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“Food diplomacy” with olive oil, saffron, wine and asparagus

22 August 2010 / 21:08:16  GRReporter
5820 reads

Marina Nikolova


Within the strategy of the government for export and promotion of Greek products abroad a National Commission for the Mediterranean Greek diet has been created, and the aim of these products is to be among the main courses on the table both of the Greeks and everywhere else in the world. A trademark for products of the Greek Mediterranean diet should be established, said Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Katerina Badzeli during the Congress for products manufactured in Greece.

In relation to the strategy which Greece must adopt for the trade of its agricultural products, Ms. Badzeli introduced the term "food diplomacy" and stressed on the need to establish a trademark for these products which will ensure their quality, will help them be recognized and will confirm the place of their origin.

Minister of Agriculture announced that 55 programs for the promotion of Greek wines, saffron from the area of Kozani, for olive oil, canned peaches, asparagus, have been approved which will be marked and organic products. The programs amounting to 46.5 million euro are intended to help the trade of the products on the markets mainly in America, Canada, Russia, China and Japan.

In the coming days is expected to be introduced to Unesco a proposal for the integration of the Mediterranean diet in the list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity. "We hope that the common proposal of Greece, Italy, Spain and Morocco on the recognition of the Mediterranean diet as an intangible asset of the cultural heritage of humanity will be addressed properly," said Ms. Badzeli.

Greece is the second country after Spain, which is the largest importer of olive oil in China, said Ms. Christina Sakelaridi who said that in the next year the exports of olive oil is expected to reach 62,000 tons. Ms. Sakelaridi asked from the Minister of Agriculture to exists a constant advertising program and export of agricultural products abroad, not only to make sporadic actions. She proposed to be establish centers for the trade of Greek products abroad, where tourists who had come to Greece when they return home they can easily find the products that they liked in Greece.

"There is no unified state strategy for the export of Greek products, there is no logo and no clear targets set" said Dimitris Lakasas, President of the Union of Exporters of Northern Greece. Mr. Lakasas stressed on the need to create a unified body for national extroversion which will coordinate the export and will be involved in programs. According to statistics provided by SISG the most important countries in which Greek agricultural products are exported are Italy with 16.5%, Germany with 15.2 percent and Bulgaria with 5.9 percent.

It is necessary to reduce prices and give importance to quality, in order to improve the profile of the companies, said the representative of the Union of Exporters of the island of Crete Alkiviadis Kalambokis. He proposed to develop communication between all institutions and organizations involved in export and advertising of the products - Ministry of Foreign Affairs the embassies of Greece abroad, the offices for financial and commercial issues, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture, Greek Tourism Organisation, the Union of Exporters. Mr. Kalambokis stressed that the same large companies should no longer be subsidized, but by the means of program 4.3. be given an opportunity also to the small and medium enterprises to participate in the distribution of subsidies.

Tags: News politics agriculture asparagus saffron olive oil Mediterranean diet health
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