editor-in-Chief Vana Antonopoulou va@forumsa.gr Contributing Editors Eleni Donou, Eva Touna Art Director Evgenios Kalofolias Graphic Designers Lenia Chalkea, Nikos Kartalias 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 Irene Kouriantaki

Nikos Choudalakis


Printed by Baxas SA Published by


FORUM SA: 328 Vouliagmenis Ave., 17342 Agios Dimitrios, Greece Tel.: +30 210 5242100 - Fax: +30 210 5246581




THE FIN E S T S E LE C T I O N O F M EDITER R AN EA N B R E A D P R O DUC TS FOR H O R ECA A N D R E T A I L _ Privately owned facilities (Thessaloniki and Athens) 25.000 m² _ 10 Automatic production lines _ Capacity of logistic center 6.500 frozen pallet places _ 550 References of bread products


Business Insider ma ga z i n e



he Greek Food & Drink Industry is the leading industrial sector in Greece and a fundamental pillar of the Greek economy. With a turnover of €14.2 billion, it currently represents 25 percent of the processing sector and 4 percent of the country’s total GDP. It employs 360,000 employees, directly as well as indirectly, while more than 1,200 enterprises are active in the sector. It is a dynamic, competitive and extrovert sector, with strong commercial activity across the world and exports reaching a value of €4.1 billion. Even within a difficult economic environment, the Greek Food & Drink Industry has managed to stay robust and competitive. In order to achieve a sustainable growth, all our efforts are put towards the improvement of competitiveness and the promotion of innovation and extroversion. This is required as our sector is in front of new challenges, at national, European and international level. Products’ reformulation, food quality and safety, elderly population, circular economy and sustainability, are only some of the issues that require our attention and actions. In this respect, we put consumers in the heart of our business, as they are the most important asset and driver for our business continuity and the greek F&B industry is growth. We constantly monicommitTed to consumer tor worldwide trends, new nutritional habits and needs and satisfaction and aims to we pledge to provide products of excellent quality, safe, innousher a new era in growth vative and at affordable prices, respecting environmental sustainability. Extroversion is obviously a key priority, as it is very important to strengthen the image of our country all over the world, attract new consumers for our products and new investments to boost local economy. Today, combined with a renewed and qualitative agricultural production, the Greek Food & Drink Industry invests more in producing competitive products –mainly in fast-growing sectors, such as olive oil, fruits & vegetables, dairy products, traditional spirits, honey– by taking advantage of the superiority of the traditional Greek diet and its recognition throughout the world. In the Greek Food Industry, we aim to achieve a new era of growth, committed to ensure consumer satisfaction, sustainability of the food sector and a positive impact on the Greek economy in general.





Evangelos Kaloussis

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.

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Region of Î?. Aegean of Thessaly ma ga z i n e

The Region of North Aegean yields some rather unique products that can become a pole of sustainable development and high competitiveness both inside as well as outside the Greek borders.







Region Region of Νorthof Aegean Ν. Aegean ma ga z i n e




Home to numerous delicious foodstuff, no wonder F&B products account for 84 percent of the Region’s exports.


griculture and agri-food production are at the heart of the Region’s economy and culture, guaranteeing food sufficiency, providing renewable raw materials, protecting the environment, creating jobs, and keeping the area’s social and economic fabric intact. Specifically, tourism is the most significant industry in the regional unit of Samos, agricultural production holds sway in the regional unit of Lesvos, while fishing dominates the economy of the regional unit of Chios, that is the three regional units making up the South Aegean. Compared to the other thirteen Regions of Greece, North Aegean stands in 11th place regarding exports, with 187 million euros in 2016 and 199 million euros in 2016 (featuring an upward trend of 7% within a year), while it covers only just over 1 percent of total Greek exports. According to official data from the Greek Exporters Association (SEVE), fish are the main export product of the

Region. Fish exports for the year 2015 amount to 138,614,727 euros covering a 74 percent of total food sector exports. The fact was somewhat a surprise since the main products of the Region include olive oil from Lesvos, wines from Samos and Lemnos, cheeses mostly from Lesvos and Lemnos, and Chios mastic.

The Region’s F&B sector The islands of the North Aegean have a unique gastronomic identity, which comes from the particular climatic and soil conditions in the area. The products produced, processed and packaged within the geographical bounds of these islands are internationally renowned for their quality and flavor. Regarding extroversion, the Region of North Aegean is the most dependent region of the country on the Food & Beverage sector, which represents 84 percent of its exports.

CHRISTIANA KALOGIROU REGIONAL GOVERNOR OF THE NORTH AEGEAN Agri-food. A term which encompasses the need for vital changes and innovation. The agri-food sector possesses abundant wealth & its contribution to local economy is indisputable. The range of its exploitation is broad. Therefore, the need for ingenuity and innovation proves useful and effective. For this reason, the Region of North Aegean finances, implements & devel-

ops research programs in the agri-food sector. Olive oil, honey, biodiversity, grape products & the Lesvos sheep breed, are objects of scientific research, aiming at the identification, registration & promotion of the special characteristics of our flora and fauna. Through identification, distinct & specialty products could find their rightful place in the marketplace.

1 There are 26 aquaculture units in the Region.

2 The Region produces famous PDO cheeses.


Region of Ν. Aegean ma ga z i n e

ΝΟRTH AEGEAN EXPORTS IN NUMBERS* The significance of the agri-food sector in the export activity of the Region is undisputable. Specifically, exports of the following products featured prominently. *For the year 2015 (Source: Greek Exporters Association)




€5,688,846 OLIVE OIL






€889,549 DAIRY



€2,109,202 REST OF FOOD


WHERE TO? Italy is the major destination for the products of the North Aegean. In fact, in 2015, the country imported approximately 49,990,313 euros of products from the Greek region, amounting to 26 percent of total North Aegean exports, while France came in second with 29,515,531 euros in imports, amounting to a 15.8 percent for the Region's in-

come. Third in food exports comes Germany, while in fourth and fifth place are Spain and Portugal, respectively, which import mostly fish from the islands. In sixth place is the UK and in seventh, the Netherlands, which, in 2015, showed significant increase after four years of steady decline as far as exports from North Aegean are concerned.





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Region of Ν. Aegean ma ga z i n e

ANIMAL FARMING & LOCAL DAIRY PRODUCTS PDO cheeses lead the way in the Region’s dairy production, which is based on traditional practices and local sheep breeds.


ivestock farming is a significant production activity in the islands of the Region of North Aegean. In total, there are approximately 13,000 livestock farmers active in the area, of which 65 percent is located in Lesvos and 15 percent in Lemnos. The same concentration is also noted in the number of animals with more than 550,000 sheep and goats, of which 70 percent is located in Lesvos and 15 percent in Lemnos. In addition, there is an important cow-farming activity in Chios, whereas the other islands are dominated by small-scale sheep and goat farming. Milk production is almost exclusively used for cheesemaking with the exception of Chios where the milk is also sold as fresh. The local flora and the indigenous sheep and goat breeds are the main factors for the exceptional quality milk in the region of the North Aegean, which is processed by local cheese-making units by implementing the traditions, the know-how and the expertise that has passed from generation to generation. The human factor is also key for the uniqueness of these dairy products, since their top tier quality is linked to the knowledge of bio-


REGIONAL BREEDS OF SHEEP AND GOATS • “Chios” is a breed of indigenous sheep on the island of Chios and classified as a semi-fat tailed breed. They are bred mainly for their high yield in milk, which, more often than not, is turned into cheese

and dairy products. It is one of most sough-after breeds of sheep and the most famous Greek sheep breed internationally. • “Lesvos” sheep breed is mainly farmed on the islands of Lesvos and Lemnos

in a population of 260,000 animals at 1,650 flocks. These sheep are famous for their high milk production and endurance in very difficult conditions. They are ideal for the exploitation of poor in vegetation pastures.

• The sheep of “Evdilos” of the island of Ikaria, is a medium to large-sized animal, a breed that has nowadays become rather scarce. With regard to their milk production, it amounts to 150 kg of milk a year.

CHEESES WITH DESIGNATION OF ORIGIN KALATHAKI LIMNOU Kalathaki Limnou is a brine cheese, produced in the island of Lemnos. It has a cylindrical shape and does not have a rind. It bears the marks of the willow basket (“kalathi” in Greek, hence its name) in which it has matured. Pieces usually weigh between 0.7 and 1.3kg, and has a slightly acidic taste and rich aroma.


45% 56%


The region's indigenous sheep and goat breeds produce exceptional milk

1 Kalathaki, a PDO cheese from Lemnos, actually translates to "basket" .

2 65% of livestock farming is located in Lesvos.

topes, of local breed farming practices, as well as of the traditional cheese-making methods. In the Region of North Aegean, there is considerable variety of cheese products. Specifically, 18 products in total are produced in significant quantities, while 4 of them are registered as PDO. Other important products are “hachles” from Lesvos (a kind of rusk made from trachanas); “melichloro” and “kaskavali” (both cheeses from sheep & goat milk) from Lemnos; “kalathoura”, “kopanisti” and “touloumotiri” (types of soft cheeses) from the island of Ikaria, which are unfortunately not standardized; graviera produced mostly in Lesvos; and white cheese, which is actually Feta but since Samos and Ikaria are not included in the designated areas that can produce PDO Feta, it goes by a different name. There are 17 livestock cooperatives in the islands of the North Aegean in total, 15 of which are located in Lesvos. However, cheese cooperatives are scarce: there are 2 in Lesvos and 1 in Chios. Dairy product exports concern mainly cheese and grew by 20.4 percent in 2015 but have fallen to an average of 22 percent within a 5-year period.

Feta cheese is produced from sheep milk or in combination with goat milk in the islands of Lesvos and Lemnos. It can be characterized as organic because it is produced from milk coming from herds allowed to graze freely in regions where no pesticides, insect repellants or other pollutants are used. It is a soft, white cheese which matures in brine for two months, and which is preserved in brine.


26,2% 52,9%

LADOTYRI MYTILINIS Ladotyri Mytilinis is produced in the island of Lesvos from sheep milk or a combination with goat milk, the latter not exceeding 30%. It is also referred to as “kefalaki” (meaning “little head”). Its basic characteristic is that it is stored in olive oil, which is why it is called “ladotyri” (literally “oil cheese”). It has a strong, salty taste and pleasant aroma, and is classified as a hard table cheese. It has a hard and dry rind, with small cuts.




KASSERI Kasseri is produced in the islands of Lesvos and Lemnos from sheep milk or a combination with goat milk, which should not exceed 20%. It is a semi-hard to hard cheese with a compact mass. It can be cylindrical, 25-30 cm in diameter and 7-10 cm in height, or rectangular. It is white-yellow with very few cuts and has a pleasant taste and rich aroma.


40% 45%


Region of Î?. Aegean ma ga z i n e

THE WORLD FAMOUS CHIOS MASTIHA Chios Mastiha is a product unique to the island of Chios, enchanting people with its exceptional aroma and particular flavor.


hios Mastiha is the name of a resinous sap produced from schinos, the Greek name for the mastic tree (Pistacia Lentiscus var. Chia) that grows exclusively on the island of Chios. Chios Mastiha cannot be found in any other part of the world (the Japanese tried to cultivate these particular trees but were unsuccessful), it also grows to the South of the island of Chios alone. It is a natural, aromatic resin that falls to the ground in droplets from superficial scratches induced by cultivators, sometime in July, with sharp tools on the trunk and main branches of the tree. The collection, cleaning, and production process of Chios Mastiha is free of all chemicals and additives, and has remained unchanged throughout the centuries. The almost primitive tools and cleaning methods combined with the virtually untouched natural environment of the region are undeniable proof of the historical continuity of the


1 product. Chios Mastiha is a registered PDO product since 1997, a denomination that guarantees for its production, process and origin. And although there indeed exist several resinous saps throughout the world, such as the Iranian gum (Gum Tragacanth), they are of a far lesser quality, and have nothing in common with the authentic Chios Mastiha –neither in flavor nor in aroma, nor in quality, not, of course, in their usage. They are also cheap products, whereas the original Chios Mastiha is a premium, rather expensive commodity. Finally, Chios Mastiha exports remain stable, showing an average annual growth trend of 5.1 percent.


1 Mastiha production has remained unchanged through the centuries.

2 The Mastha trees grow to the South of the island of Chios

3 Chios Mastiha is one of the most common spices.

Chios Mastiha facts Mastiha production in Chios depends on weather conditions as well as other, random events, such as wildfires, but in general terms, it amounts to 120-150 tons a year. Exports account for 70 percent of total sales, while the major exporting markets are the Middle East, and several countries in North Africa (Morocco, Mauritania etc.) where Chios Mastiha is used as flavoring and spice, as well as the EU, the US, Japan, Korea, Turkey, and Cyprus, where it is mainly used in cosmetics, cooking, and pharmaceuticals.

The role of the Growers Association The Chios Mastiha Growers Association was founded in 1938 as a compulsory agricultural cooperative according to Law 1390 and represents an entity that has undertaken the exclusive management of natural Chios Mastiha in Greece and abroad. It is the collective representative organ of 20 primary cooperatives founded in the 24 Mastiha villages (Mastihohoria) of southern Chios. The Association produces, packages and trades Chios natural mastiha, mastiha oil and mastiha water, mastiha powder and ΕLMA chewing gum. Today, Chios Mastiha Growers Association has approximately 4,500 members and is among the largest organizations in the Region of North Aegean.















