Export opportunities, production & marketing trends
Important lectures, interesting workshops, presentation of successful case studies formed a rich program at the Workshops & Seminars stage in Hall 2 all three days of the exhibition.
Monday 14 March
The event of SEVT with the theme: “Exports of the food & beverage sector and the effects of the pandemic”, “opened” the 3rd and last day of Workshops & Seminars with Mrs. Vasso Papadimitriou, General Manager of SEVT addressing a greeting. Mr. Apostolos Michalopoulos, Director at B1 Directorate of Extroversion Planning & Coordination of Extroversion Bodies, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, referred extensively to the actions of strengthening and supporting Greek food and beverage companies, in the framework of exports at 48% of GDP by 2023. Among the actions: the identification of suitable target markets, participation in International exhibitions, the organization of business missions, the preparation of industry studies and market research, the business information portal agora.mfa. gr. Then, Ms. Alexandra Chazapi -Pitta, Vice President of the Panhellenic Exporters Association spoke about the pandemic and geopolitical developments in the exports of the food sector, noting that the majority of Greek exports are to European countries in almost all product categories, while emphasizing the need to support industries so as not to disrupt their successful extroverted course, in recent years, despite the pandemic.
The risks and prospects of the Greek economy in the post covid era kept the interest of the listeners undiminished, with the speaker Ms. Faye Makantasi, Director of Research, dIANEOsis, who stressed that despite maintaining a significant deficit in the trade balance, the continuous increase after 2016 exports and the export-import mix are sources of restrained optimism. Then, Mr. Fotis Sousalis, General Manager of TERRA CRETA SA referred to the experience of his company, while Ms. Efi Lazaridou, CEO of the organization “Nea Georgia Nea Genia” analyzed the training program “Agrifood Exports 360”, which offers business executives specialized training for the development of agri-food exports.
The extroversion of the Food & Beverage sector and the effects of the pandemic were the topic of the panel discussion that followed, with the participation of the aforementioned speakers, to which was added Mr. Michalis Panagiotakis, CEO DODONI SA, who was mentioned among others in how his company ran from the beginning of the pandemic until today. The Workshops & Seminars’ day ended with Mr. George Pittas presenting his book “Gastronomic Communities”.
Panel discussion for the Gastronomic Communities
Sunday 13 March
The 2nd day of the Workshops & Seminars started with a workshop about the digital development of the f&b businesses with speakers Margarita Noti, Product Manager, Digital Services, COSMOTE and Kyriakos Kagialoglou, Team Leader Professional Digital Services, COSMOTE. Epamineondas Georgitsopoulos, CEO of Nut Is … took the floor, describing in detail the experience of his collaboration with the Cosmote Digital Marketing 4 U team and the development that his company has presented since then, in every field.
Then Iosif Bizelis – Professor of the Agricultural University of Athens, Efstathios Anastasopoulos- Vice-Governor of Primary Sector at the Region of Peloponnese, Thanassis Kyritsis, President of the Chamber of Fthiotida, Nikos Kostaras, Director of Amalfeia, discussed about the role of Greek breeds in gastronomy and foraging. The panel discussion was coordinated by journalist-writer Sissy Nika.
Kagialoglou Kyriakos, Margarita Noti, Epamineondas Georgitsopoulos
Iosif Bizelis, George Kasapidis, Efstathios Anastasopoulos, Nikos Kostaras
The Workshop by the National Accreditation System (ESYD), which was coordinated by Mrs. Mary Kontaridis, the Communication Manager of ESYD, opened the topic of the accredited certification of food as an added value to exports. Konstantinos Kourbalis, President of ESYD, addressed a greeting, who recommended to the public the role of the body in matters of accreditation and the effort it makes to enhance primary production, in cooperation with the Regions, other bodies and Ministries.
Michalis Mitsopoulos, Director of Business Environment & Environmental Resources of SEV, also addressed a short greeting, emphasizing the role of certification and accreditation in the food sector, a necessary condition for entering foreign markets. Then, the president of the Hellenic Association of Accredited Inspection & Certification Bodies of Hellas Cert, Mr. Giannis Kallias, greeted the event. The Minister of Rural Development and Food, Mr. George Georgantas, praised the role of ESYD and stressed the need to create a single national brand, stating that “Greek food and drink are not only flavors, but include culture and history”.
Then, the Deputy Minister of Interior, Mr. Stelios Petsas, referred to the necessary synergies, citing as an example actions such as the asphalting of rural roads, implemented by the Ministry of Interior through the “Antonis Tritsis” program. The Secretary General of Industry, Mrs. Themis Eftychidou made extensive reference to the quality infrastructure, the role of standards and certification, but also the initiatives that government and public administration must take for this topic. The importance of the certification of agricultural products was also mentioned by the members of SEV, Mr.Vangelis Hatzivaritis, winemaker – producer from Kilkis Kostas Lazaris, owner of a kumquat processing company in Corfu, businessman Gianlis Chrysafikos, Giannis Skoutas, President of the United Agricultural Wine Cooperative of Samos and Stelios Savvidis, Vice president of the Association of Craftsmen-Industries & Export Companies of Evros. Finally, the CEO of ESYD, Christos Nestoras closed the event, emphasizing that this is the beginning of a new cycle of extroversion of the accreditation body, which aims to pave the way for new markets for the primary sector.
George Georgantas, Stelios Petsas, Themis Eftychidou, Christos Nestoras
The 2nd day of the Workshops & Seminars closed with the Workshop by the Greek Visual Communication Design Awards (EVGE), with speakers award-winning creators. The event was opened by Ms. Lia Fakinou, who introduced the speakers. Antonia Skaraki, Creative Art Director of Strategy Branding Communication of AS, was the first to take the stage, presenting 5 case studies, in order to highlight the value of the study around the design of the packaging, but also the importance of the latter to achieve of the commercial goals of each brand. Then, Alexandros Gavrilakis, Creative Director of AG Design Agency, analyzed some examples of integrated visual communication studies that he applied with his associates, for the design of corporate identities, websites and packaging. According to him, the way to differentiate a product is the triptych “Simplicity, Honesty and Consistency” in the design of the package.
