Panagiota is a young hardworking woman, an entrepreneur in the agri-food sector who loves animals, and her dream is to develop her own cottage industry in the sheep-breeding sector. Having set up her own small cheese factory, she currently produces products such as white sheep's milk cheese and whey cheese (anthotyro and mizithra), but her goals and dreams don't stop there.
Andreas is a young beekeeper who operates on the island of Psara. Through his participation in the agri-food acceleration program of the "New Agriculture New Generation"organization he has managed to start his own cottage industry, producing and commercializing two traditional honey by-products found in Psara, the honey molasses and the melokourkouta.
Eleni Sivri, beneficiary of the agri-food acceleration program “Agroanelixis” implemented by the "New Agriculture New Generation" organization, cultivates endemic varieties found in Lesvos Island and by using traditional methods, she transforms them into products of high quality and nutritional value, thus illuminating traditional aspects of Lesvos hidden for years.
Savvina and Nikoletta were selected to be among the 15 beneficiaries of the agri-food acceleration program of the “New Agriculture New Generation” organization, presenting their outside the box business idea. Their goal is to introduce alternative chickpea products to the Greek market, which they will produce and process themselves in their own model cottage industry.
Triantafyllos is among the 15 beneficiaries of the agri-food acceleration program implemented by the "New Agriculture New Generation" organization and is active in the livestock sector, producing his own organic animal feed. His goal is to create a cottage industry that will manage, among other things, to introduce to the Greek market an authentic organic Greek product with a designation of origin, called “goat non-pasteurized cheese”.
Among the beneficiaries of the agri-food acceleration program "Agroanelixis- Cottage industries" implemented by the organization "New Agriculture New Generation", is George Alexandris, a young producer that wishes to create his own home-based business, based on the cultivation and processing of almonds.
Elena Karagianni, beneficiary of the Agrifood Accelerator "Agroanelixis-Cottage industry", implemented by “New Agriculture New Generation” organization, produces, processes, and sells quality organic products, outlining in the best possible way the meaning of the term cottage industry.
Beenotes’ team, managed to emerge as one of the four winners of the first phase of the Agri-food Accelerator "Agroanelixis" implemented by the organization "New Agriculture New Generation", presenting an innovative project that aims to help the beekeeper to improve production by simplifying all the necessary procedures.
HERBeat is a very interesting company, a company that has managed to introduce in Greece a special and original product, the so-called microgreens. Enriching the gastronomic map of the country but also minimizing the environmental impact, increasing food safety, HERBeat introduces the concept of the hydroponic farm, producing small vegetables and micro-herbs of high nutritional value, thus changing the conventional way of cultivation.
The innovative Project Inagros managed to be among the 4 winners of the first phase of the "Agroanelixis" Accelerator, presenting an electronic platform that combines sensor data, satellite data and agronomists' observations and then correlates them, proposing ways to modernize all agricultural production.
Kostas Belivanis and Giannis Haniotakis, winners of the first phase of the "Agroanelixis" program, understood the agricultural needs of Crete and decided to cooperate in order to create the Atallos project, an innovative high-tech trap, which is primarily aimed at combating olive flies.
Anna-Maria Rebholz, food technologist, participated in the Regeneration Academy for Food Innovation, an innovative program implemented by the “New Agriculture New Generation” organization in collaboration with Regeneration Greece. I had the opportunity to get to know her a little better while she shared with me the experiences she gained from her participation in the competition.
Nanoplasmas is an innovative company that won the 1st place in the Trophy-Τροφή Challenge competition, under the Food-Tech Startups category, implemented by the "New Agriculture New Generation" organization, presenting effective diagnostic methods for pathogens, both in water and in food.
Michalis Moraitis and Konstantinos Vaiopoulos are two restless young people with brilliant ideas. One of those ideas, won the first place in the Trophy-Τροφή Challenge competition of the New Agriculture New Generation organisation, in the category Agri-Tech & Food-Tech Ideas.
Antonia Poriazi, beneficiary of the Regeneration Academy for Food Innovation program is a young scientist in the agri-food sector, with a deep family tradition that she dreams of developing.
Talking to Dimitris Firbas, beneficiary of the Regeneration Academy for Food Innovation implemented by the New Agriculture for a New Generation program, the first thing one sees is that he really loves what he does.
Kyriakos Nikolaides together with Kyriaki Chatzigeorgiou, during the pandemic saw an opportunity as they managed to respond to a basic need of the agri-food sector, that of connecting the primary sector with the active workforce.
Giannis Karapetsas along with his team, they have created the "SyntaGIS Asclepius", a Social Cooperative Enterprise that aims to produce Guaranteed Propagating Material from native populations found in Trikala.
