After 20 years of providing potatoes for processing for some of the world's largest potato processors, Yiannis Stavrou said that his company started to think about the possibility of entering into the fresh market.
From this, a new fresh potato and onion brand was born, and presented at this year's Freskon in Thessaloniki, Fokeon Gaia.
The name Fokeon Gaia is deeply rooted in the past, the Fokeon people have been growing potatoes and onions for centuries and Gaia is the ancient Greek word for 'mother earth'.
The potatoes will be available by the middle of June this year and will continue through to the end of March, with production estimated by 7,000 tons, along with 5,000 tons of onions.
With it's experience in processed potatoes, Fokeon Gaia has its own cooling facilities and Yiannis said that they will be exporting to other Balkan countries such as Albania and Romania in the beginning, but they plan on expanding into new markets as time progresses, with plans to expand into fresh cut products as well.
“It's been difficult in Greece over the last few years with the economic crisis, but I believe that the worst is behind us. We are working together with other growers, all of which are Global Gap certified.”
“We have our own cooling and packaging facilities, in order to suit our customer's needs. Our most common packaging is nylon bags with the wrap around labelling, which also tells a bit about the history of our region, informing consumers of where the product originates from.”
“Packaging hasn't caught on as much in Greece as it has for other markets, with about 70% of potatoes sold loose, and only around 30% packaged, but we see this slowly changing.”
The available potato varieties from Fokeon Gaia are Bellini, Lissette and Spunta, next to red and yellow onions.