Region of Ν. Aegean ma ga z i n e



STRONG HONEY GAME A wide biodiversity of flora combined with the Aegean summer sun is what helps produce a unique golden nectar.









reece produces some of the best and most popular honeys in the world, and apiculture is a significant activity for the islands of the North Aegean, particularly so for Ikaria and Fournoi –for those two islands, it is also their most profitable endeavor– as well as for the rest of the Region, which mostly produces thyme and flower honey. In fact, 15 percent of the thyme honey produced in Greece comes from the Greek islands of the Aegean, whereas 1.9 percent of Greek honey production takes place in North Aegean. Several types of honey are produced in the Region, each with its own characteristics. In most islands, excellent thyme honey is produced, with the exception of Lesvos, where thyme honey quantities are limited. Lemnos prides itself on its quality thyme honey, famous of its strong aroma and flavor, while in Chios, Samos and Ikaria pine honey is produced. Heather honey is mainly produced in Lesvos, Samos and Ikaria, whereas chestnut honey of particular flavor is produced in Lesvos and Samos. Finally, honeys of floral origin produced on the islands of the region show wide variety and fluctuations depending on the year, with honey from wicker flowers being a typical example of rich aroma and flavor. The dry and relatively anhydrous climate of the islands of the North Aegean, as well as the excellent biodiversity of the local flora, contribute to the production of honey of excellent quality. Unlike mainland Greece where beekeepers use

increasingly intensive methods (bee transport, etc.), apiarists of the North Aegean continue to use traditional beekeeping methods, sacrificing, in some cases, quantity for the sake of quality. In addition, honeybee colonies graze on a wide variety of plants, such as pine, fir, ivy, thyme, rosemary, oregano, mountain tea, heather, almond, and carob. As a result, the honey in all the islands of the North Aegean, either produced by professional or amateur beekeepers, is unparalleled in flavor, unique in aroma and wonderful in color.

The dry and anhydrous climate of the region contributes to the production of top-tier honey Ikaria, where honey spells longevity The honey produced by the bees on the island of Ikaria is of particularly high quality due to the unique geographical and topographical attributes found there. The pollen and nectar collected by the bees of Ikaria is 100 percent pure and free from any chemicals or pesticides/ herbicides normally found in commercial or private farming. In fact, “honey from Ikaria contains anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties,” according to Dan Buettner, author of “Blue Zones and The Secrets to Living a Long Life” who in 2004 discovered that Ikarians, on average, outlive just about everyone else in the world!

1 Several types of honey are produced in North Aegean.

2 The region’s bees feed in a pristine natural setting.

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Region of Ν. Aegean ma ga z i n e

EXCEPTIONAL WINES & SPIRITS The wines and spirits produced in the islands of the North Aegean have a prominent place in Greek history and the region’s exports.


emnos and Samos with their famous and quite old vineyards take the lead in the production of wines in the Region of North Aegean. In the island of Samos, white Muscat holds a prominent position, taking up 95 percent of the approximately 4,400 acres devoted to viticulture. Most of the variety’s yield goes toward production of the famous PDO sweet wine of Samos. Although the vineyards are scattered throughout the island, their core is to be found on the island’s northern side between Karlovassi and the city of Samos, on highly varying altitudes -between those of the low plains and those that rise up to 800-900 meters in the uplands. This has a strong effect on the aromatic features of the wines produced. In the past century, Samos has been able to showcase its sweet white wines throughout the world, and they have found fame and renown on their merits. All of the island’s approximately 3,000 producers are members of the Union of Viticultural Cooperatives of Samos which is exclusively responsible for the wide range of the island’s dessert wines.

1 The vineyards of Lemnos host Muscat of Alexandria vines, mostly on rolling terrain along shallow valleys on the island’s hilly western side. Around 1,250 acres are cultivated, of which 90-95 percent is taken up by the aforementioned variety, while the rest is accounted for by Limnio, the ancient Greek red cultivar locally known as “Kalambaki”.

MUSCAT OF LEMNOS 2 Its wine is said to date as far back as the times when it was used to quench the thirst of the Achaeans during the Trojan War. Yet even now, the island of Lemnos –its wines bearing the “Muscat of Lemnos” indication– and the fame its wines have acquired remain the way they were back then: un-

changed. The arid climate and the volcanic soil assist in maturing to perfection the large berries of the Muscat of Alexandrias grape variety which nowadays comprise over 95 percent of the Lemnos vineyards, making the island one of the predominant Greek locations producing sweet wines.


Ouzo, the spirit of North Aegean

1 Most of the Region's wine production is on Lemnos & Samos.

2 Lesvos is the birth place of ouzo.

3 The islands are famous for their dessert wines.

Ouzo is an alcoholic spirit with aniseed, traditionally and exclusively produced in Greece. On October 25, 2006, Greece won the right to label ouzo as an exclusively Greek product. The European Union now recognizes ouzo as a PDO product, prohibiting makers outside Greece from using the name. According to Greek law on ouzo production, the worldfamous drink must be produced by distilling 96 percent alcohol by volume rectified spirit of agricultural origin and aniseed or possibly fennel seed. The alcohol flavored by distillation must represent at least 20 percent of the alcoholic strength of the ouzo. Ouzo production is a traditional process which begins with distillation in handmade copper stills, while a mixture of alcohol, seeds and other aromatic substances gives it its distinct flavor and aroma. Ouzo is a particularly strong drink; It is also an acquired taste, but one that can be acquired quickly. It can be best enjoyed with sour, savory, and spicy meze (appetizers served in small dishes or Greek hors d'oeuvres).






95% 4,400




Region of Ν. Aegean ma ga z i n e




From fish to citrus fruit to local pastries, the Region of North Aegean is full with unique and exceptional produce. Fish and aquaculture

Traditional pastries

The importance of fish and aquaculture for the Region of the North Aegean far exceeds the economic significance of the industry. In fact, it is inextricably linked to the culture of the islands creating an intangible added value in a range of local products and services. At the same time, maintaining fishing activity is a vital prerequisite for the survival of the small islands, such as Fournoi and Ai Stratis, not to mention the direct contribution of fish and aquaculture products to exports as they are the second in value export category of agricultural products after fruit and vegetables for the country. Notably, there exist 26 aquaculture units in the North Aegean, broken down as follows: 17 in the Chios prefecture, 8 in the Lesvos prefecture and 1 in Samos.

In each and every island, there are notable units, either individual businesses or cooperatives, which produce local pastries in various forms: spoon sweets, jams, confectionary, baked goods. Apart from pastries from the island of Chios, which are rather famous, of particular interest are certain rare spoon sweets, such as rose from Ikaria, chestnut and walnut. In addition, some baked or fried pastries, such as “diples”, “finikia” and pies of various types made from local ingredients like honey, nuts and flour, are also quite delicious.

Citrus fruit from Chios

1 Aquaculture is a major in value export category.

2 Chios is the main citrus farming center in N. Aegean.

Citrus farming in the region of Kampos, in Chios, is more than a simple agricultural activity; it is linked with the culture and history of the land. Kampos is a fertile plain south of the city of Chios, overgrown with citrus orchards. Kampos has many underground waters, but also the most fertile soil in all the island. It is full of estates and summer residences of the old aristocratic families of Chios. Originally, silk was grown in Kampos and later citrus trees that became a basic source of income and wealth for Chios and its merchants. Nowadays, approximately 200 orchards remain in the area.

Cereal from Lemnos Cereal production together with viticulture is the most important agri-sector in Lemnos. Specifically, approximately 10,000 decares of various types of durum wheat are cultivated on the island. The local wheat variety named “Lemnos” is of exceptional and delivers excellent quality flour, which produces outstanding local products, such as “flomaria”, “aftoudia” and “macarones”. In addition, 90,000 decares of barley and oats, mainly for the production of animal feed, are also farmed on the island. A small part of this production is used to make barley rusks of top-tier quality. n

Special thanks to the Region of North Aegean, the Greek Exporters Association (SEVE), the New Wines of Greece, the Chios Mastiha Growers Association, the North Aegean Apiary Center & Dr Joseph A. Bizelis, Professor in the Department of Animal Breeding and Husbandry at the Agricultural University of Athens


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Τable Olives ma ga z i n e

ANATOMY of a Greek

olive Table olives are one of the most delicious and healthy snacks around –especially when hailing from Greece. We have “dissected” the famous Greek olives to find what the fuss is all about.


NATURALLY SAFE Before reaching the consumer, Greek table olives are subjected to continuous quality checks, starting at the olive orchard, as well as during processing and packaging to ensure high quality and safety standards that guarantee the absence of undesirable microorganisms while, at the same time, maintain all the valuable nutrients.

1 NATURALLY TREE RIPENED Greek olives are made in the most natural way, rippening naturally on the tree. After harvest, they are placed in brine to lose their bitterness where they mature. Once they are ready, olive oil or vinegar may be added to the brine depending on the type of product.

3 NATURAL SNACK Olives can be a healthy snack at all times and on every occasion. Combined with bread, in a healthy salad, at breakfast or in sandwiches, at home, at school, at the office or during leisure time, they can provide the body with the necessary energy to cope with everyday activities.



NATURALLY FAMOUS VARIETIES - KONSERVOLIA OLIVES. The olive with the highest nutritional value and the richest flavor, as it is left to ripen naturally on the tree.

NATURALLY FAMOUS VARIETIES - KALAMATA OLIVES. The most famous Greek olive brand name and highly appreciated by consumers worldwide. Purple-black, almond shaped and shiny, it is just the right olive when it comes to a healthy Mediterranean diet.

6 NATURALLY MEDITERRANEAN Olives are a key component of the famous Mediterranean diet that UNESCO has officially declared as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The consumption of table olives is not just about taste and nutrition, it is also linked to the authentic lifestyle of each and every olive producing region.

7 NATURALLY FAMOUS VARIETIES - CHALKIDIKI OLIVES. A greenish olive harvested when not fully ripe, slit lengthwise or cracked to remove bitterness. They are kept in brine and are ready for consumption in 2-3 days.


Τable Olives ma ga z i n e

8 NATURALLY HEALTHY Apart from their nutritional value, olives are considered an important functional food carrying beneficial microorganisms (probiotic bacteria) to the human body. These microorganisms can offer many diverse benefits, such as improved digestion, antimicrobial activity, anti-oxidant activity, regulation of intestinal microflora, release of inorganic compounds.

9 NATURALLY GOURMET Olives are constantly inspiring the world of high gastronomy and are a key component in the preparation of the most gourmet dishes, especially now that the Mediterranean cuisine has become a chef favorite. Not to mention that the variety of olives and the enormous range of flavors offer countless possibilities.

10 NATURALLY DIVERSE PRODUCTS A great range of table olive products is available to the consumer, such as stuffed, pitted, sliced, cut in halves or quarters, flavored with fennel, tarragon, lemon zest, vinegar, marinated, as olive spread, etc. They are also available in a variety of packages including jars, bags, cans, snack packs, pouches or small plastic kegs.

11 SUPERIOR TASTE Olive flavor and quality is assessed by a well-trained panel supported by the Panhellenic Association of Table Olive Processors, Packers and Exporters (PEMETE), based on the official method for the organoleptic analysis of table olives developed by the International Olive Council in Madrid. The organoleptic analysis method is an asset for the table olive sector and can help establish, in the long run, the high organoleptic quality criteria of the Greek table olive varieties.

IMPORTANT NOTE The Panhellenic Association of Table Olives Processors, Packers and Exporters (PEMETE) is the beneficiary of the EU co-financed program “OLIVE YOU European Table Olives”. This 3-year promo-tional campaign aims to generate awareness and demand for European table olives from Greece, for both businesses and consumers, in the target

markets of the UK, Germany, France, Austria, Sweden and Poland. PEMETE (est.1970) is the professional association promoting the interests of table olive exporters. It has 46 member companies representing more than 90 percent of Greece's table olive exports to more than 100 countries around the world.

13 GOOD FOR EXPORTS Greek table olive processing companies do business with more than 64,000 Greek farmers and export approximately 450,000,000 of euros in table olives each year. In fact, around 85 percent of production, which translates into around 215,000 tons, is exported to more than 100 countries.

12 HEALTHY AS EVIDENCED. According to a recent study, the way table olives are processed affects their levels of antioxidants. Greek-style olives retain a higher level of antioxidants compared to the other two styles researched (Spanish and Californian). Specifically, Greek-style olives had the highest concentration of all compounds measured.

14 AN ECONOMIC POWERHOUSE The table olive sector is one of the most dynamic and extrovert of the Greek economy: in the last ten years, table olive exports have doubled. They now represent 9.2 percent of total Greek agri-food exports. n


Greek Gyros ma ga z i n e

GYROS IN A PACK Amongst the many Greek contributions to the world –democracy, philosophy, tragedies, etc.– gyros has to be the best. And now that anyone can enjoy it fresh, at the convenience of their home, its world domination will be complete.


n 2015, the American Restaurant Association placed Mediterranean cuisine as the next most common ethnic cuisine with consumers. The study also showed that Mediterranean was the ethnic cuisine that has shown the strongest popularity gains in terms of consumption frequency over the prior six years. Nowadays, this trend is constantly rising with the tremendous growth of Mediterranean fast-casual concepts. As street food and on-the-go convenience food continues to reflect a certain “avant-garde” mood amongst consumers, gyros is on the industry’s radar as the food trend of the moment. This traditional Greek dietary staple can be seen inspiring new restaurant openings across the United States, Europe, Canada and further afield, while known chefs are experimenting with novel ways to put gyros on the plate and on the menu. Exploring further this concept, the key for consumers today is being able to get a truly authentic Mediterranean food experience beyond the confines of their standard ethnic restaurant. Responding to this particular need, Greek gyros producing companies, are currently creating innovative offerings that put

freshly prepared gyros right at the super market shelves and into homes around the world. Given that the process of grilling and cutting needs specific machinery, gyros can only be produced in special grill shops. Therefore, in order to enjoy it as if it has just been taken off the grill, Greek brands have devised pre-grilled gyros in packs, ready to eat, for the foodservice as well as the retail sector. “The ever-increasing demand for pregrilled gyros in the past three years in the Greek HoReCa market, has created the right conditions for the development of a market for pre-cooked food and more specifically for pre-grilled gyros,” explains Ms Korina Moumtzidou, QA Director at Megas Yeeros, one of the leading Greek gyros production companies. Mr Fotis Papageorgiou, owner of PFS, another prominent Greek gyros brand, points out that “pre-grilled gyros is aimed at foodservice professionals wishing to provide their customers with guaranteed quality and tasty results in the event they do not have the expertise and equipment of a grill shop. In addition, pre-grilled gyros in smaller packs for home consumption has already started being marketed both in Greece and internationally.”












