In 1926 a small number of first-degree agricultural cooperatives founded the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Naxos (in Greek, Ε.Α.Σ. Νάξου, E.A.S. Naxos, from now on, E.A.S.), aiming at servicing their members.
In the following years, however, the number of agricultural cooperatives in the entire island was increased to 32, involving a total of 3.654 farmers-breeders. At this point, let us clarify that the term “farmer-breeder” is broadly used due to the fact that, in our area, the Farmer and the Breeder, as occupations, are closely linked to each other. Over 90% of our members are Farmers and Breeders at the same time.
As years went by E.A.S.'s activities were expanded and in 1955, after expressing a strong desire to make their own cheese due to the fact that the cattle farming and the amount of milk produced were showing a dramatic increase, a certain number of the producers involved, utilizing E.A.S.'s know-how, collected various amounts of milk and carefully produced the famous, in our years, GRAVIERA NAXOU (Naxos Graviera). Taking into account that this particular cheese was highly preferred by the consumers, E.A.S. not only did boost its production (maintaining as its base the pure milk of Naxos with no impurities) but also certified it as a product of Protected Designation of Origin (P.D.O).
Furthermore, E.A.S. invested a vast amount of money and created a modern Cheese Making Plant (Dairy). This facility is verified by ISO22000:2005, ISO9001:2008 and AGROCERT, features a fully equipped modern chemistry laboratory and follows all the food, health and safety regulations, in order to not only extensively check on a daily basis a number of parameters (such as the collected raw material, the safe process of cheese making, the correct maturation and preservation of the cheese products) but also to provide the producers with information about the goods' health and safety regulations.
Meanwhile, E.A.S. has invested large amounts of money on the other unique product of Naxos, the POTATO of NAXOS (PATATA NAXOU), creating a modern Certified Packaging Unit and, going further ahead, succeeded in certifying Naxos Potato as a product of Protected Geographical Indication (P.G.I). The aforementioned Packaging Unit is certified by ISO 22000:2005, ISO 9001:2005 and GLOBAL. Note that E.A.S. utilizes special and thoroughly checked fields where the famous potatoes of Naxos are being produced.
In 2014 E.A.S. was converted into an Agricultural Corporate Partnership - Share Company, relying on 12 first degree Agricultural Cooperatives, which are also the company’s shareholders.
Since the 1st of January 2015 E.A.S. is managed by a 5-member board of 5 years term of office. Also, E.A.S. employs 130 people as permanent staff and about 40 persons are employed as seasonal workers and has a network of distributing its products to all of Naxos, to the surrounding islands (Small Cyclades, Paros, Santorini, Mykonos, a.o.) and throughout Greece.
In addition to the above, it would be useful to mention that the Naxos Graviera of E.A.S. has won many excellence awards and prizes in the past. The most important of them are: in Greece, the GOLDEN TASTE AWARD, and, abroad, the Two stars in the Higher Taste Competition, in the Institute of iTQi in Brussels in 2015, 2016 and 2018.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that one of E.A.S.’s main goals is to really show corporate social responsibility and help those in need.
THE LIVESTOCK POPULATION
Both the stock-breeding and farming may be characterized as heavy industry activities of Naxos. A number of about 4.000 dairy cows, 6.000 cattle and 180.000 sheep and goats are bred on the island.
At the same time, potato growing is considered a natural farming process in Naxos, with an annual production of about 6.000.000 kilos.
The majority of Farmers and Breeders are members of E.A.S., distributing their products through it, while E.A.S. provides all the raw materials required by them.
E.A.S.'s ANNUAL PRODUCTION
1.DAIRY PRODUCTS (Fresh Pasteurized Milk, Chocolate Milk, Yogurt, Fresh Butter): Total amount about 300 tons.
2. CHEESE PRODUCTS
a) NAXOS GRAVIERA (P.D.O.), about 1.000 tons.
b) NAXOS KEFALOTYRI, TRADITIONAL NAXOS ARSENIKO CHEESE, NAXOS OREINO, NAXOS GOAT CHEESE, NAXOS GRAVIERA WITH GREEK TRUFFLE, NAXOS GRAVIERA WITH NAXOS HERBS and SMOKED NAXOS GRAVIERA, about 200 tons.
3. POTATO OF NAXOS (P.G.I) reaches about 3.000 tons.
4. CERTIFIED NAXOS POTATO SEED, about 300 tons.
To conclude our company's profile brief presentation, we will say a few more words about GRAVIERA NAXOU (NAXOS GRAVIERA), the flagship of our production.
Naxos graviera is a hard, yellow cheese which matures after more than 90 days. During maturation process it is placed on wooden shelves and gradually emits its humidity. After maturation process is complete, Graviera is being packaged and made available for the consumers.
Of all graviera cheeses produced in Greece, Naxos graviera is the only cow milk-based graviera which is a Product of Protected Designation of Origin, because it is produced by a minimum of 80% cow milk, including a maximum of 20% sheep and goat milk. Moreover, as a product certified as P.D.O, it is produced by 100% pure Naxos milk with no impurities, produced by animals acclimatized and bred in Naxos only for years. The quality of the raw material and the traditional cheese making progress are of utmost importance in the production of the Naxos Graviera.
