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Greece 30/11/2023

Making fruit accessible to people and educating kids to consume quality fruits: BIG Interview with Christina Manossis

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Zeus Kiwi, a prominent Producer Organization (PO), is at the forefront of producing, maintaining, and distributing kiwi fruit and seedless grapes. The organization is renowned globally for its superior quality and taste. The excellence of their produce is attributed to the harmonious combination of idyllic soil and climatic conditions, coupled with sustainable cultivation practices. With over 300 dedicated growers, Zeus is committed to pioneering the expansion of their cultivation endeavors, introducing new kiwi varieties, and further cultivating the most sought-after grape varieties.

In an interview with Fructidor, Christina Manossis, General Director of Zeus Kiwi, sheds light on the current situation in their fields and emphasizes what Greek producers should focus on to succeed in their business.

Fructidor: "Christina, how is the grape season running for Zeus?"

Christina Manossis: "The grape season is running a little late this year due to unfavorable weather conditions, which is not bad for us because this season is expected not to have much volume. The later, the better for us. The main variety is Creamson, but we also have Sweet Celebration, Cotton Candy, Sugar Crisp, and Sweet Globe, all seedless. We expect to finish the season in the first week of December."

Fructidor: "How the kiwifruit season is developing?"

Christina Manossis: "Kiwifruit season seems quite interesting. Worldwide, everyone experienced volume losses, including Greece, due to the mild winter. Despite this, there’s great demand, and we’ll be challenged to supply all our key markets adequately. It is worth mentioning that this year, we’re opening the Brazilian market."

Fructidor: "We all remember you’ve been working actively towards minimizing the carbon footprint in recent years. How does the situation look today?"

Christina Manossis: "Speaking about reducing the CO2 footprint, Zeus Kiwi was the first in Europe to have a CO2 declaration back in 2012, and last year, we achieved the second declaration for kiwi. Very soon, we’ll have our CO2 declaration ready for grapes. We’re also working towards obtaining zero-waste certification that proves that none of our residues go to landfills and harm the environment. In February, we’ll participate in an event in Greece to showcase our achievements."

Fructidor: "In your opinion, what are the challenges that the kiwifruit industry faces today?"

Christina Manossis: "There are two challenges that kiwi producers should focus on nowadays. Firstly, if we’re talking about Greece, growers should be involved in producer organizations and not act individually. A huge problem that our country is facing is that growers act individually and search for suppliers on their own. Secondly, they have to consult producer organizations regarding the exploitation of new varieties because the green varieties are massively grown. We believe there’s no future in supplying all these volumes that are being grown now. Growers should consult organizations to understand the demand and decide what to grow in the future."

Fructidor: "Based on your observations, how has the business changed in the last decade?"

Christina Manossis: "We’ve seen significant changes mainly outside Europe, in Asian and Eastern European markets. People seek a healthy way of living and try to add more fruit and veg to their diets. Unfortunately, the target of increased fruit consumption hasn’t been achieved yet. To reach it, we need to make the fruit more accessible to people, especially prepared or fresh-cut fruit. Initially, it has to be promoted in schools, and schools need to be supplied with the best quality fruits."

 

If you're interested in supplying kiwis or grapes from Zeus Kiwi, send your inquiry

 

 

 

 

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Photo: Christina Manossis, General Director of Zeus Kiwi Zeus Kiwi, at Fruit Attraction in Madrid (2023).
   
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