The PDO registered pistachios from Megara of Greece are now exported abroad under the umbrella of the local agricultural cooperative

In 1993 the pistachios from Megara (in West Attica of Greece) were registered as a product with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) in the EU. But according to Mr. N. Bouskos, the Agronomist of the Αgricultural Cooperative in Megara, who talked to AgroTypos “till 2014 pistachios from Megara have not been sold as PDO, since the producers in the region preferred to sell them to the traders by themselves. It should be noted that the relevant EU Regulation states that in order a product to be sold as PDO, it should be sold through the Cooperative. That’s why in 2014 we decided to act “dynamically” in the market and a high percentage of our producers were persuaded to sell their products to our Cooperative.”

Mr. Bouskos added: “This resulted in the Αgricultural Cooperative of Megara to trafficking large quantities of pistachios on behalf of its members and thus pistachios from Megara earned an added value.”

According to the Greek Ministry of Rural Development data, in 2014, 720 tonnes of pistachios were produced in total all around the Megara.

 In 2014 the first export at good price

AgroTypos also contacted Mr. Ath. Kollialis, the secretary of the Cooperative, who said, “In early September of 2014 the first export of pistachios to Italy took place at a good price, 6.80 euros per kilo. Afterwards exports to Israel and Cyprus followed”. And he added: “This made the PDO pistachios from Megara known in the international market. At the last export the price of the product reached 7.70 euros per kilo. The Cooperative succeeded in reaching such high prices because it handled large quantities. The aim of the Cooperative is that all the producers of the region develop a cooperative consciousness.

The previous years many producers quit pistachio cultivation due to the very low producer prices. But last year the production was very good, due to the weather conditions. We wish that the high producer prices would push the young people of our region to be occupied with the primary production, because in Megara there are many unemployed young people having unexploited pistachio groves”.

Good prospects

“The pistachio cultivation has very good prospects in Megara”, stressed Mr. Bouskos and underlined that “the pistachio groves in our region are almost five times more than that of Aigina. Young people should start be occupied again with this cultivation and should join the Cooperative for better prices. The Cooperative always tries to sell the pistachios in higher prices than the traders do. For example in 2012 traders bought pistachios for 4 euros per kilo, while the Cooperative sold them for 5,20 euros per kilo. Of course exports help to further rise of prices”.

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