Blessed the land and its fruits!
When God created Ilia, he was extremely generous with her. Gave her natural beauty, sea, rivers, mountains, valleys and beaches.
Years passed and the beauty became wealth and the wealth became history and this is how creation continues! The only thing that was not granted is the people... they probably contributed to its decline, but that's another story!
Products of mother earth
As famous as Ilia is for its Olympism and hospitality so has managed to associate its name with the wine production.
Since ancient times amazing wines were produced. Wines, that differed greatly from what we now call the wine, since at the time the means available prepared a kind of molasses diluted it with water and kept it, depending on their financial standing, in either clay or bronze vessels. This was called crater revealing its strong taste and so came the name "wine" that we all know.
In ancient cities of our region there were found crushers and containers where the products of the vine were kept. Later the cultivation and production of raisins emerged. Raisins is a nutrient for our diet.
Raisins marked the countryside of Ilia for centuries after was characterized as the "black gold", a product that raised generations of farmers of Ilia and created cooperative movements that went down in history for their power and wealth generated in local and beyond, economy.
Raisins brought significant changes in the way people travel. Due to the rising of demand and sales outside of its closed borders, it was a necessity for an interurban communication channel to be created.
Those times – at the early of 18th century – there were boats and carts! This made it very difficult for the products to be transferred. At the time, the ships loaded in Piraeus where the first railroad had begun. Thereby there was need for extension of the railway network in Ilia specifically in Katakolon!
The rails pf the train were signs of that regeneration that existed until recently in the port where tourists disembarked the first years of the cruise in the area.
The necessary development projects of the port required the railroad tracks to have some distance from the port and thus the tracks were gone ... left till the point where the train station "Baths" is. The elders remember hordes of bathers to descend in Katakolon!
Today wines are produced for exportation from the wineries of the estates Merkouri , Stavropoulos , Brintziki , Markogianni and Liakopoulos (Olympia Earth). There are many other local wineries as well which increase the list of their customers in daily basis, receiving orders outside Ilia spreading in this way their sales network.
In Ilia the vineyards, depending on the altitude, mainly produce varieties of Roditis, Mavrodafnis and merlot, while there are many other varieties of local wine producers.
Olives and Olive Oil
Excellent is the variety of olive oils in Ilia! Indeed in recent years the mills have increased. The older ones have been modernized and the new ones have been certified and finally undertake the standardization, the bottling and the distributing, inside and outside Ilia borders.
The varieties are mainly from “Olea Europea” olives which have rich taste and texture. There is green extra virgin olive oil as well, which is sold out abroad.
Companies producing handmade pasta have increased in Ilia. Most housewives in villages and urban centers used as a habit, to afford the equipment, the art and the passion to manufacture pasta themselves targeting in their grandchildren who possessed throughout the course fresh and pure pasta.
The famous pasta mountainous and semi-mountainous of Ilia as "Ilis" and "Andritsena" are manufactured based on fresh milk, fresh eggs, and often pure butter. Many small industries supply the market with lots of their own products (dry and sweet trachanas, noodles and couscous).
An equally ancient tradition in Ilia was and remains our milk production based on the breeding of goats and cattles. This process was undertaken by people of Ilia who used to spend the winter with their flocks, as Pastoralists coming from neighboring counties.
Although current livestock goes under hard times, mainly because of globalization and competition from northern Europe, it continues to produce in a traditional way the genuine Greek cheeses, yoghurts and the extremely important nutrient Greek milk.
The company B. Kalomoiris SA has recently been awarded in a European fiesta for producing the best Greek feta!
Many more cheese and dairies companies such as Ilia Farm based in Kavasila of Gastounis and Avramopoulos based in the mountainous Ilia, distribute their products to local and other markets ensuring fresh milk of four days and dozens more byproducts.
Beekeeping has again flourished in Ilia even after the eruption of the furor for mutant honey derived mainly from China without certifications and designations of origin but with a very low cost to the consumer.
