In recent years there has been a surge in global demand for stevia; a natural, healthy and zero-calorie sweetening alternative to sugar. Two Greek companies, Stevia Hellas and Green Cola Hellas, have taken advantage of this market opportunity by investing in Greek stevia. Stevia Hellas Cooperative is Europe’s leading large-scale stevia cultivator, based in Greece’s Lamia Region. Green Cola is a stevia-sweetened Greek soft drinks company that exports in over 20 countries. In 2017, the two companies entered into an innovative partnership in order to maximize Greek agricultural production of stevia; a mutually-beneficial move that supplies the product for Green Cola, as well as attracts Greek farmers to support the primary production sector.
To celebrate and reflect on their successful model of collaboration, the companies hosted an informative event in September 2019 titled: “Greek Stevia: Land-to-Shelf Cooperation”. The event brought together Greek and international speakers who discussed developments in agribusiness and the stevia industry, on both a local and global level. Wide Strategy has provided curation and production services for the event, by helping select speakers and debate topics.
Speakers included: Joel Perret, Chairman Stevia Natura from France, Ilanit Kabessa, Global head of innovation, business development and venturing Dole packaged food from Israel, Stelios Theodoulidis, general manager Venus Growers, Manos Eleftheriou, VP Green Cola and Dr. Filippos Papadopoulos, American Farm School from Greece. The discussion was moderated by Christos Stamatis, CEO of Stevia Hellas. Minister of Development, Adonis Georgiadis and Regional Governor of Sterea Ellada, Fanis Spanos, also made welcoming remarks.
A key takeaway from the speakers: the focus upon collaboration, technology and a good understanding of diverse cultures and consumer tastes is what can help agrifood sector brands become global and successful.
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