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World seeks produce from Greece

By Chryssa Liaggou

Honey from Greece is considered a worthy wedding present in Japan. Elsewhere in Asia, gifts of Greek melons are wrapped up in packaging normally associated with jewelry. This country’s fish feature on the menus of the world’s leading restaurants, while it is not unusual to find Greek olive oil rubbing shoulders with expensive cosmetics at stores in the most developed countries.

This data from the Panhellenic Exporters Federation (PSE) is indicative of the comparative advantages that a number of local agricultural products have in the global market. Greece’s agricultural food industry is continuing to expand its international market share and, according to a PSE survey, almost 30 percent of the new enterprises that start looking beyond the country’s borders work with rural products.

The statistics that PSE head Christina Sakellaridi presented on Thursday at an Agricultural Development and Food Ministry event showed that Greece holds the world’s top spot in fish farming exports, third place in terms of olive oil, olive, kiwi and saffron output, fifth in asparagus exports, and 15th in cheese product exports. It is also in the top 10 countries in cotton produce and exports despite the considerable decline in recent years, and is the producing country of more than 100 products with a protected designation of origin, making commodities such as Greek mastic and feta quite unique.

The same data reveal that Greek agriculture accounts for 29 percent of all Greek exports (not including oil products). The biggest category of rural exports is fruit and vegetables (37.1 percent), followed by fish and other seafood (14.7 percent), tobacco and related products (9.1 percent) dairy products (7.9 percent) and cereal (7.6 percent).

ekathimerini.com , Thursday April 24, 2014 (23:54)  
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