During the presentations by product development consultant, author, and food writer Gianna Balafouti, all the necessary steps for initiating and establishing a sustainable on-farm artisanal processing unit were explored—from the initial idea and business model to product development and the continuous evolution of the enterprise.
Apothiki venue, adorned and festive, with exquisite local delicacies and drinks, welcomed an experienced audience full of ideas, questions, and plans on how to introduce local, traditional, and innovative products to the market and engage consumers in a collaboration based on respect and appreciation.
More specifically, the workshop began with a welcoming address sent by the new Mayor of Lemnos, Mrs. Eleonora Georga. Subsequently, Rigas Zafeiriou, sustainable food systems programme manager at MedINA, presented the organisation’s vision for Lemnos, mentioning also the 8 projects which are being implemented on the island in 2024.
Danae Sfakianou, MedINA’s agronomist and Terra Vita certification officer, discussed the potentials of Lemnos’ unique products and the value of the certification. Next, Rafail Giannelis, MedINA’s local project officer, emphasized the importance of Intangible Cultural Heritage for the local economy, the production of authentic food products, and tourism.
On the first day, Gianna Balafouti focused on the legislative framework and available subsidies for starting an on-farm artisanal processing unit, while mentioning the Sustainable Development Goals and EU policies related to the agrifood sector, such as the Green Deal and the Farm to Fork strategy.
She then presented on-farm artisanal processing as a business, with the Business Model Canvas at its core. The canvas was shared with everyone to start planning their artisanal processing business. The second day was entirely dedicated to product development, with special emphasis on quality and innovation, responding to new global food trends.
This two-day workshop marked the perfect start to the series of three workshops on on-farm artisanal processing and culinary tourism. Participants received a certificate of attendance and renewed their commitment for the next workshop about artisanal dairies, scheduled for January 13, 2024.
The significant participation and maturity of the discussions during these two days serve as an incentive to continue envisioning a healthy and sustainable food system on Lemnos.
The workshop series and the entire “Terra Graeca: Small Farm to Market” programme, aiming to empower producers and create opportunities for young people, are implemented by MedINA with the support of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation.