The history of the cooperation

The history of the cooperation  

The village of Agios Antonios is located 35 kilometers south of the city of Thessaloniki, very close to the main road to Chalkidiki, a very popular destination.

There are about 700 residents in Agios Antonios. Most of them were until recently engaged in agriculture, and in particular wheat crop and cow farming.

 Today, livestock farming has ceased and the cultivation of land is not enough to meet the needs of the families.

The persistent decline in agricultural income has led women to attend seminars supporting the female population of the less developed regions. They attended courses of entrepreneurship, marketing, and production of local traditional products related to the cultural heritage. During the seminars, an important market survey was conducted to determine the needs of the residents of Thessaloniki for handmade, traditional, local products.

The results of the market survey were particularly encouraging, so the women proceeded to create the “Women's Agricultural Cooperation of Agios Antonios”.

The village was not a tourist destination and so the attraction of visitors and customers was not assured. Production originally took place in women's homes and was not particularly effective.

To meet their increased needs, the rural cooperation gave them a building in which they are placed to this day. In this building there is a small, warm reception area where the products are displayed, while the manufacturing and packaging areas are on the back of the building. Funded by rural development and female entrepreneurship programs, as well as equity, they improved their facilities and purchased equipment as well as a car to distribute their products.

In the beginning they offered a limited number of products, such as Pontian pasta and Perek” pie phyllo. Consumers' demand for greater variety has resulted in more than 30 different products, such as fresh seasonal fruit marmalades and spoon sweets.

Great importance for cooperative development is given to education.

To stay competitive, keep track of developments and keep up-to-date, the women attend seminars organized by the Ministries of Agriculture and Education, the American Farm School and other organizations on food hygiene and safety issues, marketing, etc.

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 Women's Agricultural Cooperation