Christos Stamatis, Stevia Hellas leaders stamp

The agricultural cooperative Stevia Hellas was founded in 2011, aiming to the fill in the gap that existed in the area. Their mission is to produce high-quality taste products.

Transcript

The agricultural cooperative Stevia Hellas was founded in 2011 and its main purpose was to fill a gap that existed in the area.

We are also one of the regions with the highest unemployment in Europe, so one of our main goals was to cover this unemployment through the establishment of the cooperative.

In our cooperative are involved rural families that are located in the wider Spercheus valley.

We managed to produce steviol glucosides from Stevia plant, a sweetener that can be used by everyone in their tea or coffee or anywhere else using sugar.

Stevia as a product has too many benefits. First of all, as we all know, Stevia is a product that has zero calories. So it can be consumed by anyone who has a health problem, but also by anyone who wants to make a really healthy diet.

In 2012, the first who started the cultivation of stevia in Greece on a large scale was our cooperative. The cultivation and stevia production is a really special process that requires special techniques and equipment.

The main categories of products that come out in the market from our co-operative are three. First is the industrial stevia, which is for the food industry.

The second is the crystalline stevia that is addressed to the final consumer and can be found in all Greek supermarkets but also in many other places all over Greece, and third the dried stevia leaves, from where the two previous products come from, which are slowly coming into the market and can be used in tea or even in cooking.

The difference between our products and the other products on the European and international markets is the quality, the taste and the Greek character. So far beyond the Greek market we have managed to export our products to major European markets such as France, Germany and Belgium.

Our products are very competitive because they are the only ones that have raw material purely European, Greek raw material, so our comparative advantage is much greater than our competitors coming from either China or Paraguay.

The production of a 100% Greek product is very important, not only for the local community but also for the Greek economy in general. It immediately improves the social and economic level of people living in the region, but most importantly, it keeps young people in their own country.

The last significant award is the one by the International ITQI Awards where both dried stevia leaves and the crystalline stevia were awarded. Many other organizations have awarded us as a cooperative but also our products some of them are the Mazinnov of the French Embassy, Papastratos and other institutions.

The future plans of the cooperative include two axes: market development but also investments.

With regard to investments, the first one is the creation of a leaf processing unit with a total cost of one million euro.

The second is the creation of a stevia extraction plant, which will be the second on pan-European level.

An investment of 10 million euros that it will take space in 2022.

My name is Christos Stamatis and I am the managing director of the agricultural cooperative Stevia Hellas.

Credits

  • Direction/Post Production: Panos Tsirozidis
  • Camera: Dimitris Zografakis
  • Production Co-ordination and Interview: DigitalWise – Niki Oikonomopoulou
  • Texts & subtitles: Niki Oikonomopoulou
  • Project Manager: Kyriaki Kostolidou