"We try to remind the world of something that is very crucial to us, that agriculture should be at the center of any electrification effort in developing countries. The only way to make an electrification investment sustainable is to be able to create economic activity in these areas and that can only happen if you use agriculture", says George Kyriakarakos, member of the "Smart Meter Anywhere" team.
"ProsPer" uses fish by-products to create a series of powders with high nutritional value and special taste, highlighting the importance of circular economy as a key to protecting the environment.
Based in Lamia, the Stevia Hellas Agricultural Cooperative stands out as a success story for its innovative production and management model. The only large-scale producer of stevia across Europe, Stevia Hellas was founded in 2011 with 47 producers and a 10-member management team. The Cooperative focuses on the cultivation and standardization of stevia products and has invested in producing top quality products.
The Food Product Development Institute participated in the Trophy-Τροφή Challenge competition organized by "New Agriculture for a New Generation" program, where they presented the "Uplifting Water", a natural beverage produced by the fermentation of a group of probiotic microorganisms which has many beneficial health effects.
Under the shadow of Mount Othrys, the Group from Almyros, as part of the training seminars of the “New Agriculture for a New Generation” program came up with an innovative product that uses capsules compatible with Nespresso machines containing mixtures of aromatic plants.
"I believe that through counseling, we can make a link between knowledge and universities and the rural sector. This way, we come closer, we keep in touch with these people and adapt to their needs. By practicing counseling, you learn to listen to the other, to hear his needs, and to give him a solution to his problem. Unfortunately, this usually doesn't happen, we aren’t used to listen to each other. Here, counseling is an essential communication".
I had a chance to meet with Catherine, an experienced apiculturist, and talk about her past, her involvement with apiculture, her participation in the Apiculture training program of the “New Agriculture for a New Generation” program as well as her future plans and dreams.
"Greece has lots of small family producers, and now it has an opportunity to recover its agricultural sector through cooperation and collaboration, without consolidating wealth in the hands of a few. Greece needs to seek its own way".
During Agricultural University of Athens' week-long “Summer School” in Trikala, Ioanna and her 2 sisters sampled different products, like feta cheese with truffle oil, which gave them ideas for products of their own. They also received theoretical training and professional advice and had a chance to meet other local producers.
“By the end of the program, the beneficiaries will get a complete education in apiculture. They keep in touch with them over the next two years to follow up on their progress and offer advice and help with their new businesses.”
“Our dream is to further establish our presence in the alternative touristic package of Epirus and to promote the birdwatching interest in this protected area. We hope to make Greece a popular birding destination in the winter as well.”
Thomas Karagiorgos, teacher of alternative tourism in the “New Agriculture for a New Generation” program, wants to help people understand how outdoor sports can improve their quality of life.
“After three years, we will have 300 enthusiastic graduates of this program. People from all different backgrounds who have the same dream,” said Maria Soumelidou, teacher in the Alternative Tourism program.
“I often tell my students: In 30 years, 62% of jobs will concern specialities we can not even imagine today. Without a solid scientific background, you will not be able to succeed.”, says Serkos Haroutounian, scientific officer at AUA responsible for the “New Agriculture for a New Generation” program.
"Tourism is now the main industry in Greece, and if we are to change people’s attitudes about what Greek tourism is, we need education.", says Maria Soumelidou, teacher of Alternative Tourism at the NANG program.
“I’ve worked in the fields with my father and learned from him since I was a child,” said Dimitris Theodorakis, beneficiary of the apiculture training seminars of the “New Agriculture for a New Generation” program.
After the first seminar, Anastasia Dimitriadou showed one of the bee videos to her children and husband. “My little son was fascinated,” she said. “I think that beekeeping is something I can teach my kids, something we can all do together.”
"With the help of the program, many of the farmers have formed committed relationships that will last for decades. The beneficiaries’ success will have a positive effect on those around them, and we hope that they will share their knowledge with future generations.” said Ilias Kalfas, manager of the “Small Farm Adoption” project.
In the “Small Farm Adoption” project, the training that each beneficiary receives is individualized and based on what is observed in his field, it’s a countryside academy, a living lab.
Through educational seminars on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants as part of the "New Agriculture for Generation program", beneficiaries enter the program as farmers and emerge as businessmen creating a new generation of producers more environmentally friendly and equal to profit.
"This work is like taking a child by the hand, holding it for three years, providing it with skills and knowledge, and then letting it go,” Ilias Kalfas, Project Leader “Small Farm Adoption”, American Farm School
While participating in NANG’s Alternative Tourism program at the American Farm School last year, Gerassimos and his friend and fellow Scout Stavros Papadopoulos decided to start a company called Our Way to offer alternative excursions in Chortiatis.
New Agriculture for a New Generation (NANG) welcomed 50 trainers from the American Farm School and the Agricultural University of Athens for its inaugural educational event, "Train the Trainers," held at the Pierion Musses mountain resort over the 12-14 October weekend.