SEVΕ’s Participation at Food Expo 2024

Intense and dynamic, as every year, was this year’s participation of SEVΕ at the largest international food and beverage exhibition in Southeast Europe, Food Expo, which took place at the Metropolitan Expo in Athens on March 9-11, 2024.

SEVΕ’s booth attracted significant foot traffic, providing exhibitors and visitors with the opportunity to learn about SEVΕ’s important and specialized services aimed at enhancing the internationalization of Greek businesses. For the first time, the booth hosted products and promotional material from Members of the Association who adopted SEVΕ’s European Collective Trademark ‘Macedonia the GReat’.

The established Food Export Summit of SEVΕ, as part of the exhibition’s parallel events, focused this year on “Internationalization & Innovation in the development of a sustainable and competitive agri-food sector. The role of clusters”.

SEVΕ’s President, Mr. Symeon Diamantidis, welcomed the attendees and thanked the management of FOOD EXPO for their exceptional cooperation. He emphasized the valuable position held by the food and beverage sector in the Greek economy, presenting its significant growth in recent years, steadily increasing from €6.1 billion in 2019 to €8.6 billion in 2023, in total export value. Referring to the steadfast position of the Exporters’ Association in supporting the primary sector, he spoke about investments in new technologies that would enhance the sector’s competitiveness and contribute to a more outward-looking Greece.

The Deputy General Secretary of International Economic Relations & Exports of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and President of Enterprise Greece, Ms. Maira Myrogianni, highlighted the traditional importance of Greek food and agriculture as one of the country’s major export sectors, with a strong presence in Europe and increasing presence in third-country food markets. She emphasized the critical role clusters can play in creating an attractive environment, promoting investment opportunities in our country, and stressed that collaboration is the vehicle for achieving a more competitive product and market.

Mr. Dimitrios Papagiannidis, General Secretary of Union Funds & Infrastructures of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food, discussed the financial tools for the development of the primary sector through the Common Agricultural Policy Strategic Plan 2023-2027.

The President of the Agrotech Expo Cluster (ATE Cluster), initiated by SEVΕ in May 2020 amidst the pandemic, Mr. Konstantinos Konstantinidis, talked about the objectives and aspirations of the cluster. The cluster aims to equip its members with competitive advantages, connect them with international companies and global food trends, create a platform for collaboration among businesses, researchers, and the start-up ecosystem, and serve as a vehicle for participation in European innovation programs.

Mr. Panagiotis Ketikidis, President of the Alexandria Innovation Zone, discussed the first AgriFood Hub, located east of Thessaloniki, expected to serve as an example for the entire Southeast Europe. It is a specially designed and organized area that functions as a hub for the installation and operation of businesses and research centers, aiming to modernize agriculture through collaboration and knowledge exchange.

Mr. Panos Menexopoulos, President and CEO of DRYFO-AFΟΙ D. Menexopoulos SA and Member of the ATE Cluster, emphasized his company’s decision to participate in the ATE Cluster, citing the benefits of collective efforts in research, information, and knowledge transfer for the members’ benefit. He also highlighted the smart tool of contract farming, which helps the national economy, and the secured supply of raw materials for processing businesses in the Greek food industry.

Mr. Panagiotis Chasapis, Executive Vice President of SEVΕ, described the course of Greek exports, giving a realistic picture of their level and prospects. He discussed the €1 billion increase in the value of Greek food and beverage exports in 2023, as well as the significant trade surplus of €500 million generated by the sector. He emphasized the sector’s important position for the country, accounting for 18% of Greece’s total export value in 2023, with a double share compared to the European average. Presenting the top food and beverage export products of 2023, he underscored the success of olive oil and dairy products, each exceeding €1 billion in export value, while highlighting the performance of fish, olives, and yogurt, with exports reaching €950 million, €560 million, and €325 million respectively. Concluding with regional data from the research conducted by the Institute of Export Research and Studies of SEVΕ, he mentioned that Central Macedonia remained the leading export region for food and beverages, with exports reaching €2.3 billion in 2023, while the performance of the Attica and Thessaly regions was also significant, with exports of €1.7 billion and €1 billion respectively.

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