For about half a century now, the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Kalavryta (now Agricultural Dairy Cooperative of Kalavryta) writes its own special story. A ‘dairy tale’ starring the unique landscapes of the region, the producers-stock breeders and the high-quality products made from sheep’s and goat’s milk.
The Union of Agricultural Cooperatives was founded in 1963 by producers of the region through their primary cooperatives. Throughout all these years, the Union has had a remarkable course, in difficult times for the cooperative movement. It managed to overcome many obstacles and it is now one of the most healthy, dynamic and constantly evolving organizations.
The activities and products of the Cooperative may be summarized as follows:
- It collects sheep’s and goat’s milk from at least 1,100 farms, which may or may not be members of the Cooperative, from the wider region of Kalavryta and from producers in mountainous areas of Achaea, Arcadia and Elis, with its own fleet of vacuum milk tankers.
- It has a modern dairy factory operating in accordance with national and EU standards on a land plot of 16,042 m2 with a building surface of 3.940 m2.
- It has its own refrigeration and storage facilities for finished products on a plot of 7,074 m2, with a total chamber surface of 3,240 m2) (23,000 m3 approximately).
- It operates a fully equipped chemical and microbiological laboratory for the control of milk, feed materials and finished products.
- The Cooperative’s premises also include a sewage treatment plant, established on a land plot of a total surface of 28,430 m2.
- The Cooperative owns a total of 19 land plots and parcels, with a total land surface of 128,261 m2 and a building surface of 9,549 m2.
- With constant turnover in recent years more than 18 million annually and 2013 exceeded
20 million euros.
Focusing on quality and producing mainly the traditional barrel-aged PDO feta cheese of the “Kalavryta Cooperative” or the “Kalavryta Union”, as is known to consumers, but also exceptional goat cheese, semi-hard cheese, anthotyros cheese, dry mizithra, whey butter and sheep yogurt, it offers to consumers its top quality and taste products mainly through the large supermarket chain “Sklavenitis”.
It also has:
- Two units for the storage and production of feed mixtures.
- Four branches marketing feedingstuffs, fertilizers and propagating material in Kalavryta, Kleitoria, Psofida and Dafni.
- One store selling veterinary medicinal products and plant protection products in Kalavryta.
- One retail shop selling dairy products in Kalavryta.
The Cooperative has 20 permanent employees (11 of whom are university graduates) and 68 seasonal workers (6 of whom have graduated from Higher Education Institutions and Technological Education Institutes) with increased know-how and professional qualifications.
In recent years, its turnover exceeds EUR 18 million per year; profits before taxes amount to EUR 1.0 million; own capitals amount to approximately EUR 10.0 and its sales are stable. Thus, the Cooperative is a healthy enterprise offering a bright future to stock breeders, despite the tremendous problems faced by the Greek economy.