* Source: Association of Greek Meat Processing Industries


Greek Gyros ma ga z i n e



THE GREEK STANDARDS From shelf to table, pre-cooked gyros is building reputation as a premium, delicious product, like the one sold in grill shops.


he mass, industrial production of Greek gyros got to a brisk start around the year 2000. It was then, for the first time, that companies, dedicated to the specific production of gyros and souvlaki in order to supply the foodservice sector, began to appear. Slowly but surely, consumption turned from casual to an almost everyday routine, and people have started treating gyros as a basic dietary habit. Nowadays, the production of gyros is a standardized process that ensures consistently top

Greek know how guarantees that pre-grilled gyros is simply the best it can be tier quality, food safety and a succulent and flavorsome end product. As with the actual gyros production process, the meat used for pregrilled gyros is first filleted by special filleting devices with knives placed at a fixed distance, then marinated with fresh spices and natural flavorings to preserve their freshness and flavor (this procedure is automated and ensures that the meat will remain in the marinade for an ideal period of time), stacked in a spit in a conical shape, and grilled. Finally, it is cut again in extra thin slices and frozen. All production stages use robotic technology to ensure the best and safest results. No thawing is needed to enjoy pre-grilled gyros –only to warm it in the oven or the grill. “Extensive research and

sensory tests have been conducted in order to maintain the high quality standards of pregrilled gyros and offer a freshly cut, juicy and ready to eat product within just a few minutes,” clarifies Ms Moumtzidou. “In order to achieve that, gyros is cut in extra thin pieces to preserve the right humidity as well as authentic flavor. In fact, the thickness of each piece is of particular importance and that is why industry players use robotic technology –to minimize all kinds of risks.”

A matter of quality Ms Loukia Sofianou, Marketing Manager at Belle Meat, a brand specializing in the processing of meat products, concurs that maintaining strict standards in the production of gyros is key to ensure a consistent product, just like the one obtained from a grill house. Those standards include “top tier ingredients, as well as the right cut and packaging, not to mention the right freezing process.” Continuous technological developments – in automated production lines, in particular, as well as in laboratory analyses, in the use of environmentally friendly materials, and in traceability and distribution production software applications– have enhanced the safety of meat products, and especially pre-grilled gyros. In addition, Greek know how guarantees that the pre-grilled gyros in a store, a restaurant or a plate retains the authentic gyros flavor and is simply the best is can be.

1 The gyros meat is cut in extra thin slices and frozen.

2 Top tier ingredients are key to ensuring a consistent product.

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Greek Gyros ma ga z i n e


GYROS, A GLOBAL TREND The international appeal of gyros has Greek companies looking to expand in new markets.


ost Greek gyros and pre-grilled exports are headed towards countries where the significant Greek community has already established a growing market for the product. As a result, there has been a huge surge in international sales, with numbers increasing constantly over the last years. “Global interest is totally justified if we take into account the superiority of gyros, in terms of both quality and flavor compared to the widespread doner kebab, not to mention the convenience offered to the catering professional as well as the home consumer by the ready made, pre-grilled gyros,” suggests Mr Papageorgiou of PFS. Except Europe, emerging markets are also showing great enthusiasm towards the Greek delicacy, whereas “interest in the US for gyros in a pack has peaked in the 12 months or so,” discloses Ms Loukia Sofianou. “There is a significant export interest, especially in Europe; consumers are looking to enjoy the same product they have tasted sometime during their holidays in Greece and pre-grilled gyros fits exactly that profile,” she explains. As for the flavor that reigns supreme, although classic pork gyros is a favorite, chicken gyros is also extremely popular and gaining market share, especially in countries where religious restrictions apply.


A new age for gyros Gyros is on its way to become a Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG) product, indicating that the product must be of “specific character” and either its raw materials, production method or processing must be “traditional”. Accordingly, the registered name can be used by only those producers conforming to the registered production method and product specifications. The Association of Greek Meat Processing Industries (SEVEK) points out the need to certify gyros as a TSG product in order to create added value at national, European as well as international level as a traditional product of Greece. According to Mr George Economou, Chief Executive at SEVEK, in recent years, very large quantities of gyros produced in other countries have sprang up, with the use of forbidden additives and with surprisingly low sale prices. “We hope that the registration of Greek gyros as a TSG product, with the distinct ingredients and the limited fat content prescribed by strict Greek legislation, will help us create a protection shield from unfair international competition, while at the same time will strengthen Greek export growth.” n

1 There is a significant export interest for gyros in a pack.

2 Soon, gyros is expected to acquire TSG denomination.


Graviera Cheese ma ga z i n e

Almost every region in Greece takes great pride in the fact that it produces its very own, local Graviera cheese, while three of them are registered as products of protected designation of origin. But what exactly do we know about Greek Graviera?

Graviera PDO

Cheese from




30 tons






Graviera Cheese ma ga z i n e


raviera is Greece’s second most popular cheese after Feta. The very first Graviera was produced in the country in 1914 by a cheesemaker in the Peloponnese and was based on the recipe of the Swiss Gruyère cheese (even the name itself, Graviera, is somewhat derived from Gruyère), but with one significant difference: cow milk was replaced by sheep and goat milk. Since then, the recipe has evolved and was amended, while cow milk was also used for certain types

nowadays Greek Gravieras have no connection whatsoever with the Swiss version of the cheese, so that nowadays Greek Gravieras have no connection whatsoever with the original Swiss version. There are three Gravieras registered as PDO in Greece: Graviera Agrafon (produced in Western Thessaly and Evritania), Graviera Kritis (produced in Crete) and Graviera Naxou (from the island of Naxos in the Cyclades). Production of exceptional Graviera cheese –although not registered as PDO– also takes place in the islands of Tinos (from cow milk), Lesvos, as well as in the region of Epirus and the municipality of Amfilochia. In conclusion, Graviera is a cheese with a big “personality” and a great variety –from sweet to very spicy– to fit every taste. And no wonder it is a favorite among both Greeks and an international clientele.




What’s in a Graviera Regardless of flavor, there are certain characteristics that make a good Graviera stand out: its hard natural rind, its compact mass with small holes, and its light to dark –depending on the milk used for its production– yellow color. Graviera cheese is molded into wheels of varying weight (5, 10 and up to 25 kilos) and shape, while each type has its own particular flavor determined by the fauna of the region it is produced. Spiciness depends on how long the cheese was left to mature; sweeter Gravieras have usually matured only for a short period of time, whereas extra mature cheeses are always spicier. Namely, sweet Graviera has been left to mature for at least 3 months, mature Graviera at least 5-7 months (spicier than the previous offering), while extra mature Graviera has been left to ripen for approximately 12 months (with an even spicier and full-rounded flavor). Graviera is one of the richest cheeses in calcium, while it is also an excellent source of protein, phosphorous and magnesium. It is worth noting that 100g of Graviera cheese contain approximately 370 calories, 30g of fat, 28g of protein and 100mg of calcium. In recent years, light Gravieras with less fat have also hit the market in an effort to appeal to an even larger consumer market .

1 Graviera PDO is produced in round wheels.

2 Graviera is left to mature at least 3 months.

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Graviera Cheese ma ga z i n e


GRAVIERA KRITIS Graviera Kritis PDO is produced from sheep's milk in the island of Crete. In certain cases, when goat's milk is added, its percentage cannot exceed 20% of the total weight. Its total maturation time is at least three months. The milk used for the production of this cheese comes from animals that graze freely in mountainous and semi-mountainous regions in Crete. Manufacturing units are spread throughout the island, and the herds are moved during the winter months to the milder seaside regions. As reported by Mr Marinos Kalogerakis, President of Bros Kalogeraki SA, one of the major Graviera producing companies in Crete, the key

characteristic of Graviera Kritis and what makes it different from all other similar cheeses, is the high quality of the milk used, which comes from local sheep races, that produce limited quantities of milk, that is however rich in nutritional ingredients, especially fat and proteins. Exports are shipped to almost the entirety of European countries –from Germany to France, to the UK, to Austria, to Sweden, to Poland, to Romania, and Cyprus, to name a few– while Greek diaspora is integral to the proliferation of this particular Graviera across the world.


GRAVIERA NAXOU Graviera Naxou (of Naxos) cheese is produced in the island of Naxos, in the Cyclades. It is produced in round wheels from pasteurized cow milk and a mixture of sheep and goat milk, the total percentage of which does not exceed 20%. It is a hard table cheese with a pleasant flavor and light aroma.

According to Mr Valeris, Vice-President of the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Naxos, Graviera Naxou PDO acquires even better organoleptic characteristics the more mature it gets, so the cheese is left to ripen on wooden racks for 5 months. The Union, which is the major Graviera producer on the island of Naxos, has been experimenting with an extra mature Graviera Naxou PDO, which will go for sale in the near future. Graviera Naxou PDO is the richest in calcium Greek cheese and is exported to Central and Western Europe, as well as to the US and the UAE. Production amounts to 1,100 tons a year, while 30 tons of the cheese are exported. “Graviera Naxou PDO is a rather expensive cheese. Its costs are high: it is produced on an island, far from the mainland, while 11kg of milk only make 1kg of Graviera,” discloses Mr Valeris. “Interest is, however, growing. And we believe that the extra mature Graviera, will be a hit in Greece and abroad.”

Special thanks to the Hellenic Agricultural Organization Elgo-Dimitra, the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Naxos, Kissas Dairy, & Bros Kalogeraki SA Dairy Industry


GRAVIERA AGRAFON Graviera Agrafon PDO is produced in the mountainous regions of Agrafa (Western Thessaly / Evritania) from sheep milk or in combination with goat milk. The percentage of goat milk must not exceed 30% of the total weight. The addition of goat’s milk makes Graviera Agrafon harder and spicier than other similar cheeses. During the maturing stage, the surface of the cheese is salted repeatedly for 3 weeks, until it obtains a 2% content in salt. When the salting of the cheese is completed, it is transported in an area at 16-18°C, where it stays for a month and then is placed in booths with a temperature of 12-15°C and 90-95% humidity for the maturing to complete. The total time of mat-

uration is 3-6 months. During the maturing process, a micro-flora develops on the surface, which contributes to the maturing and the development of the organoleptic characteristics of the cheese. The cheese is then covered in natural beeswax. It is worth noting that Graviera Agrafon PDO is currently produced by only one dairy, Kissas Dairy, in the area and the entire yearly production, all 100 wheels of cheese, are exported mainly to France, Switzerland and Germany. According to Mr Dimitris Kissas, owner of said dairy, in the near future production is expected to reach 4,000 wheels of cheese a year, most of which will likely be exported as this particular cheese is of high value abroad. “In these countries, customers prefer quality cheeses. They are not daunted by our cheese’s rather strong flavor nor by its high price,” he explains. n

did you know that Graviera Naxou PDO is the richest in calcium Greek cheese?


Greek Olive oil Cuisine ma ga z i n e

Greek EVOO:

Pressing forward With 32 EVOOs receiving gold award and 23 silver at the NYIOOC 2018 World Olive Oil Competition, is Greek extra virgin olive oil finally having its moment? International experts weigh in.


Olive oil ma ga z i n e

WHAT'S IN AN OLIVE OIL Experts in the olive oil field analyze the facts and fiction behind Greek EVOOs.

W 1 Even in the same Greek region, different types of olive oil can be produced.

2 Olive oils with high levels of phenols are more pungent and bitter in taste.

hat makes Greek olive oil stand out in international markets are the exceptional conditions under which olive trees are cultivated and olive oil is produced and packaged. Small production units are the norm, whereas topography, climate and sunshine help to have the optimal outcome in terms of cultivation practices. Greece has great biodiversity and it so happens that often one can encounter many different types of the same variety and the same olive oil, each with different characteristics. This creates the opportunity to play with blends. One can blend, for instance, koroneiki with koroneiki and koroneiki, since sometimes, even in the same region different types of olive oil are produced, depending on the time the fruit is left to mature on the tree, the way the olives have been harvested or the strand of the specific variety. In addition, apart from the famous koroneiki, there are other many olive varieties indigenous to Greece, which produce excellent results. For example, “patrini” is another variety that has not been promoted as



Close to 80% of Greece's olive oil is classified as extra virgin, with high levels of phenols it should have or the extremely aromatic varieties from the regions of Thrace and Mytelene –generally, little known varieties produce limited amounts of olive oil.

Quality & health claims The fact remains that, according to most statistics available, Greece is the highest producing country of olive oil classified as extra virgin (close to 80% of the country’s total oil production is certified as such), while many of the country’s finest extra virgin olive oils have PDO or PGI status. Furthermore, Greek olive oils have high levels of polyphenols, one type of health-protective antioxidants found in extra virgin olive oil. Polyphenols are mostly responsible for the bitter taste and pungent aromas in olive oil and are at their highest in the olive fruit when it is not fully ripe. It should, therefore, be no surprise that olive oils with a high level of polyphenols are more bitter and pungent in taste –one of the easiest ways to recognize a high-phenolic olive oil. In



3 Greek biodiversity makes the country's EVOOs stand out.

4 Greek varieties have intense aromas and distinct flavors.

5 Harvesting practices can affect the quality of olive oil.

fact, phenols give olive oil added value and if they are removed, the only way to obtain any flavor is through the use of chemicals. For an olive oil to be edible, it should balance the high levels of natural phenolic compounds with a pleasing taste. A matter which does not negate the fact that an excellent extra virgin oil could also have high levels of phenols. Hence the “health claim” that some Greek olive oil producers have started using, which translates into superior quality paired with exceptional organoleptic characteristics –an EVOO not only good for your health but also perfect for eating.


A matter of taste "Is it true that Greek olive oils taste strange to a foreign palate?", one might ask. Experts disclose that it all depends on the market. The American market, for example, is more used to Spanish olive oil –that is medium to low quality– whereas Germans are more interested in commercial standards, such as ISO, IFS, etc. and the French are “degustateurs”, they prefer to taste olive oil to determine its value. Greek olive oil, however, is not unknown to them. In fact, as exports suggest, the international clientele is acknowledging the distinct flavors and aromas of EVOOs produced in Greece. Additionally, Greece was the first country to promote early harvest olive oils, greener and more bitter than regular ones and produced from unripe olives. Agourelaio, or early harvest olive oil as it is widely known, has a very peculiar taste that many find too strong or too pungent, although lately it seems to be gaining momentum on a global scale. This proves that in some markets people are “trained” to appreciate an early harvest EVOO, while in others, consumers are unable to assess it in a positive way –in the latter case, more mature olive oils, with rounder flavors and “easier” to the palate, are marketed.




