Donation from Allianz Hellas to the ‘Thought for Food’ programme

With a grant from Allianz Hellas and in collaboration with the Bodossaki Foundation, an innovative programme for processing and promoting second-grade vegetables was developed by a team from the American Agricultural School, directly benefitting a group of farmers from Crete. The programme’s achievement was recognised in the 2018 Bravo Sustainability Awards, in the Bravo Market category.

A few words about the programme:

Vegetable cultivation results in large quantities of second-grade produce, whose low commercial value makes it unprofitable to sell. In some years this produce can make up between 15 & 30% of total production; in most cases it remains unused and is subsequently discarded. As a result an attempt has been made to find new ways of utilising it, by creating produce with real commercial value, contributing in turn to sustainable development and waste reduction.

The main points of the programme were as follows:

  • Pilot development of produce made up of single vegetables and combinations.
  • Use of field surveys and taste testing to research market demand and the required characteristics of such produce.
  • Business plan with investment viability assessment
  • Development and standardisation of the production process required to achieve the chosen solution
  • Research and development of product identity.

The programme was developed in the Moires-Tymbaki area of Heraklion, Crete, initially benefitting a group of qualified farmers engaged in vegetable cultivation in a total area of approximately 800 acres and producing very large quantities of second-grade produce.

From laboratory tests and analyses, four crops were identified as having commercial value, which with appropriate development and branding will contribute to the development of an industry generating second-grade produce.

Benefits of the project

  • Better utilisation of the vegetables produced.
  • Limiting of waste and reduction of the environmental burden.
  • Development of a circular economy system as the by-products from the production process will be used to create new produce.
  • Development at the local level of a new processing sector.
  • Increase in farmers’ income.
  • Creation of a group of producers that will jointly utilise second-grade produce.

More broadly, the project is expected to help the local agricultural community benefit from the creation of a new production and consumption model. This will permit agricultural produce to be used over a much longer period while minimizing the use of natural resources, resulting in more sustainable development and a reduction in the area’s environmental footprint.

Allianz Hellas

As member of a strong international grouping, Allianz Hellas has for 27 years been a leading presence in the Greek insurance market.

Allianz Hellas operates in the private insurance and fund management sectors. Thanks to the modern insurance solutions it offers the Greek market, it is in a position to assist clients in managing risks and taking advantage of opportunities.