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Pure Greek: a success story from Greece

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

Having founded the company Pure Greek in 2003, the managing director Sofie Tvarno has developed it into one of the leading organic brands of olives, olive oil and feta cheese. In her company there’s no sign of the economic problems that are plaguing Greece – turnover rose by a massive 20 % last year! After very successful participation in BioFach 2011, at this year’s world trade fair for organic products in Nuremberg she was represented by an even more professional stand of 30 m². Now, they are preparing BioFach 2013. (Picture: The owner of Pure Greek, Sofie Tvarno, with one of the olive producers at BioFach 2012)
”I wanted to get to the heart of our products,” says Sofie Tvarno, "by leaving out the usual marketing hype. This approach brings out the message much more powerfully about the benefits of living, eating and producing organically. In my opinion, it makes it much easier for the consumer to choose between organic and non-organic products.” Her new ideas have now reached maturity and have been implemented. This is why Pure Greek appeared at this year’s BioFach not only with a bigger stand but also with a new design bearing the slogan ”Back to Organic”.

Tvarno wants to make the differences in the production of organic and conventional products even clearer for customers in the future. “In the conventional sector they use sodium hydroxide to ripen the olives artificially. This process not only destroys a large part of their nutrients and vitamins but it also damages the terrestrial and marine environment,“ explains the tall Dane. In contrast, Tvarno relies on the traditional treatment f the olives with various salts. Unlike in the conventional sector, her black olives are not dyed with the black colorant ferrous gluconate.
The olives of Pure Greek are also available now in a non-pasteurised version. "This gives the olives a firmer flesh," explains Tvarno and, with her products selling via the wholefood trade, she is thinking in particular of lovers of raw food.

Of course, you can buy jars of pure olives or you may prefer them refined with almonds, paprika, lemon or garlic. The high-value olive oil is produced locally in the region around historic Sparta, where they harvest the Koroneiki variety by hand instead of with a vibration machine. The olives are then cold pressed while still fresh. Tvarno regards Kalamata olive paste as ultra-trendy – combined with fresh cocktail tomatoes or paprika and cheese, it’s ideal for starters not just at home but in smart bars and bistros. The quality has obviously been appreciated by juries awarding international prizes. In 2012, four Pure Greek products received gold medals and four were awarded silver medals by DLG (a top German organization in the agriculture and food sector). (Picture on left: olive harvest)

Pure Greek’s feta cheese comes from the Mount Parnassus district to the north of Athens, where the sheep graze the herb-rich mountain pastures. The fresh milk is processed into pure sheep feta. A variant is made with the goat milk supplied to the dairy. “Cut into little cubes of organic feta and soaked in sunflower oil with herbs, you get little explosions of taste in your salad,“ enthuses Sofie Tvarno. A cream cheese and a golden yellow sliced cheese round off the small but exquisite range of cheeses.

The organic dairy, that uses its own recipes with reduced salt content, supplies only Pure Greek, so that Sofie Tvarno is responsible for all the marketing and has exclusive rights of representation. Production consists of five different cheeses: sheep milk organic feta, sheep and goat milk organic feta, organic feta cubes with pieces of olive and herbs in oil, a sliced cheese with herbs and a white fresh cheese made from sheep and goat milk.

On average, four times a week supplies are sent to customers in Germany, Britain, Belgium, Sweden and Denmark. In Tvarno’s own country, Denmark, two wholesalers joined the operation last year, so that the Danish market is now supplied regularly via the delivery services Aarstiderne and Økotaste. A contract concluded with the Italian wholesaler Ecor-NaturaSi at BioFach 2012 has resulted in supplies going to Greece’s neighbour too beginning in 2013. Since this year the Dutch franchise chain EkoPlaza with around 60 shops is also amongst the clients of Pure Greek.

And now the next adventures are on the doorstep: "We are in the Chinese market by beginning of 2013 as well, which is huge for us", Sofie Tvarno says very enthusiastic.  

(Picture: new styling for Pure Greek logo)


BioFach 2013, stand 5-148




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