Saturday 12 March
The 1st day of the Workshops & Seminars started with the PETET conference on “Global nutritional trends & sustainable development” and the greeting of its President, Mr. Ioannis Smarnakis, who welcomed speakers and attendees emphasizing the important role of FOOD EXPΟ at PETET actions. Immediately after, Dr. Antonios Gypakis, Senior scientific officer of General Secretariat for Research and Technology, Ministry of Development & Investments, who presented the thematic interventions and units of “Research – Create – Innovate” and the timetable of the national strategy for the period 2021-2027.
The topic “Options and actions of sustainable development” were addressed by: Chrysaugi Gardeli, Assistant Professor, Department of Food Science, GPA, Dr. Irini Patera, Food Technologist, Director of Innovation & Sustainable Development Elbisco, Dr. Michail Chatziefstathiou, Ichthyologist – Environmental R&D Coordinator (PASTI), Dr. Fotini Salta, Chemist, SEVT Program Consultant and Dr. Antonios Gypakis, Senior scientific officer of General Secretariat for Research and Technology, Ministry of Development & Investments.
They talked about the alternative sources of protein and the importance that should be given to the research for the development of such, attractive for the consumer products, with emphasis on the fermented products, that are familiar to the Greeks and those who follow the Mediterranean diet. Mushrooms, coffee waste, waste from other crops are high forms of protein, as well as biotransformations of microorganisms into valuable nutrients.
Fotini Salta, Chrysavgi Gardeli, Dr. Irini Patera, Dr. Michael Chatziefstathiou, Dr. Antonios Gypakis
Panagiotis Zoumboulakis, Asteria Stamataki, Makis Rokas, Marilina Tsetsoni, Milena Margeli
Subsequently, reference was made to the dynamics of aquaculture – second in exports after olive oil – which come to respond to the environmental damage caused by overfishing, as well as the effort made in the food industry for the effects on the environment, the effects on health, society and the planet. As mentioned, in particular, sustainable development and responsible entrepreneurship are concepts linked, but multidimensional in their application. The decision to invest a company in the sustainable model is a difficult investment and requires time and effort and especially planning the entire business cycle.
Then, with Milena Margeli as coordinator, Special Secretary of PETET, Asteria Stamataki, Clinical Nutritionist MSc, Min. PhD in Medicine EKPA, Marilina Tsetsoni, Senior SRA Manager, Coca-Cola Co, Makis Rokas, Agronomist Msc- Department of Research & Development Polypan S.A. and Panagiotis Zoumboulakis, Associate Professor, President of the Department of Food Science and Technology, shared their scientific views and provided valuable knowledge on the issue Nutritional trends, clean label and innovations, putting on the table the following: Active packaging (modified atmosphere, etc.) less costly and more necessary, the difficult production of products without additives and the replacement of long-term hazards, for study by the EU.
Special mention was made for nutraceuticals foods and their role, the reduction of sugars, salt, fats from industry – that is, the reconstitution of food, food for consumers with intolerances, the reduction of portion sizes and the indication of portions on the packaging.
The presence of Greece in the research and support of start-ups and the innovation, either radical or marginal, that it is not necessary for the companies themselves to discover, but to adopt innovative actions through a partnership of research centers and institutes, was also analyzed, as well as the role of educational institutions in relation to industry and research by aligning curricula with market needs (reskilling & upskilling). Last but not least, the front labeling system was analyzed as well as the “Nutri-Score” scheme and the capital need for a unified system was emphasized.
Then the Exporter’s Association (SEVE) took the stage for the workshop with title “Precision agriculture as a lever for the development of production and exports”. The workshop started with Mr. Panagiotis Hassapis, Executive Vice President SEVE-Exporters Association who analyzed the issue of food and beverage exports in the pandemic and in particular the growth trends of the last three years by all Greek exports, not just food.
Dr. Machi Symeonidou
Global trends were also stated: New techniques, robotics, drones, internet of things, 4th industrial revolution, green footprint, enhancement of extroversion through production optimization – harmonization with international quality standards. Then, Dr. Machi Symeonidou, General Manager and co-founder of AGROAPPS, analyzed the “precision agriculture” and extroversion. In particular, she stressed that technology is used in agriculture in an economical way and ease of use and referred to the low productivity, lack of education, low integration of new technologies, which in combination with poor organization create pressure on industry that does not receive the product they want in quantity, quality or even the price it was agreed. Special reference was made to the standards of sustainability, innovation, competition, and protection of the farmer and the consumer.
For precision farming, it has been noted that it requires high equipment, has high costs in analyzes and may not affect everyone, but the farmer can choose the grid of technologies he really needs. Traceability 4.0, Sustainability and Exports were then addressed by Mr. Athanasios Bletsas, Quality Management & Quality Assurance Manager of EURIMAC SA, one of the largest export companies of pasta production in Greece, describing in essence, the way in which agriculture is expensive is practiced on the arable land and the production process of the factory. Later, Mr. Vassilios Efthymiadis, Vice President of K&N Group Efthymiadis M. SA, “live” from the event, presented his own opinion about the Digital Consultant in the field and the role that precision agriculture will play in the future. According to him, the latter will undoubtedly be the cornerstone of the survival of the human species. As it was pointed at the end, the agri-food industry should have as its sole goal, the sustainable intensification that is impossible to achieve without the mass and coordinated use of all digital applications related to the production process.