Olive oil ma ga z i n e


Is Greek EVOO superior to all others? One cannot describe a certain olive oil as the best. Of course, there are good and bad olive oils, but every country, be it Italy, Spain or Greece, has its share of both. The fact, however, remains that Greece is a small country and, compared to other olive oil producing regions, has only a limited production. It is also a fact that Greek olive oils are of exceptional quality and can compete on an equal footing with the ones from Italy, Spain or any other country. Nevertheless, quality is not the only one parameter to success; to make a great olive oil, one needs good cultivation methods, best practices during harvesting and after harvesting, proper standardization, safety controls, proper storage and, of course, good marketing. And Greek olive oil producers have also finally understood that presentation is

Greek cultivars have developed distinct characteristics that make their olive oil stand out




critical to success. A new, more professional approach to packaging has helped Greek olive oil companies add another level of value to an already precious product. But, finally, it all comes down to the olive oil. An excellent EVOO is a passport to international markets and the shelves of super markets, c-stores and delicatessens all across the globe.

Why choose Greek EVOO It’s a fact that Greece is the largest producer of extra virgin olive oil in the world and everyone involved in the production and marketing of olive oil is aware of its superior quality and excellent organoleptic characteristics. That is why it is exported in bulk, and “quietly” sneaks into bottles to grant its unparalleled flavor and aroma to olive oil packaged and sold in other countries –mostly Italy, and, depending on local production, Spain. Furthermore, 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. In addition, Greece offers the ultimate biotope for the cultivation of the olive tree. During the passing millennia, Greek cultivars have developed distinct characteristics that make their olive oil stand out. Moreover, the small size of the olive groves allows for special care and devotion by the producer as tradition, modern technology, and scientific research are harmoniously combined in the cultivation of olive trees, and the production of olive oil: the most appropriate harvesting techniques are used, and the degree of ripeness of the fruit is always taken into account. The olive fruit spends in storage the minimum possible time before pressing. As a result, the olives are processed shortly after they are taken to the mill and, this way, the olive oil produced keeps all of its special organoleptic characteristics. n

1 To make a great EVOO, one needs to follow best afterharvest practices.

2 Tradition and modern technology are combined in Greek EVOOs.

3 Greek producers give special care to their olive groves.

Special thanks to Mr Kostas Liris, Agronomic Engineer – Oleologist and judge at the NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition, Mr Constantin Potou, Chemical Engineer and co-owner at Constantin Potou Group of Companies, Mr Xavier de Poulpiquet, General Director at Ail! Ail! Ail!, and Mr Brandon Gross, VP Marketing at FoodMatch

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Greek Beer ma ga z i n e



BANG Beer production has been growing rapidly during the last decade in Greece, with both large brewing companies and microbreweries eyeing a piece of the –export– action.


he brewing of beer is an ancient biotechnology. Greeks learned about beer most probably from their contact with the Egyptians and, according to Pliny, they were using hops. In antiquity, beer was produced using almost the same recipe as today, mostly from barley. The addition of hops led to a significant taste improvement, while it also contributed to product preservation. Beer brewing has gradually improved considerably, mainly after the introduction of the technology of cooling and of pasteurization. Those techniques permitted beer of any type to be produced throughout the year independent of the season.




Nowadays, in Europe, beer production is once again experiencing an evolution and it involves large international companies as well as several thousands of small breweries, which whilst using traditional methods also apply modern technology to beer production. As a result of its multi-cultural profile, Europe has a rich diversity in its beer culture. Brewing itself is characterized by quality and craftsmanship with a long-standing tradition and European roots and always takes place according to the highest quality standards. In fact, the European Union is the world’s 2nd largest beer producer (after China), with production in 2016 reaching 400 million hectoliters, produced in 8,490 active breweries.

key figures (2017)

3,800,000 HL 417,000 HL PRODUCTION A YEAR



Greek Beer ma ga z i n e



GREEK BEER PRODUCTION No longer lagging behind in know-how, Greek breweries are heavily investing in the future of the sector.


ccording to a German law known as “Purity law” (Reinheitsgebot), any lager beer should be prepared with only four ingredients: water, barley, hops, and yeast. This law has been first introduced in 1516 in Bavaria and was in power also in Greece for many years. Recently, Greek legislation changed and adapted to the European legislation which allows brewers to use other raw materials and other sources of starch or sugars (sugar, maltose syrup, glucose syrup, wheat malt, rice, maize, etc.), thus creating a much needed change. Greek production of beer amounts to approximately 3,800,000 hectolitres, ranking the country in 20th place for the whole of Europe, while it generates an added value of almost 500 million euros, tax revenues of 640 million euros and employment of 60,965 jobs (including brewing companies, retail sector, hospitality sector and supply sector). As for exports, quite a few major breweries send their beer abroad, in countries such as Albania, Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, Italy, Kosovo, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Swe-

den, the UK, and even the Netherlands. “This year, for the very first time, beer exports outperformed imports, a fact that confirms the immense potential of Greek products, as well as that Greek consumers can now cover their different preferences from domestically produced beers,” asserts Manolis Zavolias, New Markets Development Manager at Athenian Brewery, which currently exports 13 percent of its sales volume. Furthermore, as Mr Zavolias explains, Greek companies are starting to take beer seriously and really invest in its production. “Our company, for the first time this year, besides end products, has started exporting malt produced in Greece. More specifically, through a contract farming program, 11,000 tons of malt will be exported to Austria and Israel and this way approx. 2,500 Greek producers that take part in our program will be turned into raw material suppliers for the production of beer abroad, bearing proof to the high quality of malt barley produced in Greece.”

exports of Greek beer outperformed imports for the first time in 2018, confirming its significant potential

1 Greece is now exporting locally produced malt.

2 Greek ingredients are being used in beer production.

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Greek Beer ma ga z i n e

THE RISE OF CRAFT BREWING IN GREECE Micro or craft breweries are trending, not only internationally, but also in the Greek market –however limited it might be.


icrobrewing in Greece is rapidly evolving. In only 10 years, microbreweries (in keeping with legislation, a microbrewery’s production should not exceed 200,000 hectolitres) have managed, according to official data, to reach 30 in number. According to beer consultant Pol Emmanouilidis, craft beers are a growing trend that hit Greece about seven years ago. “Beer can be brewed anywhere in the world. All you need is the right ingredients and a recipe. From the islands of the Aegean to the Ionian Sea to Macedonia and Thrace, people with know-how and passion have created certain elite beers.


And Greek microbreweries do produce some good beers –although we still have a lot of things to learn and a long way to go.” It is worth noting that certain beers from Greek microbreweries are made using local malts and water from the specific region. Mr Emmanouilidis suggests that microbreweries could incorporate unique, traditional ingredients of the Greek land, such as Chios mastic, or Kozani saffron to produce original flavors and one-of-a-kind beers with strong export potential. As far as the future of Greek microbrewery is concerned, one thing is sure: it will definitely be bright and promising, with exports making up one of its defining elements, provided –of course– significant investments will be made, and the regulations regarding Greek laws referring to beer taxation will be amended. n

key figures (2017)

€ € €

2, 000





Special thanks to the Hellenic Association of Brewers & The Brewers of Europe

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Greek Cold Cuts ma ga z i n e


cure(d) S

ince the dawn of civilization, people have cured meat and fish. In Greece, the process began as a simple application of salt to prevent spoilage and blossomed into a veritable art form. From Thrace to Crete and from Corfu to the smallest islands of the Aegean or the Ionian sea, such as Anafi or Lipsi, and beyond, traditional cold cuts of all forms and flavors are the perfect meze, not to mention that they bear testament to the astonishing variety and singular character of Greek cuisine. Some of these cured meats are world-famous and high value export products; others are little known, rarer to find and yet equally delicious and, therefore, sough-after. All of them, however, could –given the right chance– take a slice (pun intended) of the international specialty foods market. After all, is there a better snack with a glass of wine than a charcuterie platter? We think not.

Pickling, curing, and preserving have, since time immemorial, created some of the most delicious foods known to man. And as more and more emphasis is put on provenance and sourcing, we get up close and personal with some of Greece’s traditional cured meats.

Nouboulo / Corfu

Apaki / Crete

It is served cut in fine slices. It is ideal with semi-hard cheeses and dark ale.

It can be enjoyed cold and cut into thin slices, but most people prefer to cook it.

Noumboulo or Nouboulo Foumikado is a first quality traditional Corfiot delicatessen made of a whole piece of pork fillet which is marinated in local wine and seasonings, put inside a natural intestine, slightly smoked by burning of aromatic branches, and left to mature naturally until it acquires a delicate flavor.

A traditional cold cut from the region of Anogeia, in Crete, made from lean pork meat cut in strips. The meat is then marinated for 2-3 days in vinegar and spices (cumin is a must) and sometimes some mint. It is then smoked by burning wood together with sage and thyme branches.

Due to the geographical location of each region of Greece and its distinct heritage, the traditional cold cuts we currently encounter in each of them differ in names and recipes; yet, each is a genuine delicacy.

Loutza or Louza / Mykonos,Tinos, Syros

Syglino / Laconia & Arcadia

The most famous Loutza is the one fromMykonos, but other islands such as Syros or Tinos produce equally delicious ones. The hardest Loutza to find is the one produced in Andros. Each Loutza is slightly different from the other in terms of spices used as well as its production process.

Syglino is produced in the Peloponnese: in Mani and Monemvasia it is preserved in olive oil, while in Arcadia it is kept in its own fat. Preparation varies from one place to another and flavor depends on the herbs and spices used (sage, wine, orange peel, etc.).

Loutza is best enjoyed with dried or with fresh fruit, such as pear or watermelon, all year long.

It can be enjoyed cold or cooked and it is a gerat meze for beer, wine or spirits, such as tsipouro.


Greek Cold Cuts ma ga z i n e

Prosciutto / Evrytania

This recipe may be in fact Italian, but Prosciutto from the region of Evritania has been produced for decades at a particular smokehouse from pigs of their own breeding and it is considered a local type of cured meat. A whole ham is slightly salted and then hanged and left to dry in cellars, under special conditions of humidity and temperature. It is one of the finest cold cuts produced in Greece.

Lately, more and more Greek quality cold cuts are emerging, proving they are just as delicious as their foreign counterparts.

People may call it with the Italian name "prosciutto", but it is one of the oldest cold cuts in Greece.

Salami / Lefkada

Paspalas / Kea

Porchetta / Evrytania

The longer the meat is left hanging, the better and the more complex the flavor will be.

Pieces of Paspalas are cooked with eggs, greens and vegetables, often with other meats, to flavor stews.

Porchetta is juicy, tender and slightly fatty, while the seasonings used only enhance the flavor of the meat.

It is probably an Italian recipe from the island of Burano in Venice, from people who had moved to Lefkada. Pork meat is combined with 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.

Paspalas is the Kean equivalent of duck confit, but made from pork meat. The ribs and other pieces of the animal are boiled in well-salted water until tender. The water is then drained and the meat is sautĂŠed in its own fat, then preserved in jars covered by lard. Islanders use Paspalas all year long as a meze or a cooking ingredient.

It is a traditional cured meat recipe from Evrytania. It is made from the meat of a female pig, from which all bones, fat, and sinews have been removed. It is placed consecutively in salt and red wine and then smoked for several weeks. It takes about four months to prepare and ripen the Porchetta.

Kavourmas / Thrace

Patiti / Thrace

Pastourma / Macedonia

Kavourmas has a secial flavor so it’s a meze for connoisseurs. It is served cold or hot.

It is best served uncooked to enjoy its complex, rich flavor and its smoked, woody aroma.

Pastourma, which must not be confused with Pastrami, is widely used in cooking. The best is made from fillet steak

Kavourmas, meaning “sautéed meat” is a traditional cold cut from Northern Greece –Thrace in particular– and the way it is produced in cylindrical sticks, makes it look like a salami. It consists of meat pieces (usually pork, cow, beef and buffalo) salted overnight and cooked slowly for 4-5 hours in its own fat. Olive oil, pepper and spices are added to the meat’s distinct flavor.

Zamboni / Naxos

One of the most renowned cold cuts in the region, Zamboni from Naxos consists of pork flank which is cured in salt for about 3-6 months (depending on the size of the flank) and is flavored with garlic, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and other herbs and spices. The end product tastes like the Italian prosciutto but more spicy and salty. In the past, Zamboni was usually made at Carnival and eaten all the way up to Christmas.

In Naxos, the slaughter of pigs for Zamboni takes place only in November –the north wind helps the meat dry perfectly.

Patiti is a spicy, smoked cold cut from the region of Thrace in Northern Greece. Its name derives from the ages-old process of pressing the meat (patito) to dry it faster and then smoking it in the fireplace. It is made from beef and pork meat mixed with various spices and is smoked naturally. Patiti may look like Mortadella, but has a unique, pronounced woody taste.

Pastourma comes from Armenian cuisine but it is widely enjoyed by Greeks. It made its way to Greece through the migration of Greeks who once resided in Constantinople and Asia Minor. Pastourma, was once made of camel meat (and still is in some rare cases), but nowadays it is mostly made from different cuts of beef.

Focus on quality & extraversion

Mr George Vanidis, Exports Director at MEVGAL, one of the largest dairy players in Greece, describes the company’s success story.


ow is your company positioned? MEVGAL is one of the oldest dairy companies in Greece. Founded in 1950 in Koufalia, Thessaloniki, it has vast knowledge in producing both cheese and yogurt. The company is located in the center of Northern Greece, the region where 67% of Greece’s milk comes from. This gives a significant advantage to MEVGAL since it is located next to its approximately 700 dairy farms, collecting every day fresh milk. What are the main challenges for the company’s development? The Greek market remains the majority of MEVGAL’s turnover (around 2/3). With a population of around 11 million and the discount war which is expected to continue in the coming years, MEVGAL is focusing on exports.

The company is already exporting to more than 30 countries in the world. The majority of its turnover, though, comes from Europe. MEVGAL has a long cooperation with countries like Italy, Germany and Austria. Thus, the main challenge is to increase its share in Europe not neglecting countries in the Middle or the Far East. What is the company's export strategy? At the moment, exports are one of our top priorities. In this regard, a new exports director and marketing director have joined MEVGAL’s family, bringing experience and fresh ideas. The competition is intense. Thus, the renewed exports team will be more sensitive to the clients’ and the market’s requirements. Which consumer trends do you react to? The basic demand of today’s consumer is “clean label” products. No preservatives, no artificial colorings, no artificial flavorings no or reduced sugar. We are proud to say that MEVGAL’s Authentic Greek Yogurt as well as MEVGAL’s Feta are 100% clean label!

