Industry experts analyzed the challenges of the F&B sector
Important lectures and interesting workshops form a rich program at the Workshops & Seminars Stage at Hall 2 all the three days of the exhibition.
Keynote speakers, experienced executives of major companies and industry representatives analyzed for three days, at the stage of Workshops & Seminars at Hall 2 the key issues facing the F&B industry.
Read the highlights of Monday, March 20
At the third and last day of Workshops & Seminars stage, SEVT (Federation of Greek Food Industries) workshop was hosted with the topic “The new Regulation on packaging and packaging waste and the challenges for the Food & Beverage Industry”. The event was opened by Ms. Vaso Papadimitriou, General Director of SEVT, who emphasized that the Regulation concerns the Industry at national, European, and global level and initiates a series of essential changes that are to be implemented in a short period of time from 2025 to 2040, with main aims to reduce packaging, reuse and recycle in order to achieve circular economy goals.
Stelios Kymbouropoulos, Paschalis Kastanas, Anastasia Arfanakou
Later, Mr. Stelios Kymbouropoulos, MEP of New Democracy underlined the importance of the agri-food sector and the Food and Beverage Industry in international trade and the Greek economy, noting however that the sector combined with the tourism product of our country create seasonal needs, such as the proliferation of waste, which creates management problems. Then, the Secretary General of Waste Management Coordination – YPEN, Mr. Manolis Grafakos, emphasized that the change in habits in production and consumption that will be brought about by the Waste Management Regulation will require everyone’s cooperation. Afterwards, Mr. Dirk Jacobs, General Manager at Food Drink Europe made an online appearance at the workshop and referred to the challenges of the new Regulation for the European Food & Drink Industry, saying that the Regulation is recognized and supported, but underlining that certain changes will definitely need to be made.
Then Mr. Paschalis Kastanas, Member of the Environment & Sustainability Committee SEVT, Sustainability Director NESTLE GREECE SA. explained to the audience what changes the new Regulation will bring to the Greek Food & Beverage Industry. Subsequently, Dr. Dimitris Ladakis, Dr. Chemical Engineer / Department of Food & Nutrition Science – Food Engineering & Processing Laboratory – Agricultural University of Athens pointed out the importance of reducing, utilizing, and recycling food waste and food packaging plastics in the era of the circular economy.
Dr. Dimitris Ladakis
The workshop continued with a discussion, coordinated by Ms. Anastasia Arfanakou, Head of the Waste Management Directorate – Ministry of Environment and Energy. The three speakers, Mr. Kymbouropoulos, Mr. Kastanas and Dr. Ladakis spoke about how the Regulation will be implemented, analyzed the important elements provided for in it, but also the how they are combined with the objective of the circular economy, while emphasis was also placed on a series of issues and malfunctions that are expected to arise from its implementation. The Conference concluded with the presentation of the EQVEGAN project, by Dr. Natasa Kapetanakou, Head of SEVT Programs. Workshops & Seminars concluded with the speech of Mr. Konstantinos Vamvakas, CEO of VK PREMIUM Business Development Consultants, who analyzed the financial opportunities in the food and beverage industry and the ways in which each entrepreneur can grow his business.
Μeat experts dazed the audience with their techniques on Sunday, March 19
On a day entirely dedicated to meat, on the “Meat Lab” stage, which was presented for the first time at FOOD EXPO, the first to take the stage were the Bovillage Ambassadors – Michalis Zampetros, Nikos Laskarellis, Theodoros Roussos, Vassilis Delifilippidis, Tasos Spyropoulos , Angelos Zogos, Dimitris Hatzimichalis, Nikos Kegachias-, who showed the audience the ways of French cuts of beef, making extremely precise movements, with an emphasis on the smallest detail. They then created impressive concoctions of French know-how, such as cote de beauf, roti, paupiette and tartare. As the experts pointed out, what makes the French cut stand out is that it is a know-how that utilizes 95% of the beef carcass and gives value and better performance, even to lesser-known cuts. The coordinator of the event was Ms. Romina Tzarella, who underlined that the aim of Bovillage’s ambassadors is none other than the utilization of meat in imaginative ways, so that the product gains value through the know-how of the artisan professional, while she also referred to the multiple benefits of red meat, characterizing the superfood. It should be noted that the French chef, Dominique Perrot, was also present at the event.
Then at stage the Club of Greek Butchers, gave a presentation, coordinated by the Vice-President, Mr. Nikos Kehagias. Its members – Nikos Laskarellis, Dimitris Hatzimihalis, Giorgos Anagnou, Tasos Spyropoulos, Michalis Zampetros, Nikos Papanikolaou, Angelos Zogos, Vassilis Tsiligiris – presented a mini-show, which started with the dismemberment of a whole pork. Thus, they showed the people in attendance what proper management is, but also the full utilization of the carcass, so as to give even simpler pieces a greater resale value. As Mr. Kehagias pointed out, the most correct approach is the one that follows the “from nose to tail” doctrine, so that no part of the meat is left unexploited. Afterwards, the butchers presented highly impressive pork meat products, such as cote de pork, pancetta baklava, boston butt shoulder, panty steak, justifying their “motto”: “we see meat differently”. Mr. Kehagias emphasized that the goal of the artisan is to present each preparation in a way that will intrigue the consumer. This was followed by the carving of the lamb, with the experts presenting special preparations, including lamb picanha, stuffed saddle and crown.
The event with meat as the absolute protagonist was concluded with the Association of Butchers of Athens Attica “The Taxiarches” taking the stage and presenting preparations with minced meat. The president of the Union, Theodoros Roussos, together with Michalis Tikellis, Stavros Nikas, Nikos Nikas, Vassilis Tikellis, Giorgos Tsatsos, Antonis Stavrakis and Vassilis Delifilippidis, who also acted as coordinator, made simple preparations such as soutzoukaki, kebabs, meatballs, Cypriot sheftalies , but also more special creations with minced meat, such as beef “tsoureki”, salty “croissants” and… tarts. As Mr. Delifilippidis noted, all the preparations and meats, created in the context of the event, will go to the association of Parents of Children with Neoplastic Disease “Floga”.
Read the highlights of Saturday March 18
The workshop organized by the Hellenic Aquaculture Producers’ Organization (ELOPY), opened the first day of the Workshops and Seminars, and was attended by the Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Food, responsible for Fisheries Policy, Simos Kedikoglou, who delivered a greeting. Then Ms. Ismini Bogdanou, Director of Communication & Public Relations of ELOPY, welcomed the members of the first panel discussion titled “Greek Fish, Great Taste, supreme nutrition”. Mr. Dimitris Papazymouris, Strategy Executive and Founder of the Urban Cooking Blog Cucina Caruso moderated the discussion of Ms. Dina Nikolaou, Cooking/Pastry Cheffe, author of cookery books, restaurant owner Evi Evane, Ms. Vasiliki Haratsi, Clinical Nutritionist and Dietitian for Obesity and Diabetes and Ms. Eugenia Kazopidi, Ichthyologist, Sales Manager and Technical Consultant at ZOONOMI – Fish & Animal Feed Industry.
Ted Lelekas, Lefteris Lazarou, Stella Adamidou, Vaiopoulou Despina
During the discussion, the nutritional benefits of fish were mentioned, what farmed fish are fed with and how the consumers should include them in their diet was analyzed. The second discussion titled “Greek fish – pairing fresh fish with the right wine”, was moderated by Ms. Despina Vaiopoulou, Journalist, Creator of the food blog ‘Pandespani’. Mr. Lefteris Lazarou, pioneer of Greek Cuisine, 1st Michelin star in Greece, owner of ‘Varoulko’ restaurant together with Mr. Thodoris Lelekas, Moët Hennessy Brand Ambassador Central & Southern Europe, gave their tips on how a wine can accompany a fish meal, while Ms. Stella Adamidou, R&D Executive at the fish farming company Philosofish, explained the reasons why farmed fish are tasty and safe, while underlining that they receive special recognition in the countries to which they are exported.
Mr. Athanasios Panagoulias, President & CEO FORUM SA – Member of NürnbergMesse Group, emphasized the importance of FOOD EXPO, which meets the needs of the domestic market and at the same time fully responds to the export orientation of Greek companies in the sector, during the FOOD EXPORT SUMMIT of SEVE, titled “The presence of Greek food in the Balkan market – opportunities for growth”. Then the president of SEVE-Exporters Association, Symeon Diamantidis spoke about record exports, while, the Minister of Agricultural Development and Food, Georgios Georgantas noted the possibility of increasing both production and exports. Vasiliki Loizou, Secretary General for International Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chairwoman of “Enterprise Greece” spoke about the importance of food and its exports in the Greek economy. Afterwards, Mr. Panagiotis Hassapis, Executive Vice President of SEVE-Exporters’ Association pointed out the great export potential that Greece has in Balkans markets.
