The Greek Table Grape Project
Working together to continuously improve sustainable table grape production
How it all started
Table grapes are Greece’s second most important export crop in value terms. About half of the total production of table grapes is exported, mostly to Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. Table grapes are mainly grown in the Corinthian province of Southern Greece, on the island of Crete as well as in the Kavalan province of Northern Greece and generally harvested from the end of July to mid of October.
Greek farmers who grow table grapes face a number of requirements when marketing their crops. The grapes have to be of a specified size, color and sugar content. Moreover, any residues of active ingredients have to be within the residual requirements.
Mack Multiples, a fresh produce importer, had already positive experiences working with Bayer CropScience on a Food Chain Partnership project in South Africa. When Pegasus Coop, a producer organization, was looking for a partner to improve the quality and marketability of their table grapes, Mack Multiples suggested approaching Bayer CropScience. Representatives of Pegasus Coop and Bayer CropScience Greece met at the end of 2010 and arranged to follow up at the B ayer CropScience booth at Fruit Logistica 2011 in Berlin.
From left to right: Dimitris Spanos, Area Manager of Mack Multiples; Manolis Panagiotopoulos, Food Chain Manager of Bayer CropScience Greece; Markos Legas, President of Pegasus Coop
Who is involved
Pegasus Coop is an organization of farmers who grow, pack and export table grapes from some 80 ha of mountain land in the Corinthian province of southern Greece under the brand name 7Grapes. They recently invested in a new packaging facility, considered as one of the most modern in the area. Their business is driven by a desire to produce table grapes in a responsible and sustainable manner.
MACK Multiples is one of the UK’s leading fresh produce importers and main customer for Pegasus farmers. Supplying retailers makes high product quality and food safety essential deliverables to ensure their customers’ confidence.
Bayer CropScience Greece provides sustainable crop solutions from seed to shelf that are compliant with international standards and meet farmers’ needs in terms of quality, safety and cost-effectiveness. In this regard, the company strives to train farmers in the safe use of crop protection products, in application technology and spraying techniques.