MEVGAL is located in the heart of Greece’s fresh milk-producing area & has invested more than €6 million in the past year in new equipment PUBLI




at e! We pa rt ic ip


Greek Peach ma ga z i n e

Commercial peach production in Greece has expanded rapidly since the 1960s, when the fruit was first cultivated. Nowadays, the country is the No1 one exporter of canned peach in the world and ranks in fifth place regarding fresh peach production.

Peach please


he peach is a deciduous tree indigenous to the Northwest region of China, between the northern slopes of Kunlun Shan mountains and the Tarim Basin, where the peach was not only first cultivated but also domesticated. The production of peaches has an economic benefit to the top producing countries where the fruit is a source of food. Other benefits include a high nutritional value since peaches are rich in vitamins which boost healthy vision, the nervous system, skin care, healthy teeth, and bones. Peaches also offer essential minerals which help

strengthen the immune system, and fibers valuable for digestion. China is the leading producer of peach worldwide. Nevertheless, world production centers in the Mediterranean area, mainly in Italy, Greece, Spain, and France since Europe is responsible for almost half of the world production. In recent years, the sector has been under pressure and the growing area decreased to 229,000 hectares during 2016-2017. A stable area of 210,000 hectares is estimated for the season 2017-2018. With the introduction of new varieties with a larger yield, there has been more diversity in this segment.

Greek peach facts and figures

NO1 exporter

of canned peach in the world

80% of clingstone

peach production shipped to the EU

3rd European producer of peaches


Greek Peach ma ga z i n e

GREEK PRODUCTION AND PROSPECTS Soil and climatic conditions favored the development of peach production in Greece, making the country a global power player. 1 Blooming peach trees in Veroia, Northern Greece.

2 Greek fresh peaches are considered among the best.

3 Processed peach exports were 213,000 tons in 2017.


n Greece, a total of 150,000-165,000 decares of peaches are grown, with production levels reaching approximately 220,000 to 240,000 tons. About 185,000-195,000 decares are reserved for clingstone peaches (canned peaches) producing 300,000-350,000 tons. Specifically, Greece is the 3rd largest European and the world’s fifth largest producer of peaches after Italy, China, Spain and the United States. About 100,000 families in the country are engaged in peach production. Peaches are one of the most cultivated fruits in Greece. In fact, Greek peaches are exported to different markets –especially the Balkans and central Europe– with different pe-



key figures (2017)

115,951 tons




781,652 tons

culiarities. On the international scene, Spain is the main competitor for Greek producers and marketers, as the Spanish production volume is considerable, making it easier for them to reach more markets. This year, however, mild temperatures, abundant rains and hail storms have caused significant delays and there have been production shortages in Spain, which has resulted in considerably higher prices compared to the previous year. According to Spanish producers, while high prices are generally a good thing, they also make it more difficult to compete in Eastern European markets, where Greece is becoming an increasingly strong competitor.


42,000 tons





From fresh to canned The canned fruit sector has been amongst the least affected by the Greek economic crisis. Tens of thousands of people in the country are working in the fruit canning industry, a behemoth of 300m euros in exports a year, and second to none in the global canned peach trade. Greek peach is so popular because a) of the high quality of fruit used (favorable climate conditions also result in competitive products of exceptional taste and quality); b) the high production standards that are in force since 2002 and according to European regulations they include rules on variety, size, shape, color, homogeneity, sanitation, packaging, labeling, etc. resulting to consumer confidence and product traceability; and c) state-of-the-art production units using high-tech systems, and less invasive processing procedures thus helping canned products retain more nutrients, especially when compared to the processes used in other countries that export canned peach. In Greece, total peach canning produc-

Tens of thousands of people in Greece are working in the peach industry tion amounted to 13,600,00 cartons (24 cans x A2½) for the period 2017-2018, while aseptic production was 27,000 metric tons for the same extend of time. As per DELCOF S.A. - the Hellenic Canned Fruit Industry Network, processed peach exports amounted to 213,000 tons for 2017-2018 and 119,000 tons for the first trimester of the 2018-2019 period with net price established at 0.192 euro per tin.

GREEK canned peach exports (2017)* Rest of Europe

4,512,469 TONS


13,889,550 TONS








Latin America

26,575,720 TONS

5,176,568 TONS


614,673 TONS


Greek Peach ma ga z i n e

NAOUSSA, THE PDO PEACH The development of the agricultural sector of Naoussa made the region the greatest centre for peach tree cultivation in Greece.


odakina Naoussas PDO is a peach obtained from the cultivation of the varieties May Crest, Spring Crest, June Gold, Dixired, Red Haven, Maria Bianca, Sun Cloud, Flavor Crest, Sun Crest, J.H. Hale, Honey Dew Hale, Tardiva di Naoussa, and Loring. Production of the Rodakina Naoussas PDO takes place in northern Greece, in the areas of Karaida, Tsifliki, Strandza, Mandemi, Gastra, Smixi, Isvoria, Blana, Stylos, Galatsianos, Pallokalia, Koukouli, Baltaneto, Kouticha, Dalamari; the production region is limited by the administrative boundaries of the municipal areas of Arkochori, Stenimachos, Kopanos, Lefkadia, Marina, Giannakochori and Rodochori. Their history is linked to the systematic peach-growing practiced exclusively in the specified geographical area since 1927. Cultivation uses modern techniques applied under continuous surveillance of the local agronomists of the Greek Ministry of Agriculture. The climate of the area on the eastern side of the Vermion mountains, along with the fertility of the soil, rich in organic substances, and the abundance in water, lend the Rodakina Naous-

The climate and soil of the region, made Rodakina Naoussas PDO quite unique

sas PDO the particular qualities that differentiate it from other peaches produced elsewhere: the fruits are of a medium to large size and have a red color with a juicy, tasty, scented and fine pulp. Harvesting takes place gradually in four or five stages, after checking the ripeness degree of the fruits. Once collected, the controlled and packaged product is transferred to the agricultural cooperative’s ultra modern plants. The product is marketed throughout the world as Rodakina Naoussas PDO.

Special thanks to Incofruit Hellas, Eurostat, DELCOF S.A. - Hellenic Canned Fruit Industry Network, ACN Naoussa, the Rural Cooperative Producers Organization (A.S.O.P.) “Dimitra” in Velvento & Veroia Tourism Club

VELVENTOS: VIP PEACHES Although not registered as a protected designation of origin product, peaches from Velventos are equally delicious. The peaches from Velventos are widely known for the finesse, aroma and flavor. In the area surrounding Velventos, approximately 800 decares of peach trees are being farmed. The amount of production reaches 19,000 tons per year. An important role in the quality of peaches produced in Vel-

vento, according to the cooperative’s agronomists, is the climate. The peach tree needs at least 700 hours of low temperatures, below 7ºC, so the climate in the area is optimal. In Velventos, each stage of farming as well as the production process is controlled through computers, while farmers are constantly guided by expert counselors through the entire production process to produce excellent fruit.

Vassilitsa - G. & A. Nousias G.P.

The cheese

changemakers In a small village just outside Larissa, in the Greek region of Thessaly, lies a unit for the production of fine cheese, where a company run by a third-generation cheese-makers continues a legacy that started 40 years ago.


eep in the heart of the Greek land, in the region of Thessaly, where cheesemaking is an art, Vassilitsa - G. & A. Nousias G.P. has been creating, for approximately 40 years now, dairy products using traditional methods and combining them with state-of-the-art quality controls and packaging. No wonder, the Vassilitsa brand was the first to export Feta cheese to West Germany in 1967, paving the way to international markets for other Greek companies. Currently, the factory in Nea Lefki, on the outskirts of the city of Larissa, is producing not only Feta PDO, but other delicious cheeses, such as PDO organic Feta, PDO Manouri and organic Manouri, goat cheese, organic goat cheese, Anthotyro, as well as yogurt. Feta and

Manouri, however, remain the core business with roughly 2,500 tons and 60 tons, respectively, of the famous cheeses produced every year in the company’s facilities.

Global seal of approval What makes Vassilitsa - G. & A. Nousias G.P. cheeses and dairy products, in general, stand out from the competition is the fact they are produced from excellent quality local sheep and goats milk, using a combination of traditional recipes, millennia-old know-how and cutting-edge technology to ensure safety while conforming to the latest Greek and European legislation. Responding to modern consumer demands and following constant quality and quantity controls in all stages of production, Vassilit-


13,000,000 KG

2,500,000 KG





at e! We pa rt ic ip

sa - G. & A. Nousias G.P. has consolidated its leading place in the Greek market while guaranteeing products second to none. As a result, the products’ §superior flavor and exceptional quality have been instrumental in the subsequent international success of the company.

The main products • PDO Feta According to Mr Konstantinos Nousias, third generation cheesemaker, “only Greeks know the authentic recipe of real Feta cheese.” The milk used to make Feta is from sheep and goats (70%-80% sheep and 20%-30% goat milk) from mainland Greece –Thessaly in this particular case– in order to meet the PDO specifications. For the production of organic Feta, the company uses the same percentage of milk but with organic certification. • PDO Manouri Manouri is a cheese dating back to antiquity. It is a soft, white cheese, produced in Thessaly, Central and Western Macedonia –a basic precondition for its PDO designation– from sheep's milk or in combination with goat's milk. For its production, both cheese-milk and cream are necessary to create a curd cheese of pleasant, sweet taste and characteristic aroma.

New products and future endeavors Vassilitsa - G. & A. Nousias G.P. has recently launched the Vassilitsa sheep yogurt, produced exclusively from fresh sheep’s milk, without the use of preservatives and by adding yogurt culture only in the traditional way, known to the Nousias family for generations. So far, Vassilitsa yogurt is exported to 3 countries. It is worth noting that 95 percent of the company’s production is exported but, there is considerable margin for further development. In fact, the brand’s plan for the future is to continue to adapt to the requirements of the everchanging marketplace, to implement the latest innovations in production, and to further develop its outward-looking orientation. n

Vassilitsa - G. & A. Nousias G.P. in numbers

95 % of production exported


tons of sheep & goats milk used


years of experience in cheesemaking












Greek Tomato ma ga z i n e

Greece and its agri-food sector is inextricably linked to tomatoes. And no wonder; Greek tomatoes are perfectly red, utterly juicy and deliciously tasty. Therefore, it’s not hard to believe the country ranks in 4th place of total EU tomato production.

State of the

m t


he vegetable sector is a key sector in EU agriculture, amounting to 13.7 percent of EU agricultural output. In 2016, the total production of vegetables in the European Union was 63.9 million tons. Tomatoes, carrots and onions were the most important vegetables, with an estimated 17.9 million tons of tomatoes produced during the course of 2016. Approximately two thirds came from Italy and Spain (11.2 million tons), while Greece accounted for 5.5 percent with

1.02 million tons harvested, putting the country in 4th place of all EU tomato production. In addition, tomatoes occupied the largest area of crops in the Union, which amounted to a 11.7 percent of total vegetable arable land for the year 2015. During the same period of time, the areas used to grow tomatoes were predominately in Italy (41.9%) and Spain (22.8%), followed by Romania (9.5%), Portugal (7.3%) and Greece with approximately 6.7 percent.

ιτ o


Greek Tomato ma ga z i n e

THE GREEK HARVEST Tomatoes are a major agricultural crop farmed in Greece and one of excellent quality and organoleptic characteristics.


r George Polychronakis, Advisor Representative at Incofruit Hellas, the Association of Greek Businesses Exporting & Handling Fruit, Vegetables & Juices, states that “in Greece, 13,323 hectares of tomatoes were grown in 2017 and 878,770 tons of tomatoes were produced, of which 540,308 tons were intended for fresh consumption and 338,447 tons for processing. From the 8,583 hectares producing fresh tomatoes, 5,917 hectares were field crops which produced 230,653 tons of tomatoes.” “With regards to tomato production, the largest arable area in Greece is located in Crete, but most tomatoes go to the Greek market,” confirms Mr Alexandros Vourtsakis, CEO at Hellenic Farming SA. “In fact, exports take place mostly during winter, when the number of tourists in the country is at its lowest,” he discloses. Mr Aristides Molfetas, Commercial Director at Karantinos SA explains that “Greek climate ensures that our country produces the best tomatoes. And since prices are more or less fixed, the only way to differentiate is by investing in quality and flavor. Therefore, we urge tomato farmers to certify their products (many of them are looking into the GlobalGAP accreditation) and I think they have finally realized that in order to sell and, especially, export their produce, they need

1 2 1


4th place


56% of exports


€62 million


36,744 tons


1 Farmers use sustainable production methods.


2 Greek tomatoes grown in a free from pesticides environment.

3 Greek tomato units use controlled production methods.


A strong demand in the market for new types of tomatoes with high quality and added-value, has prompted Greek businesses to differentiate to get certain internationally recognized certificates.”Traceability is also very important. Consumers are nowadays well informed on food quality and each product’s organoleptic characteristics, and they are really intent on knowing what exactly is on their table, its source, its production process. Greek farmers and tomato suppliers are strictly adhering to the latest legislation as well as exploring all the newest trends concerning safety, innovation, and consistency in size, color and flavor. According to Mr Vourtsakis, the latter is assured by “choosing the right tomato varieties and by using specific farming methods, such as hydroponics. Specifically, in the case of hydroponics –a rising type of cultivation– we can provide plants with all the necessary nutrients according to their stage of development, exactly when they need them.” Although organic food is a rising trend, Greece due to the economic crisis of the last ten years, has been left somewhat wanting. “This is no passing fad, so lately things are also beginning to change on the farming front as far as Greece is concerned,”clarifies Mr Molfetas.

EXPORTING GREEK TOMATOES Although its production only accounts for a tiny proportion of the global processing output (1.2%), Greece is one of the rare countries whose products are exported all around the world. In total, more than 40 countries worldwide import and consume significant quantities of pastes, canned tomatoes and sauces of Greek origin. This widespread commercial distribution, based on operations that are 80% focused on foreign markets, means that Greece was able to rank 10th in 2017 among worldwide paste exporters, 4th among canned tomato exporters and 35th among exporters of sauces. In terms of revenue, the country ranked 13th worldwide with a turnover for its exports of 62 million euros.


