Newsletter View

Newsletter April 2012

TRENDS & TRADEWINDS

Repo(we)rGreece—Redefining Greece For a New Era

New grass roots initiatives, such as Repo(we)rGreece, are catalysing Greeks to become proactive participants in reforming the national landscape and introducing fresh, innovative ideas.

Greece is now facing a crisis which transcends economic figures and budget deficits, but affects deeper societal and structural issues. The economic crisis has also revealed a parallel crisis, one of governance, values and beliefs. The precarious climate of instability and constant change which feeds on the current state of affairs has highlighted today more than ever the significance of collaboration in order to overcome the deeply rooted challenges we are called to face, when all the rest has failed us.

As a result, chaos, corruption, lies, deception and failure constitute the image of Greece that prevails within the principal opinion-makers of our times. When considering that in this time and age, any “country’s image” forges the international public opinion and dictates whether or not to invest or do any business with our country, to buy Greek products and to visit Greece, then it becomes crystal clear that the above picture impacts catastrophically our future just like our negative fiscal status. Living in an era when each country invests highly on the indisputable power of communication, there is no longer any valid excuse for not trying to reposition Greece in the world environment and reclaiming the country’s prestige and status of influence around the globe.

It is in this framework that an international grassroots campaign -Repo(we)rGreece- has been launched to redefine Greece, and reclaim our country’s credibility, based not on the failures or the interests of the few, but rather on the skills, talents and achievements of the many.

By underlining and exploring result-oriented perceptions as they are reflected in the country’s sectors of strategic interest such as Education, Culture, Innovation, Agribusiness, Tourism, Energy and Shipping, the initiative endeavors to showcase a side of Greece that will effectively confront misperceptions within the international community while, at the same time, revitalising the Greek morale. While constructing a launch pad for development, it also creates a forum for ideas and strategies, thereby generating synergies between critically thinking individuals and dynamic institutions.

Through a multi-layered programme that blends public relations, grassroots, and public diplomacy, the initiative endeavors to fundamentally alter the assumptions and understandings upon which Greek society is perceived to function, so that the country can enhance its image, redefine its role, and ultimately reposition itself on the international chessboard.

Repo(we)rGreece is a non-profit collective initiative, supported by esteemed partners from various fields including bilateral chambers of commerce , educational institutions and think tanks, media from Greece and abroad as well as innovative businesses around Greece.

It is evident today that the solution to our problems is not to be found under a rock, nor it will be provided by others. It is we that have to blend talents, ideas and expertise through collective initiatives that shape solutions and prospects. To support Repo(we)rGreece and contribute in redefining our country, simply send at www.repowergreece.com (english version: http://www.repowergreece.com/index.php?lan=en) your story which can become an ambassador of Greece that evolves, corrects its mistakes and forges solutions.

ALEXANDROS COSTOPOULOS
Founder Repo(we)rGreece Campaign
 

Development "Boom" in Biomass, Food & Beverage 
The recent months have seen spectacular growth in the Greek biomass industry, as more and more people turn to this form of alternative heating. Leading this national drive are a growing number of manufacturers—both international and domestic—producing pellets and boilers for biomass combustion.

Seven pellet-producing plants are currently in operation across the country: Alfa Wood in Nevrokopi, Maki in Larissa, BIO ENERGY in Sikourio, Sakka in Palama, Aggelousi in Volos and two new plants in Tripoli and Pella. These facilities currently produce approximately 70,000 tons of pellets per year. However, with capacity expansions slated at many of the plants and investor interest in new manufacturing facilities growing, industry experts forecast pellet production levels of up to 200,000 tons in 2012.

At the same time, there are currently 28 small and large boiler production facilities online nationwide. Boiler manufacturers from all corners of the globe—Czech Republic, Poland, Spain, Italy, Turkey, China and Korea—have set up shop in Greece to capitalise on the rising demand for biomass conversion units.

It is no coincidence that Greece has found success in the biomass industry. Greece has a long tradition in the combustion of olive pits and was among the first countries in the world to develop boiler plants from solid fuels. Today, the country’s biomass facilities have incorporated the same olive pit philosophy in their modern pellet boiler design.

Greece Takes First at ECOTROPHELIA EUROPE 2011 Competition
Greece’s unrivalled potential in eco and specialty foods was on full display at the first ECOTROPHELIA Europe, the European competition for the creation of eco-innovative food products. The contest was held at ANUGA, the international food exhibition on the 9th and 10th of October, 2011 in Cologne, Germany.

Inspired by current consumer trends throughout Europe, ECOTROPHELIA contest criteria are based on all aspects of product development including technical, sensory, packaging, industrial, regulatory, environmental, marketing, economic and trade.

After winner national ECOTROPHELIA competitions, twelve teams from the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Slovenia, Russia, Spain and Switzerland presented their goods to compete for the top eco-innovative food product in Europe.
Chaired this year by Michael E. Knowles, Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs for the Coca Cola Company, the Judging Panel revealed the winners during a prize-giving ceremony:
• ECOTROPHELIA Europe GOLD awarded to the Greek team for the creation of “Da Vero”: eco-seafood cold cuts. The students are from the University of Ioannina – Hellenic Open University Patra.
• ECO TROPHELIA Europe SILVER awarded to the French team for the creation of “Twin Choc”: a chocolate mousse and a fondant cake in a single ready-made dessert. The 4 students are from Bordeaux Polytechnic Institute.
• ECOTROPHELIA Europe BRONZE for the Slovenian team for their creation “Crunchy Milly”: a breakfast cereal made with millet, milk, honey, nuts, dried fruits and chocolate. The 4 students are from the University of Ljubljana, bio-technical Faculty.

At the end of the ceremony, Dominique Ladevèze, coordinator of the contest, concluded: "Our participation this year at ANUGA proves ECOTROPHELIA Europe is becoming an essential European event in the area of food innovation. The next edition in SIAL 2012 will give us the opportunity to shine a light on the 2011 products commercialised in various European distribution networks."

Look for another strong showing from the Greek team at ECOTROPHELIA 2012 and much more to come from Greece’s young, eco-food innovators!