Dimitrios Michas, Head of Economic and Commercial Sector, Embassy of Greece in Bulgaria, Antonios Katepodis, Head of Economic and Commercial Sector, Embassy of Greece in Serbia, Anastasia Zografou, Head of Economic and Commercial Sector, Embassy of Greece in North Macedonia, Georgios Tosounis, Head of Economic and Commercial Sector, Embassy of Greece in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Pantelis Giannoulis, Head of Economic and Commercial Sector, Embassy of Greece in Romania and Marios Belimbasakis, Head of Economic and Commercial Sector, Embassy of Greece in Albania analyzed the prospects and the functioning of the food and beverage market in each Balkan country. Last but not least, Christos Voiannou, President & CEO, PROVYL SA and Panagiotis Menexopoulos, President & CEO, DRYFO – ΑFΟΙ MENEXOPOULOS SA analyzed the export strategy of their companies in the Balkan markets, the success factors, but also the growth dynamics.
The workshop of the Panhellenic Union of Food Technologists began with the secretary of HEL.A.F.T, Panagioti Maniatea, presenting and coordinating the event. A short greeting was addressed by the President of HEL.A.F.T, Yiannis Smarnakis, who after welcoming the attendees and thanking the exhibition’s organizing company for hosting the event, referred to the new approaches and technological innovations in primary and secondary food production, especially in environmental multi-level crisis (health, food, energy).
Afterwards, Panagiotis Zoumboulakis, president of the Food Science & Technology department, of the University of Western Attica specifically referred to the necessity of producing sustainable and safe food, especially in times of crisis. In the first part of the conference, the panel on “Modern developments in the field of animal products & fish” was held, moderated by Efi Ganti, Food Technologist, Customer Relations &CSR of P.G. NIKAS SA and distinguished speakers from industry and the academic community. More specifically:
The first guest speaker of the panel, Dr. Veni Giza Veterinarian, Director of D.PD P.G. NIKAS SA, president of the Meat Products Institute, analyzed the challenges and requirements presented by the meat sector. Then, Nikolaos Solomakos Associate Professor, University of Thessaly, spoke about the issue of well-being and how important it is for the consumer – not only his own well-being but also that of the animals intended for his food. Then, the interest turned to the fish sector analyzed by Petros Spanos, Food Technologist, NPD, VAP & Processing Director of AVRAMAR. As an expert, he referred to processing products, which are considered value-added products and are the prevailing trend in the fish sector following consumer demand. Ioannis Boziaris, Professor, University of Thessaly, spoke about the fishery product and specifically about the research on the new methods of life extension.
Efi Ganti, Dr. Giza, Nikolas Solomakos, Ioannis Boziaris
Dr. Giza in order to highlight the role of the Meat Products Institute where he is the president, stated that the main reason why it was founded was the need to bring together the three branches of meat: Industry, Universities & Public Administration, so that they could cooperate with each other, aiming for the best result.
Then Mr. Panagiotis Kakleas, Food Technologist and Production Manager of Dimello coffee spoke about the “Use of mechanical equipment in combination with artificial intelligence for quality control, at the service of the production process of roasted coffee”. Giorgos Nikolakopoulos, Food Technologist, R&D Kallas Incorporation S.A, in his speech on “Novel and innovative materials in the development of new products” brought oligosucrose, palatinose and inulin as the most modern examples of such foods, with a detailed description of their properties both technologically and nutritionally, while also giving examples of their use in various branches of the food industry.
The HEL.A.F.T conference was closed by Dr. Vassilis Athanasiadis, Food Technologist-Postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Food Science & Nutrition of the University of Thessaly. During his speech on “International Crisis in the Food Industry and Mass Catering: Sunflower Oil VS Kerosene Oil” he referred to the reasons that contributed to the food crisis, highlighting the rise in the use of kernel oil. He proceeded to compare the properties of the two oils (similarities, differences and health benefits) and cited the conclusions obtained from laboratory quality controls.