Greek Tomato


ma ga z i n e

GREEK TOMATOES AND THE WORLD Despite a slowdown in foreign operations, Greek tomatoes have been able to “cushion” the effects of the drop in quantities by improving profitability.


he European market –particularly the countries of western EU– is the main outlet for Greek tomato exports. Specifically, double concentrated and triple concentrated paste is shipped to companies for remanufacturing in the United Kingdom, Poland, the Netherlands and Germany. In addition, canned tomatoes are exported to the United Kingdom, to Belgium and the Netherlands. Therefore, it is safe to assume that a major percentage of export turnover originates in neighboring countries or countries that are relatively close geographically. Greek sauces, however, are mainly aimed at the Japanese market, alongside Bulgaria, Saudi Arabia and the USA, among others.

The Greek tomato products The Greek tomato industry only exports moderate quantities of sauces and ketchup. Over the past five marketing years, less than 2,500 metric tons of sauces were exported on average each year, for a turnover of slightly more than 3 million euros. In fact, sauces only account for 2 percent of the raw materials absorbed by exports and approximately 5 percent of the annual turnover. Greek companies export mostly pastes (38,300 metric tons in

There has been a 10% increase in field tomato production in greece for the year 2018

2017) and relatively large volumes of canned tomatoes. It is, nevertheless, a fact that the composition of Greek revenue from exports has been radically altered since the beginning of the 2000s. Once virtually the only profitmaking category, pastes only generated 56 percent of the income stemming from foreign markets in 2017, at the end of a period of regular regression that has actually let canned tomato exports take up a lot more space. Namely, over a period of 20 years, Greek exports of canned tomatoes, despite being directly in competition with Italian products on the markets, progressed at a consistent and virtually regular rate of 5 percent (CAGR) per year. As a result, the volumes exported grew from 10,500 tons in 1997 to approximately 37,000 tons in 2017, taking the turnover from 4.8 million euros in 1997 to almost 21 million euros in 2017, which is an increase of close to 200 percent in 20 years! “Things have changed regarding exports,” says Mr Polychronakis. “There has been a partial adaptation of the tomato crops to new varieties addressing the requirements of the international markets and exports are picking up. In fact, fresh tomato exports have increased approximately 7.1 percent in volume between the years 2017 and 2018 and 9.4 percent in terms of value for the same period.” By refocusing production on more elaborate product categories, the Greek industry has initiated a new set of dynamics that is more than likely to carry fruit in the years to come. n

Special thanks to Eurostat, Incofruit Hellas & the World Processing Tomato Council (WPTC)


Success Story ma ga z i n e

Yaya creators Pierre-Julien and GrĂŠgory Chantzios together with chef Juan Arbelaez.


à la grecque As the examples of Greek entrepreneurs hitting it big in the international F&B scene are multiplying, success stories such as the one of Greco-French brothers Pierre-Julien and Grégory Chantzios are not the exception but the norm.


hen brothers Pierre-Julien and Grégory Chantzios decided to take advantage of the fact that their Greek family had olive groves in the mountains of the Peloponnese and launched in 2010 their extra virgin olive oil under the brand name Kalios, little did they know that they would embark on a journey that would lead them to the kitchens of Michelin-starred chefs (Michel Roux***, Daniel Boulud**, Thierry Marx**, Nicolas Sale**) and renowned delis (La Grande Epicerie, Lafayette Gourmet, Maison Plisson, etc.) and, finally, to their own Greek restaurant, Yaya. Raised near Toulouse by a Greek father and a French mother, Pierre-Julien and Grégory grew up between the two European countries and have never truly forgotten their heritage. So, in January 2010, after the olive harvest in their groves in Southern Greece, the two brothers went to Paris on a scooter armed with prod-

uct samples. Without any appointment, they knocked on the doors of famous restaurants and chefs and managed, in just two months, to place on the market 30 5lt bottles of olive oil, 12 2kg jars of table olives and 18 jars of olive paste. Word of mouth worked wonders and soon their Kalios range included more gourmet offerings, all from small, exceptional producers. Today, more than 80 high-end restaurants are using their products! But their journey didn’t end there. In June 2017, the brothers launched together with their friend and acclaimed chef, Juan Arbelaez, Yaya (the Greek word for grandmother), a restaurant specializing in modern Greek cuisine with a French and international twist. “The aim is to offer consumers a modernized Greek cuisine with the most famous specialties adapted to European palates, such as a less garlicky tzatziki, a pita bread with a little less olive oil, a Greek yogurt restyled... Today, when at a restaurant, we really want to have


Success Story ma ga z i n e


1 an overall experience, to enjoy a culinary trip. In a Greek restaurant, the watchword is sharing! You just have to seat around a big table, order a huge amount of food and alcohol: meze, main dishes, deserts, ouzo, tsipouro, Greek wines, and to share it with people –just like in Greece. After that, you realize that you did not just go to a restaurant; you had a real culinary experience. This is what we try to do everyday at Yaya”, explain Pierre-Julien and Grégory. Do you believe that Greek restaurants such as Yaya, have helped develop a growing interest in Greek food? For sure! Greece is the favourite destination of the French. After every holiday in our country of origin, people come back saying Greek food is delicious! The Greek influence offered by restaurants in Paris, London or New York is more than in “vogue” today. Thanks to the new image of Greek food, far from the clichés of traditional Greek taverns, people are starting to love it. What made you market your own, branded olive oil? What does the international clientele think of Greek products? Olive oil is in our blood, but, to be honest, we never thought that one day we would become olive oil producers. In 2009, after a journey of

several months through the US, we wanted to return to our roots. We decided to create Kalios, a contraction of the words Kalamata and ilios (sun), to trade our family olive oil. Today Kalios has established itself as a must-have brand in Greek grocery stores and has convinced more than 100 Michelin-starred chefs to use it. In the beginning, Greek food was not so famous, but today people and chefs buy our Greek products everyday! For sure, they have developed a good image of Greek food and products. How would you describe the Yaya menu? Yaya is a matter of heart, but also a story of taste. On the plates, we offer the recipes of our yaya Eleni, subtly revisited by chef Juan Arbelaez who has brought his touch of modernity and his know-how to these full of history dishes. In addition, Yaya makes a point to honor quality products. Everything is homemade and sourced with care. The menu embraces the seasons to offer only fresh, tasty and well-chosen products. The whole Yaya concept makes it easier for the client, because here we put everything on the table and people share. What 's the most popular dish in your menu? Our specialty is our homemade Greek pita bread, which won the Fooding 2018 award. What does the future hold for you? At the end of the year, we intend to open a new Yaya restaurant in Paris: Yaya Secrétan, in a new dynamic district of Paris. We are still keeping our new Greek specialty a secret –better to have a few surprises in store.

1 Blue and white accents bring out the Greek reference.

2 Simplicity, and comfort are key at Yaya restaurant.

YAYA OCTOPUS by Juan Arbelaez

INGREDIENTS (for 8 to 10 people) 1 whole octopus Sherry vinegar Kalios extra virgin oilve oil 1kg Grenailles potatoes 250g butter 2 garlic cloves Espelette pepper 2 red onions Mountain oregano 1 spring onion Smoked pepper Sea Salt Herbal oil

PREPARATION Steam the octopus at 100°C for 50 minutes, cool and cut the tentacles into pieces about 1cm and then slice head into 1/2cm pieces. Marinate in a mix of equal quantities of olive oil and sherry vinegar for at least an hour. Confit potatoes with butter, crushed garlic cloves, salt and Espelette pepper. Let them cool and cut into 1cm slices. Peel the red onions, cut them into quarters, grill them in a hot pan on both sides, arrange in a plate and season with salt, oil and mountain oregano. Finish cooking in the oven at 180°C for 15 minutes. Chop the spring onion. Serving suggestion: In a bowl, arrange the slices of potatoes at the bottom, the pieces of octopus on top, the chopped spring onion, and sprinkle with herbal oil, grilled onions, sea salt and smoked pepper. n

Chef’s tips To cook the potatoes, it’s better to do it at medium heat and for a longer time as to let potatoes soften more and absorb the aromas. If you can’t steam the octopus, prepare a broth with carrots, celery and onion and dip it in when it starts to boil.


Special Feature ma ga z i n e


Food for you!

Top tier quality, exceptional ingredients, imaginative products; these are the three pillars on which the success of the Condito brand is based.


ver since its establishment in 2001, Condito’s (the word comes from Latin and means flavor enhancement) vision is to constantly expand its activities on both the Greek and international markets, by spreading its wings as well as its unique Mediterranean flavors all across the world and by respecting the diversity and the needs of each and every of its customers and partners. Taking into account its unbroken commitments not only to the brand’s partners but also to the final consumer, Condito is dedicated to one and only goal: invest in Research & Development in order to create top-tier products and establish mutual business rela-

tions while achieving consumer satisfaction. Condito’s motto is “Unique flavors that enhance your daily menu and inspire the most imaginative creations in your kitchen!” and has managed to uphold the adage for almost 18 years with a series of innovative products, such as dips and sauces, spreads, free from products and even vegan offerings.

Production & prospects Over the years, Condito has developed into one of the leaders of the Greek food industry. The company is currently producing 11,500 tons of products per year which is




34,000 m2








condito intends to increase its exports sales volume to at least 50% of its business expected to be further boosted in the next few years. Moreover Condito is a shareholder of the company “Dried Fruit of Macedonia” (with an annual production of 1,000 tons of nuts) and “Gristiren”, active in the production of vegetable fat based cheese alternatives, following the vegan trend in the global marketplace. “Gristiren” relies almost entirely (97%) on exports, with annual production of 5,500 tons. This success is based on the consistent production of unique, delicious, safe and healthy recipes. However, the most important “ingredient” for the company is quality. In fact, Condito is delivering quality in everything it does –from sourcing the best raw materials to creating optimum packaging solutions and maintaining a well-run manufacturing environment. All company facilities apply quality management systems certified by widely recognized certification organizations in accordance with IFS and ISO 22000 standard requirements. True to its goal to make products for every consumer group, Condito provides a full range of glutenfree, vegan offerings and more, while, all types of mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise and pasteurized dressing and sauces have been Halal certified by the

Swiss Organization HCS. Another primary objective for Condito is to respond appropriately to its customers’ needs, through its innovative R&D department. Lately Condito has launched a brand new delightful series of Mustard, enriched with unique different flavors (honey, thyme, wholegrain etc.), that has become very popular in the Greek market as well as abroad. In addition, Condito focuses on the development of healthy products, while its main strategy is to develop a core portfolio of allergen-free products such as egg, gluten, soy, lactose, etc. n

WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS Condito intends to further expand its dynamic presence in the EU and overseas. Specifically, the company’s objective is to boost its sales in international markets, by increasing the number of export sales volume to at least 50 percent of its business within the next few years. At the same time, Condito is aiming to establish itself as a key player in the global market and develop its global network, introducing its deliciously crafted products to every continent. Moreover Condito is utilizing marketing resources in order to increase its sales by directly contacting the biggest distributors and established retail networks around the world, thus increasing audience coverage, brand exposure and awareness.


Bougatsa ma ga z i n e

Can you say

Bou ga tsa?

The Greek creamy custard pie wrapped in golden, crispy filo pastry is a traditional dessert taking foodies around the world by storm. Here’s what you need to know.


or some, Bougatsa is one of Greece’s greatest gifts to the culinary world –and rightly so. The traditional dessert with the delicious custard filling covered in layers of buttered, golden filo dough and sprinkled –at the very last minute– with icing sugar and cinnamon, is simply too good to resist. Yet, in northern Greece and especially in Thessaloniki, the term Bougatsa denotes more than a dessert, however exquisite; “The term actually relates to the crunchy filo pastry (rolled and stretched not with flour but with oil and vegetable butter) that is filled either with cream or cheese or other ingredients for a savory snack,” explains Ms Elsa Paitesa, Operations & Sales Manager at Saroglou, producers of quality traditional Greek pies. “However, the one with the creamy custard filling has been mostly linked to the moniker.” “A first type of Bougatsa was introduced in Greece after the Asia Minor Disaster, as


whether addressed to consumers or foodservice, Bougatsa is an ideal product for both distribution channels 2

‘the food of the poor’, because was only filo dough and without any filling. Since then, it has evolved into one of the most popular dishes not only for Greeks but also for tourists,” recounts Mr Konstantinos Arabatzis of Arabatzis – Hellenic Dough, among the most significant Greek frozen dough and pastry product manufacturers. Nowadays, the taste of the sweet version of Bougatsa and the one we will be dealing with here, varies between the different regions of Greece. For example, Bougatsa in Veria is very sweet and full of cream, while in Thessaloniki the filo pastry is crunchy and the filling not that sweet. One can safely deduce that Greek pastry and dough companies are masters in the making of Bougatsa and have created offerings that cater to both the retail and the foodservice sector. In fact, according to Mr Mimis Badawy, International Business Director of alfa pastry, one of the largest dough and pastry production companies in

1 The bougatsa recipe varies from one Greek region to another.

2 The secret of great Bougatsa lies in its buttery filo dough.


Bougatsa ma ga z i n e



international markets show great interest in typically traditional Greek products, such as Bougatsa Greece, “whether addressed to consumers or foodservice professionals, its popularity makes Bougatsa an ideal product for both distribution channels.”

The export power of Bougatsa “When dealing with such a typically traditional Greek product as Bougatsa, there is an inevitable interest from international markets,” suggests Ms Eleni Koxenoglou, Marketing Executive of Ioniki Sfoliata, makers of frozen dough and pastry products. Indeed, the sweet pastry is one of the most popular product codes in exports, which cover approximately 35 countries and 4 continents. And no wonder; “The combination of filo pastry and rich custard as well as the almost ritual manufacturing process with the final sprinkling of icing sugar and cinnamon, create an unparalleled dessert that, simply put, excites the palate,” asserts Mr Badawy. “Bougatsa is an integral part of the rich Greek culinary tradition. People in the Balkans do know what it is, but in most other countries Bougatsa only resonates with Greek diaspora or with people that came to know Greek cuisine and liked it.” As a result, Bougatsa apart from the Balkan states is also very popular in the US, Canada, Central Europe, the UK, the Middle East, and everywhere there is a budding Greek community. “Bougatsa is a very interesting project, for many markets throughout the world, but consumers need to be educated on how to enjoy

it. It is really challenging to convince international consumers to try Bougatsa, without knowing anything about it. Ethnic stores can be a start, as they are usually looking for exceptional products to introduce to their cus1 tomers, either for retail or bake-off corners,” states Mr Arabatzis.

