Olive Oil & Olives - Quality Messinian products
Greenland is a new type of cooperative that started as the brainchild of four siblings, who returned to their village after studies and jobs did not produce the expected results. They added another four small producers and as a group they sought markets abroad where they could sell their products at a better price.
Founded on Sterna’s finest asset, its glorious olive grove, and the the important foundation provided by the existing Sterna Agricultural Cooperative, the new group added their even finer product, improved standardisation, branding and the investigation into new markets.
‘Our products have won awards at international competitions and our production – more than 25 tonnes of oil and almost 10 tonnes of olives – by now finds its way to Sweden, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland and even Japan. We are in touch with comparable cooperatives formed by young people as we have a lot to learn from them at every level. Our focus on foreign markets owes a lot to the Dock platform ‘Solidarity exports’ (https://dock.zone/en/) which is fantastic as an idea and secure in the way it works’, Ioulia Xiroyianni told us.
These successful initiatives naturally attract the interest of serious media outlets abroad. And there have been many articles about Greenland like one from USA Today which referred to it in a long piece entitled:
Can’t find a job? These young Greeks trade the big city for life down on the farm
I met with these young people at their home in Sterna, where they welcome hundreds of foreign visitors year round and initiate them into the secrets of the olive, olive processing and the daily life of ordinary people in Messinia. At the large table in the courtyard laden with mezedes, the Greenland group gives lessons every day on how to combine exceptional products with the impressive experiences gained while engaging in the life of a farmer.