The number of Greek agri-food businesses represented at the Greek national pavilion of the upcoming Anuga 2017 exhibition, the world’s largest and most important trade fair for food and beverages, is set to increase by 30%.

The Greek pavilion, organized by thestate trade and investment agency, Enterprise Greece, and covering an area of roughly 2,800 square meters, will host 160 businesses showcasing a wide range of Greek food products. The fair, held once every two years, is set to take place Oct. 7-11 in Cologne, Germany and is visited by around 160,000 visitors who discover the latest and most innovative products of over 7,400 exhibitors.

Under the slogan “Invest in Taste”, the Greek presentation will convey the message that choosing Greek products is an investment in taste, quality and well-being. At the same time, it is an open invitation to foreign investors to invest in the promising and dynamic agri-food sector of Greece, one of the fastest growing business sectors in the Greek economy.

In addition, Enterprise Greece, will outfit an especially designed “Greece Gourmet” room. The venue will provide visitors with the opportunity to enjoy Greek cuisine, conduct business meetings, learn about the competitive advantages of Greek food producers, and get to know the Greek exhibitors.

Greek News Agenda* interviewed Christos Staikos, Chairman of Enterprise Greece on the reasons of the rise and the expectations from the Greek Participation in this year’s Anuga World Food Fair.

anuga1What are the reasons for the increase of Greek participation at a major event like the Anuga 2017 World Food Fair?

The main reason is on account of the increase in Greek exports. According to the Hellenic Statistical Authority, exports increased in the first six months of 2017 approximately 6% in value terms compared with the same period in 2016 (excluding petroleum products), and reached 11 billion euros. The significance of that increase needs to be viewed in the context of Greece’s circumstances these past few years. We regard that as an achievement and Greek exporters should be congratulated for their efforts.

During the period 2009-2016, food exports increased from 3 billion euros to 4 billion euros showing a remarkable resilience. For the last two years (2015-2016), exports in food and wine have increased approximately 15%, a very positive development for the Greek agro food sector and the Greek economy in general. The German market is the second largest market for Greek food products in value terms after Italy, totaling 720 million euros in 2016. In retail sales terms, the German market may even be the biggest market for Greek food products given that a large portion of the exports to Italy are of unbranded agricultural products [wholesale agricultural products].

Because of that, along with the fact that ANUGA is the biggest commercial event in the world, those are the main reasons why Greek participation has steadily risen in the last few years.

Moreover, in 2015, Greece was the honoured country at the exhibition, which helped in particular with promoting Greek food products. As a result, many exporters are hoping for a big turnout at the national pavilion and for further increase in their exports around the world.

Naturally, the excellent work done by our agency in organizing the Greek participation is yet another incentive for exporters to take part in ANUGA.


What are the expectations arising from Greece’s participation in Anuga?

First of all, we would like to see an overall strong national presence that would demonstrate how our country has something to offer at a global event like ANUGA. The presence of almost all our traditional exporters, as well as many start-up companies makes us optimistic that our exports will continue on their upward path in the years ahead.

At the same time, it is a very good opportunity to promote Greek gastronomy through the promotional activities we plan at the GREECE Gourmet space, where Greek exhibitors and their foreign partners will be able to sample Greek dishes made with love from the finest Greek ingredients.

What are Greece’s competitive advantages in the agro – food sector?

What we have been saying for years now: the quality. The progress that has been made in the last few years in branding Greek food products will help them succeed even in the most difficult markets in the world. The spread of the Mediterranean diet is the best advertisement. With the slogan ‘Invest in Taste’, we invite consumers from around the world to buy Greek products and recognize that it is worth investing in their incomparable quality and high nutritional value.

Enterprise Greece is the official agency of the Greek State, under the supervision of the Ministry of Economy & Development, to showcase Greece as an attractive destination for investment and to promote the highly competitive products and services produced in Greece for export. The establishment of Enterprise Greece is the result of the enlargement of Invest in Greece S.A., incorporating, among others, the mandate of the Hellenic Foreign Trade Board. Enterprise Greece assists foreign investors and enterprises to do business with Greece, troubleshoots issues related to public administration, provides key information about Greece as an investment destination and promotes the investment sectors in which Greece excels. In addition, it promotes Greek products and services to the global marketplace, helps Greek businesses reach new markets, find new business partners, and become more competitive and attractive.

* Interview by Florentia Kiortsi

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