A Greek, quality product But what exactly makes Bougatsa so special? Greek companies uphold the excellent characteristics of the custard-filled pastry by constantly investing in R&D and rigorous safety practices. “Product consistency is guaranteed by regular quality controls of both the raw materials and the suppliers,” discloses Ms Paitesa. According to Ms Koxenoglou, “we operate subject to strict quality controls in both ingredients and final products. We also inspect our production process following the strictest international quality and safety standards, while complying fully with the current legislation.” “Tradition, innovation, know-how, quality and safety constitute a particular system of values and shape the vision for safe, high quality and high nutrition products, made with pure ingredients from the Greek land, some of them registered as designations of origin,” adds Mr Badawy. “We believe it is absolutely essential to inform international customers about Greek products and the flavors expressed by our country’s gastronomic tradition. A tradition embodied in a product such as Bougatsa.” n

1 Well-trained staff ensure the product’s quality and safety.

2 Market peculiarities have created variations on the traditional recipe.

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Greek Halva ma ga z i n e

Unexpectedly delicious and of high nutritional value, Greek halva has been gathering international momentum. It’s high time you found out what the hype is all about.



or Greeks, halva is considered one of the main lenten sweets, even if, nowadays, it is consumed all year long as one of their favorite desserts. Consequently, halva production has increased, especially since exports are also on the rise. In Greece there are many family-owned artisan businesses, producing delicious yet small quantities of halva that reach the most discerning clientele through specialty and delicatessen stores. There are, however, a few major companies with the necessary infrastructure to accommodate large orders from all over the world, thus shipping halva to super markets and c-stores without mak-

ing allowance for quality. In their state-of-theart facilities, halva production takes place with the help of high tech machinery without, at the same time, foregoing the human factor (those experienced craftsmen stated before) that ensures the top-tier quality of the final product. In these technologically-advanced production units –just as in small artisanal companies– tradition and quality is upheld by respecting the superior nature of the ingredients used, while complying with food safety standards and inspection legislation. Nowadays, in Greece there are at least six types of halva, the most popular being the one made with tahini (sesame pulp), a product people in the country –and abroad– call Macedonian halva.


Greek Halva ma ga z i n e


one part cotton-candy airiness, one part dense fudge, halva is a unique delicacy Tradition & technology The making of halva is a delicate process that employs both traditional techniques and top notch technologies to create its unique texture –one part cotton-candy airiness, one part dense fudge– and mouth-watering flavor –not exactly sweet and not savory either. Halva consists of two basic ingredients: tahini (sesame pulp) and some kind of sweetener, such as sugar, honey, glucose syrup, fructose or carob syrup. The ground sesame pulp is collected in special large bowls, while, at the same time, the sweetener is melted in high-tech syrup tanks until all humidity is evaporated, and the caramel is formed. Once ready, the caramel is then combined with the tahini and hand-mixed by master-craftsmen following the traditional recipe. Mixing the halva is a difficult kneading process, first because the temperature of the dough is around 80°C, and second because the quality of the final product relies on the deftness and patience of the artisan. In this phase, the mix is enriched with other ingredients such as almonds, pistachios, cocoa, vanilla, mastiha, etc. to acquire a distinctive flavor, and, while still warm, is placed into molds. During the final preparation phase, halva is packaged using fully-automated packing machines, which guarantee its freshness and ensure the safety of the final product without the addition of artificial preservatives –in fact, sugar and honey are 100 percent natural preservatives.


Around the world Halva continues to win over fans and cross boundaries, especially as consumers are realizing its nutritional value and have started incorporating it into their diet. As a result, the famous sweet is shipped to over 50 countries around the globe. From the EU and the Balkans to the US, to Canada, and Australia, halva is a first rate ambassador of traditional Greek products. Consumption of halva in these countries is closely linked to the standard of living as well as the dietary habits of the population; it has been noted that the highest consumption rate takes place in regions where the Mediterranean diet is popular, and where there is a thriving Greek community. Therefore, halva is consumed mostly in Germany, the UK, Poland, the US, and Canada, although it is still most likely to be found in specialty stores, such as Greek markets. n

1 Halva companies are constantly developing new, exciting flavors.

HOW HEALTHY IS IT? The nutritional value of sesame is priceless as it contains high quality protein and is rich in essential sulfur amino acids (methionine, arginine, leucine, tryptophan). And although halva has high levels of fat and carbohydrates, its sesame seed base endows it with nutritious minerals, includ-

ing copper, manganese, tryptophan, calcium and magnesium, and with at least 17 amino acids. Most of the fat in tahini is monounsaturated, rich in omega-9 fatty acids, while sesame seed oil contains phytosterols, which are associated with lower levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL)

or “bad cholesterol”, and higher levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good cholesterol.” In addition, tahini also contains vitamins E and B1 (thiamine).

Alexandrou, Bakery - Pastry shop, Aspropyrgos, Greece.

Your space. your dreams. Our mission. Considered to be one of the most prestigious shop fitting companies in Greece, EUROPSIKTIKI DESIGN has been rapidly expanding around the globe during the past years, creating exceptional stores in more than twenty five countries, from Canada and France to Australia and Dubai. Client friendly shop setting, hi-end equipment, customized solutions, unique aesthetic, intense and reliable after sales service and a young, experienced, enthusiastic, highly specialized team of architects, 3D designers and technicians will be your personal “crew” in the most important mission of your life: YOUR DREAM STORE. Having designed and constructed more than two thousand stores since launching, EUROPSIKTIKI DESIGN is determined to put... a key in your hand and a smile on your face.



Bio Products ma ga z i n e

Riding τηε


wave With customers putting increasing value on trust, transparency and environmental impact, organic food sales are surging with each year as a new generation of Greek farmers and F&B companies is emerging.


ollowing the global surge in organic products demand –it is worth noting that in 2017, the value of organic F&B markets worldwide amounted to 77.4 billion US dollars, while in 2015 it is expected to reach 320.5 billion suggesting an increase of approximately 314 percent– there have been renewed efforts to reap the benefits of the trend. Organic farming is on the rise and many companies worldwide are updating and upgrading their production lines to accommodate organic offerings. In Europe, the organic food industry is a lucrative market, with a retail sales value of 30.7 billion euros in 2017 (a 3 percent increase compared to the previous year). And while the well-established Western European market experienced growth of 5.4 percent between 2015 and 2016, Eastern European sales are rapidly catching up with a growth rate of 8.8 percent during the same period.

The Greek factor The organic F&B market is growing strong in Greece, after a long period of inactivity. Nonetheless, there has been limited research concerning the values and motives driving Greek consumers to buy organic food, as well as the problems that exist on the level

of information. Organic food consumption is widely associated with the introduction of ethical concerns in business, the uprising of consumerism and environmentalism in Europe, and, most importantly, the emergence of scandals associated with the food industry, which have –thankfully– not plagued the Greek food sector. In fact, Greece could be considered an “organic-friendly” country since it is GMO-free, while many farmers tend to follow centuries-old traditions for the growing of their crops. Specifically, Greek organic arable land amounted to 3.1 percent of total EU organic arable land in 2014 and to 6.5 percent in 2016, thus showing a 109.6 percent of increase in numbers. In addition, the number of organic producers in the country in 2016 is estimated around 21,875. “Almost all major F&B companies have and converted part of their production into organic,” according to Mr Vassilis Kitsos, Agronomist & Certification Manager at Cosmocert, an inspection and certification control body. “As a result, wineries, fruit and vegetable packing centers, dairies and dairy companies, olive oil standardization companies produce


Bio Products ma ga z i n e

a wide range of organic products, with mainly Greek raw materials, thus helping the Greek economy. However, special mention should be made to small producers who have set up companies and cottage industries that produce original, high quality products with local characteristics, highlighting Greek products all over the world. Their production may be limited, but they enjoy great momentum.” The Greek market for organic products was estimated to be around EUR 60 million in 2014. The market for organic products was developing slowly until 2010, when growth was halted by the economic crisis that hit the country. Between 2011 and 2013, consump-

Greece is “organic-friendly” since it is GMO-free & farmers still follow old practices tion of organic products fell by almost half, but recently there has been renewed interest, fueled mostly by exports and the need to expand to foreign markets. Greek organic production is certified according to EU legislation on organic farming and other regulations, which are carried out in full. In addition, Greek farmers have undergone a change in mentality. They have started implementing organic methods in their production and work on obtaining global certification. In fact, supermarket chains are increasing their focus on GlobalGAP, (the world's leading farm assurance program, translating consumer requirements into Good Agricultural Practice) certified organic produce.

Organic certification can only benefit whoever chooses to obtain it and for companies or farmers who seriously want to engage in organic production is a one-way street, explains Mr Kitsos. “It ensures international visibility and increases consumer confidence to products proving that they meet Greek and EU requirements; a product gains added value and advantages over the competition; certification can improve traceability; products with particular local features can be promoted more easily.” In addition to producers, processing companies are currently heavily investing in organic research and innovation; after all, it is finally understood that investments in careful processing techniques, sustainable and reusable packaging as well as improved understanding of quality and safety issues in organic supply chains, in combination with regulation, are of paramount importance for creating new value for current and prospective consumers n.










C I N F OOD A G R O FACTS & FIGU RES* *Source: Eurostat, EPRS, Eurobarometer, FiBL & Cosmocert


hectares of organic farmland in Greece (2014)



the proportion of Greek organic agricultural land (2016) per capita consumption of organic products in Greece (2014)


increase of organic sales in the EU within four years

â‚Ź60 72%

of Europeans think organic food is of better quality



Production of organic olive oil and raisins for export


Increase in organic area due to support from the EU


Fall in organic area and the organic market, due to the financial crisis


Renewed interest in organic products, fueled by exports


organic producers in Greece in 2016 million the size of the Greek organic market (2014)


increase of Greek organic arable land in 2014-2016


Trade Show ma ga z i n e

THE FUTURE IS ORGANIC Aiming to contribute to the growth of the organic trend in Greece, a new exhibition event is spreading its wings: BIO FESTIVAL, the first comprehensive fair for organic products in the country.










ith interest in clean and organic living gaining international momentum, and at a time when organic products claim an increasing share of the marketplace and feature prominently on the shelves of supermarkets and retail outlets, as well as on food service menus all over the world, BIO FESTIVAL, taking place on 1113 May 2019, in Athens, Greece, aspires to become the largest commercial forum and the ultimate benchmark for the organic sector –be it Food & Beverages and cosmetics, or packaging. Directed at both consumers (b2c) as well as owners and executives from the entirety of the organic industry (b2b), BIO FESTIVAL is expected to attract as exhibitors productive and commercial enterprises, as well as retail outlets, whose products are certified as organic or are in the process of being certified, as well as businesses with natural products and products with organic raw materials.

Right in the heart of Athens BIO FESTIVAL will take place at the Technopolis - City of Athens in Gazi, right in the center of Athens. The historic Industrial Gas Museum, which opened its doors to the public in 2013, with its heritage buildings, its paved streets and general layout and aesthetics, is the natural setting for such a festival. The fact that Technopolis is right next to a Metro station (Kerameikos) and is known to the public for 11-12-13 the organization of special, quality events, creates the ideal conditions ATHENS for the turnout of tens GREECE of thousands of visitors



A series of fascinating special events BIO FESTIVAL will host in specially-designed areas a series of presentations, demonstrations and workshops featuring experienced professionals in their respective fields. At the same time, a restaurant with an organic menu will operate in the festival grounds, at special rates for visitors, while a series of live cooking shows will be presented by renowned chefs. n

KOZANI SAFFRON GREEK RED SAFFRON Saffron from Kozani is called the red Greek saffron stands out for its excellent gold of the Greek land. Since antiquity, it quality and ranks in the first saffron category in has been among the most precious plants of ancient civilizations. It is famous for its aroma, color, medicinal and afrodisiac characteristics. Among its many beneficial effects it is antibacterial, antidepressant, antioxidant and anti-aging.

the world. The organic beverages with Kozani Saffron (nine variants), are full of flavor and taste, aromatic, free of gluten and with no caffeine. In addition, the frequent use of Greek Saffron beverages improves brain functions and especially the memory.

at e! We pa rt ic ip

16 - 18 MARCH 2019 ATHENS • GREECE



From 16 to 18 March 2019, FOOD EXPO will once again provide a global overview of the F&B stage, as well as all the latest trends and innovations. FOOD EXPO 2019 KEY FIGURES FORECAST












OOD EXPO EXPO has been constantly growing, in both size and reputation, thus giving tangible shape to the aspirations of the Greek as well as the international food industry. Approximately 1,300 companies will be presenting the broad spectrum of products, fields of application and services on an exhibition space of 50,000 m2, for buyers from the entirety of the F&B sector. FOOD EXPO 2019 will once again be filled with great energy, top buyers, and, of course, fabulous foodstuff. The show will take place March 16-18, 2019, at the Metropolitan Expo in Athens, Greece. Buyers from top names in retailing and foodservice will be out in force in search of new products, new trends, new vendors, and new connections to help meet record consumer demand for Greek, Mediterranean and specialty foods, in general. As always, FOOD EXPO 2019 will be the central platform for the international food industry interested in Mediterranean products.

INT’L VISITORS VOICE THEIR SATISFACTION According to an IPSOS-OPINION survey, most of the 2,930 int’l food traders, and among them the 800 fully Hosted Buyers that visited FOOD EXPO 2018, were impressed with the trade show’s size and scope. Specifically, 42% of visitors indicated in particular the organization of FOOD EXPO 2018, 13% pointed out the great variety of products found at the exhibitor stands as well as the national pavilions, while another 13% talked about the “good, expedient and warm” service. Finally, 97% of int’l visitors voiced their intent to attend the next iteration of FOOD EXPO, in 2019, while 65% of them stated they will recommend it to other sector professionals.


