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Sapountzoglou Arist. Markos
Greek broccoli enters European markets
The season for broccoli in Greece started with large volumes and good prices. "We have a good time, so we grow more broccoli every day. The prices on the market are about €.80 to €.90 per kilogram for loose broccoli. The prices for broccoli in ice boxes of 8 kg are about €9 per box and for 5 Kg are about €5,50 per box," says Greek exporter and grower Markos Sapountzoglou.
The season for broccoli in Greece begins in September and will end at the end of May or the beginning of June. According to Mark, it is still too early to say how the rest of the season will unfold. "We hope to have a good time, but we do not know how things will go."
Last year, many vegetables were destroyed due to frost in January. "However, the weather is good so far. Although Greece has been hit by some bad weather last month, this has had no consequences for Greek broccoli. "For some the weather was perfect!"
Marco grows his broccoli in the northern part of Greece, near the city of Pella in the area of Thessaloniki. "There are more broccoli growers here, and we are starting to grow larger volumes of broccoli last year which is our third year of export."
"Greece is best known for the production of watermelon instead of broccoli or other vegetables. There is a three-year increase in export volumes for broccoli. We are finding new markets in Bulgaria, Romania, Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom. "
The main problem that holds the Greek export of broccoli back is the lack of volume. According to Markos, quality and sizes are perfect. Many importers aren’t yet aware of Greek broccoli. They mostly import broccoli from Spain or Italy. "We’re only now starting to create a market. It’s a bit difficult, but our quality is perfect. Our volumes will increase in the next year.”
The main difference between the domestic market and countries like Germany or Poland is packaging. The Greek market prefers loose broccoli, while customers abroad demand broccoli in foil package. Markos thinks it’s important for Greek companies to adapt to the requirements for packaging of other countries in order to successfully enter the international market.
Greece is currently producing enough broccoli to supply the domestic market and only needs to rely on import from Spain or Italy during bad growing circumstances. The domestic consumption of broccoli is increasing. “More people start consuming broccoli every year. Broccolis are taking away market share of cauliflowers. To some extent, this is because of the media. People see more broccoli in cooking shows on TV and now want to try it for themselves,” says Markos in conclusion.
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