Finally, there are a few more elements that make Naxos Graviera unique and special (compared to the other yellow cheese varieties available on the market). These are its mild taste and its extremely characteristic aftertaste, as well as its rich concentration in calcium (11 kilos of milk are used for the production of 1 kilo of Naxos graviera). Due to the last factor, Naxos graviera is considered by many scientists and institutes as one of the most appropriate cheeses for consumption by young ages because it provides assistance to their growth.
UNION OF AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVES OF NAXOS AGRICULTURAL COMPANY – S.A. is Certified with the Gold Award of AUTHENTIC TASTE OF GREECE 2020 & 2021
THE “UNION OF AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVES OF NAXOS” IS CERTIFIED WITH “AUTHENTIC TASTE OF GREECE 2020 & 2021 - GOLD AWARD” | ΒΡΑΒΕΙΟ ΑΥΘΕΝΤΙΚΗΣ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗΣ ΓΕΥΣΗΣ® BY GREEK TASTE BEYOND BORDERS® GTBB🌐
Ο οργανισμός του Greek Taste Beyond Borders® GTBB πιστοποίησε/βράβευσε την “ΕΝΩΣΗ ΑΓΡΟΤΙΚΩΝ ΣΥΝΕΤΑΙΡΙΣΜΩΝ ΝΑΞΟΥ” για τον πρωταγωνιστικό της ρόλο στην ανάπτυξη της αγροτικής παραγωγής και την στήριξη της τοπικής οικονομίας όπως και για το κορυφαίο της προϊόν την παραδοσιακή Γραβιέρα Νάξου Π.Ο.Π. και τα εξίσου ανώτερης ποιότητας προϊόντα παραγωγής όπως το Κεφαλοτύρι Νάξου, Ορεινό Νάξου, Γίδινο Νάξου, Βούτυρο Νάξου, Γάλα Νάξου, Γιαούρτι Νάξου και την διάσημη Πατάτα Νάξου, με το σήμα ποιότητας-βραβείο Αυθεντικής Ελληνικής Γεύσης – Authentic Taste of Greece Gold Award 2020 & 2021.
Η διαδικασία πιστοποίησης-βράβευσης που εκδίδεται με αριθμό πρωτοκόλλου αρχειοθέτησης φακέλου του οργανισμού GTBB βασίστηκε στο GTBB prototype που ενσωματώνει σύγχρονη μέθοδο αξιολόγησης πολλών παραγόντων με την εποπτεία της ειδικής επιτροπής των taste experts του GTBB. Το σήμα του Authentic Taste of Greece Gold Award αποτελεί ένα ισχυρό διαπιστευτήριο ποιότητας με χρήση σαν στάμπα πάνω στα Ελληνικά προϊόντα με σκοπό την ανάδειξη τους στα ράφια της παγκόσμιας αγοράς.
Η “ ΕΝΩΣΗ ΑΓΡΟΤΙΚΩΝ ΣΥΝΕΤΑΙΡΙΣΜΩΝ ΝΑΞΟΥ”, θα συμμετάσχει στο ετήσιο παγκόσμιο συνέδριο του GREEK TASTE BEYOND BORDERS® GTBB στο Κέντρο Πολιτισμού ίδρυμα Σταύρος Νιάρχος ΚΠΙΣΝ, ανάμεσα σε άλλα premium brand και στους επίσημους Πρεσβευτές της Ελληνικής και παγκόσμιας Γαστρονομίας, υπό την Αιγίδα του Υπουργείου Τουρισμού, του ΕΟΤ και του Δήμου Αθηναίων, 19 Οκτωβρίου 2020 | Ambassadors of Taste Global Conference- Athens Greece. Το γεγονός αυτό θα ενδυναμώσει το διαρκώς αυξανόμενο business network του οργανισμού GTBB, που λειτουργεί έξυπνα και αποτελεσματικά για την διάδοση της ελληνικής γεύσης παγκοσμίως.
The organization of Greek Taste Beyond Borders® GTBB presented the “AUTHENTIC TASTE OF GREECE 2020 & 2021 - GOLD AWARD” ΒΡΑΒΕΙΟ ΑΥΘΕΝΤΙΚΗΣ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗΣ ΓΕΥΣΗΣ® to the UNION OF AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVES OF NAXOS for the leading role in developing the agricultural production and sustaining local economy and its top product, the traditional Naxos Graviera PDO and the equally superior quality products such as Kefalotyri Naxos, Orino Naxos, Naxos Goat Cheese, Naxos Butter, Naxos Milk, Naxos Yogurt and the famous Potato of Naxos (PGI).
GTBB organization is dominating in the promotion of Greek taste & gastronomy throughout the world, utilizing modern branding methods and the most effective business networking platform for 🇬🇷Greece and its global representation. The prestigious awards mentioned as “top honors” by GTBB have a significant role and are presented exclusively to premium Greek brands for their excellent quality standards and conformity to core values. The process of the certification was implemented under the GTBB Prototype which adopts a protocol number policy and a modernized evaluation method carried out by the GTBB taste experts committee, associated to high value standards of quality and taste.
UNION OF AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVES OF NAXOS will participate in the annual global conference of Greek Taste Beyond Borders® GTBB - AMBASSADORS OF TASTE® GLOBAL CONFERENCE in Athens, Greece among other certified brands by the GTBB organization. The conference will take place on 19 October, 2020 at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) under the auspices of Ministry of Tourism, GNTO and City of Athens.