6.2% 15%





4.3% ASIA








FOOD EXPO 2019 is expected to hold significant attraction for more than 5,000 buyers from across the world, confirming once again its international profile and orientation. These 5,000 int’l food traders will have the opportunity to come into contact with Greek and int’l exhibitors, to discover the newest products and innovations as well as all the latest trends, and hold B2B meetings with a high likelihood to close significant deals.




he wealth of Greek Food & Beverages will be presented in a unique way through the Mediterranean Gastronomy Forum, an innovative event that will last all three days of the trade show and will feature the participation of critically acclaimed Greek and international chefs. Using a great variety of excellent products from every corner of Greece the chefs will showcase to Greek and international trade visitors unique culinary ideas., and through interactive culinary demonstrations, professionals from the foodservice and hospitality sectors will be able to discover a wide range of products from all over Greece, consolidating, at the same time, the role of Greek gastronomy as an important vehicle for the promotion of exports.Finally, on the stage of the Mediterranean Gastronomy Forum, chefs from Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and many more countries will hold various gastronomic shows, showcasing the affinity of Mediterranean cuisines.


LEBANON, PARTNER COUNTRY AT FOOD EXPO FOOD EXPO 2019 visitors will have the opportunity to become acquainted with the Panorama of Lebanese food & drinks as well as the country’s major F&B businesses. As the 6th FOOD EXPO’s Partner Country, Lebanon and its agro-food products will be put in the spotlight, while some 70,000 of the fair’s Greek and international trade visitors –from wholesale, distribution, the organized retail, catering and hotels– will be given the chance to explore the prospects for commercial cooperation with the Middle Eastern country’s leading Food & Beverage production and exporting companies and strike important trade deals.




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OOD EXPO has designed a comprehensive Hosted Buyer Program for major international Food & Beverage traders to help them discover new suppliers and build networks. With all or part of their travel and accommodation expenses paid for, qualified Hosted Buyers simply have to show genuine purchase responsibility and attend a minimum number of B2B meetings that are scheduled through the Matchmaking Platform, an intuitive online platform allowing visitors to book meetings in advance with the trade show’s exhibitors. n

Get impressive benefits By joining the Hosted Buyer Program of the trade show, you enjoy the following benefits: • 2 or 3 nights hotel accommodation • Round trip economy air ticket • Complimentary day cruise to the Greek islands / Athens tour • Access to the int’l buyers Meeting Area.


COMBINE BUSINESS WITH PLEASURE Take advantage of your visit to FOOD EXPO 2019 to explore Greek products and do business with suppliers from around the world in a professional & efficient environment. In addition, why not enjoy some downtime to discover Athens and its surroundings, and live an authentic Greek experience? FOOD EXPO is offering its int’l visitors the chance to experience the beauty, historic sights and culinary treasures of Greece. Enjoy a day cruise to the Saronic Gulf or take a guided tour around Athens and its monumental landmarks.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT OUR TEAM Filippos Papanastasiou • fp@forumsa.gr Irene Kouriantaki • ek@forumsa.gr Marilena Galani • gm@forumsa.gr Ioanna Lalia • il@forumsa.gr Ioanna Polychronopoulou • ip@forumsa.gr Dimitrios Polyzois • dpo@forumsa.gr




16 - 18



The leading Food & Beverages Trade Show in S.E. Europe!



50.000 m • 70.000 VISITORS • 900 HOSTED BUYERS 2

ORGANIZED BY: FORUM SA | 328 Vouliagmenis Ave., | 173 42 Athens, Greece | Τ: +30 210 5242100 | W: www.foοdexpo.gr | E: foodexpo@forumsa.gr


Market News ma ga z i n e

news + MORE Palirria-VNK Capital Strategic partnership for the kings of “dolma”

pindos Investing €20 million within the next 5 years to boost its productive capacity

The Ioannina Agricultural Poultry Cooperative – Pindos, one of the largest poultry producers in Greece, is currently undertaking a 5-year investment plan, which will run from

2018 up to 2022 and totaling approx. 20 million euros in order to increase the company's productive capacity. The construction of a new plant for pregrilled products is al-

ready underway, while the modernization of the company facilities and distribution fleet as well as a new logistics program are also laid out in the plan. www.pindos-apsi.gr

With the acquisition of 36% of the shares of Palirria-Souliotis SA (producers of Greek ready-made food), VNK Capital will be the latter’s new strategic partner. With this new “alliance”, Palirria seeks further development of its already strong export activity, while VNK Capital will help create added value using innovative strategies and funding schemes. www.palirria.com

76.8% Mevgal a workshop that puts Emphasis in exports to the United States Recently, Megval, the largest dairy producer in Northern Greece, hosted at its premises a workshop aimed at the investigation of export opportunities in the States, organized by Endeavor Greece and the US Consulate General in Thessaloniki. During the event, Mevgal executives presented the company's export strategy in the American continent and the US, while experts analyzed the reality of the US market and highlighted opportunities for Greek companies manufacturing Mediterranean products. www.mevgal.gr


MEGAS YEEROS investing €10 million in the next 5 years, while focusing in the american market

Feta cheese scientists decode the dna of the famous greek cheese

Megas Yeeros, one of the leading Greek brands in the production of souvlaki, gyros and other meat products, has announced a 10 million euros investment within the next 5


years, that will include a second production unit in North America, either in the US or in Canada, as Mr Nikos Loustas, CEO of the company, is currently exploring all possible

expansion options. It is worth mentioning that Megas Yeeros already owns a 5,000 m2 factory in New Jersey, which started operating in 2014. www.megasyeeros.com


Scientists at the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens (BRFAA) have recently decoded the DNA of the authentic Feta cheese produced in Greece, unlocking its secrets at a molecular level. Dr George Tsangaris and Dr Athanasios Anagnostopoulos analyzed several varieties of PDO Feta cheese from all over Greece, identifying their nutritional properties and value. The research revealed that all varieties of PDO Feta contain 489 different types of protein known, among others, for their antimicrobial activity and for strengthening the immune system. It also identified many proteins related to vitamins. As a result, the original Greek Feta cheese emerges as one of the most proteinrich cheeses in the world!

FEDON rising sales and growing interest to Expand in Australia Fedon, among the top bakery and confectionery production businesses in Greece, has set its sights on the Australian market. The company is slowly but surely entering the retail sector of Down Under with an aim to “strengthen our exports, especially after having infiltrated the markets of Israel and the Middle East, in 2018,” according to Mr Stathis Giahanatzis, Managing Director of the business. At the same time, sales for the previous year have risen, amounting to over €8.5 million.www.fedon.gr


Market News ma ga z i n e

news + MORE VIOLANTA New expansion investments in the works

ALEXANDROS CHOCOLATES taking asia by storm and targeting the demanding Japanese market

The Japanese market lies at the very center of an expansion strategy devised by Alexandros Handmade Chocolates. Fresh from its recent successful deal with a large health food chain

supplying Mongolia and Singapore, the company is currently in advanced talks with stores and c-chains in Japan. Alexandros is already exporting chocolates in more than 30

countries worldwide, in both the retail and HoReCa sectors. To wit, a luxury hotel chain in Hong Kong is a private label customer of the Greek brand. www.alexandroschocolates.gr

Violanta, producer of quality cookies and biscuits, has pledged a 2.5 million euros investment in order to expand its unit in Trikala, Greece, a project which is expected to be completed within the next June. It is worth noting that the brand is currently exporting its delicious offerings to 30 countries worldwide –in fact, the “Full 45” cookies are spearheading the effort. www.violanta.gr

18% MORE








B I O & N AT U R A L P R O D U C T S ORGANIZED BY: FORUM SA | 328 Vouliagmenis av., 173 42, Athens | Τ: +30 210 5242100 | E: sales@forumsa.gr | www.biofestival.gr


Market News ma ga z i n e

news + MORE EURIMAC unique Greek pasta conquers the world

KRITON ARTOS SwitzGroup acquires majority stakes in the cretan traditional cookies company

SwitzGroup Europe recently acquired a shareholding of 60.55% in Kriton Artos, a Cretan company producing traditional pastries and rusks. SwitzGroup is a

group of bakery brands owned by Indian magnate Taizoon Khorakiwala. The group has revenues of more than $250 million and employs some 4,500 staff across operations

in nine countries. In Greece, the group has also invested in the form of joint venture in Olympic Foods, while it has purchased CSM Hellas Bakery Solution. www.kritonartos.gr

According to latest estimates, Eurimac has emerged as the leading pasta export company in Greece with more than 50 destinations all over the world for its branded as well as private label products. Namely, Eurimac currently exports approximately 40% of its production, while its export potential is constantly growing –exports were almost 30% in 2005. www.eurimac.gr

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12 - 14


2019 AT H E N S • G R E E C E


Future solutions in the food industry

ORGANIZED BY: FORUM SA | 328 Vouliagmanis av., 173 42, Athens Greece | Τ: +30 210 5242100 | W: www.foodtech.gr | E: sales@forumsa.gr


Trade Show ma ga z i n e



12-14 OCΤ 2019 AT H E N S ½ G R E E C E

A targeted

trade show

for the Food Industry Dedicated to bringing the future solutions to all segments of the Food & Beverage industry, FOODTECH, a new trade show with international aspirations, is the answer to the sector’s demand for innovation, food safety, sustainability, and constant technological update.


FOODTECH, a new international trade show, is the answer to the F&B sector’s need for modernization and evolution; a trade show specifically targeted at the production, processing, packaging and handling technologies of Food & Drinks, and directed to owners and executives from the sector’s productive and commercial enterprises. FOODTECH, a premium and 100% Food & Beverage targeted trade show, will be held at the Metropolitan Expo, the largest and best exhibition center in Greece. The 1st FOODTECH will take place on October 12, 13 and 14 October 2019, a set of strategically planned dates; this is the perfect time for all industry players to organize and budget their capital projects for the coming year. At FOODTECH, thousands of Food & Beverage professionals will gather to make deals and form partnerships. As a result, the trade show will become the meeting point for hundreds of Greek and international exhibitors and a real pole of attraction for thousands of trade visitors from Greece as well as the global marketplace, at least as far as the region of Southeast Europe is concerned.

300 Greek exhibitors

Why visit Your visit to FOODTECH 2019 will give you a plethora of commercial benefits. Namely, it will help you: ✔ Meet over 300 Greek and international exhibitors, converse with them, compare prices and reach significant trade agreements. ✔ Get to know an extensive range of products and services from Greece and abroad, all under one roof. ✔ Discover products and ideas that will help you differentiate from your competition and make your business more profitable. ✔ Inform yourselves on the latest market trends through a comprehensive series of conferences, seminars, workshops and other events.

Attend as a Hosted Buyer Key decision makers looking to do business in the Southeast of Europe, as well as gain inspiration, discover all the latest innovations in the sector, and build significant connections in an efficient and business-oriented environment, are welcome to join the comprehensive Hosted Buyer Program, which has been specially designed by the FOODTECH team.

HOSTED BUYER benefits Up to 3 nights paid hotel accommodation Partial or full coverage of your round trip economy air ticket Access to the Matchmaking platform to prearrange face-toface meetings with exhibitors




25,000 m2

€ 380,000

international exhibitors

Greek & international trade visitors

Hosted Buyers

Εxhibition space

in advertising expenditure

New Products ma ga z i n e




AN EXCEPTIONAL PELOPONNESIAN WINE Papagiannakopoulos winery produces Kidonitsa, one of the rare varieties of the Peloponnese, bearing as trademark the persistent aroma reminiscent of quince – and from which it was named (“kidoni” is quince in Greek). The few wines produced by this variety, stand out for their complex, round flavors and good acidity. www.papagiannakopoulos.com

GREEK, READY MADE FLAVORS Golden, delicious, ready in a flash; Palmie Gastronomy, the main food production unit of the Palmie bistro Group, offers foodservice professionals a ready made roll filled with 100% PDO Feta cheese and wrapped in traditional filo pastry and sesame seeds. An authentic Mediterranean recipe, frozen, in order to preserve its full flavor and ready to prepare in just minutes: simply deep fry right from the freezer. Available in 3kg packs. www.palmiegastronomy.gr



It is known that EVOO from wild olive trees contains a higher concentration of polyphenols compared to conventional EVOO. At Meskla, a mountainous village in Crete, the fruit is collected and Wild Olive Oil called OMAS, of limited harvest, is available in the market, through the cooperation of the agricultural cooperative of Meskla and ABEA, the oldest olive oil industry in Greece. www.abea.gr

Hercules, Atlas, Theseus, Jason, etc. are launching the most delicious Greek confections. Poursalidis Ath. & Sons SA company introduces a new product range, under the name “Mythical Delights”, a premium series of traditional sweets in individually wrapped packaging and decoration inspired by Hellenic Mythology! Join us at Food Expo 2019, Hall 3, Stand B34! www.siropiastasakis.com


Int’l recipients!

Fine food & drinks of Greece ORGANIZED BY: FORUM SA | 328 Vouliagmenis av., 173 42, Athens, Greece Τ: +30 210 5242100 |E: sales@forumsa.gr

a r ti We p

c ip a

te !

New Products ma ga z i n e




WHEN HIGH QUALITY IS DELICIOUS For the connoisseurs from all over the world, we present the unique Potou Melan Premium EVOO, PDO Kalamata, with health claim certification. This balanced and awarded EVOO is so rich in phenols as it is needed to create healthy, delicious dishes. Two centuries of history of respect, passion, love for tradition and innovation for the best! www.c-potou.com

NATURAL UNREFINED SEA SALT XIROS With dedication to quality and respect to their customers, Xiros produces natural sea salt and fleur de sel of premium quality and taste, rich in minerals and trace elements for a healthy and delicious meal. The sea salt Xiros hasn’t undergone any treatment and is produced using traditional methods from the Messolonghi salt-pans in the region’s shallow lagoon, which is protected by the Ramsar Convention and is included in the Natura 2000 protected areas network. www.messolonghisalt.gr



Epiros Organic Feta PDO won the Gold Award in the Feta cheese category in this year’s World Cheese Awards, while it also received the highest score among all Greek cheeses participating in the competition! Epiros Organic Feta PDO is exclusively produced from 100% Greek organic sheep and goat milk, under strict hygienic conditions and high quality standards. www.epirus.gr

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

at e! We pa rt ic ip

#8 Winter 2019


Winter 2 0 1 9

Fi ne food and drinks of Greece

Fine food and drinks of Greece


North Aegean


Panorama of flavors

16 -17-18



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The Mediterranean Food Experience

25/02/2019 10:19

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