Finally, inside and outside Greece it became a fact that what it values, it costs. So, Greeks beekeepers remain in the forefront and gradually conquer their lost market share.
For example, beekeeping of Ioannis Stefanopoulos in Pyrgos under the name «Ilia Beekeeping» or the decentralized company in Luka of Pineia where the workers live and produce their own products from the sales of which they have their own income! Apart from that, many young people get involved in the production of honey, like in Zaharo, under the effort of "Greek Apicultural» of Vasili Gkioni .
Herbs and seeds
The club «Pelitis» for the saving of seeds, started in collaboration with other local clubs to spread the Greek ancient eating habits teaching us the value of many nutrients raw materials of mother earth.
Often the club along with other agencies organizes educational sessions and participates with its own stand in exhibitions related with food and flavors connecting us with nature and healthy food that gives longevity.
We cultivate genuine seeds without fertilizers and pesticides and we produce qualitative food this is their motto!
Strawberries of Ilia
Strawberries of Ilia conquered both the international and the Greek market!
Since the early 90s the first foolhardy of the Greek market managed by bringing together their forces and their funds to create a strong exportation network initially in Russia and Netherlands and afterwards in many other countries, exporting a product with unrivalled quality, the strawberry of Manolada.
From 2000 and on, many areas of Vouprasia province were planted with strawberry and this is how a new “gold” red colored this time made its appearance in Ilia ... There are already two groups of producers, the cooperative "Irmini" and the recently established “Ilida”.
The main goal of Irmini, which produces strawberry in Ilia prefecture, is to provide customers with qualitative products at competitive prices as well as to increase its exports. The Production Group of the Cooperative consists of 35 producers – members, cultivates 2,500 acres (with greenhouses), while produces a total of 10.000 tons of strawberry.
The exportation character of this group of producers from Ilia is its main trump, since from the total quantity produced (10.000 tons), 9.500 tons go abroad.
The entire production of strawberries is certified in accordance with the principles of Integrated Management of Production. (AGRO 2-1. & 2-2., EUREPGAP).
The Group "Irmini" cultivates three varieties of strawberries: The Kamarosa, standard variety in the world of strawberry, the early variety Vetana and the Kantonga, variety of European origin.
A new strawberry group of producers named "Ilida" was created in Ilia, changing the trade and the production norms in the region. Their goal is for the strawberry of the region, to acquire the special assessment it deserves.
“Ilida” consists of 47 producers, while its cultivated areas reach 2,500 acres. According to what is stated in Agrotipos by the president of Production Group, mr. Andreas Gourgaris, the main objective of the newly established organization is the exportation of the product in international markets. He also stresses the need to use more trade destinations, apart from that of Russia.
The producers intend to export in Bulgaria. The packing of the production group is housed in a rented building in Nea Manolada and according to what Mr. Gourgaris said, they are not integrated into a grants program. “We absolutely rely on their own economic forces”, he stressed.
Pomegranate, the juice of life!
ALFIOS POMEGRANATE SA is an organized developmental economic activity for the cultivation, trading and processing of pomegranate that is developed in the area of the valley of Alpheus, Ladona and Erimanthos.
It started as an idea, it became a vision, a plan and finally a dynamic multi-stakeholder company, with 70 pioneers founding shareholders, of all ages and of all professions, from the regions of Arcadia and Ilia (initially) and was quickly spread throughout almost all the Peloponnese and a section of Central Greece.
30% is constituted by farmers, while the rest percentage is covered by workers, professionals, scientists, etc.
The company has been undertaken by the entire age range. Each one of the shareholders offer ideas and of course the boundless passion for work and successes. As it was said by the President of the company mr Paraskevas Paraskevopoulos the company's philosophy is based on the social economy. An industry developed mainly in Europe and comes to take shape in Greece as well. It was about social business dexterity in which teams implement integrated management methods based on social economy.
Pomegranates of ALFIOS POMEGRANATE SA are sold in the market as fresh fruit or freshly squeezed juice!