Aprender a crear resiliencia comunitaria a través de la comunicación y la tecnología
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In western Phthiotis of Central Greece, in the valley of Sperchios River, lies a small village named Ptelea. Both the hometown and the business’s location of the founders. Back in 1970 Konstantinos Stefanis, a carpenter, and his wife Katina, in their many visits to the local forests, quite often came across natural beehives in tree trunks. This was enough to intrigue them to further engage themselves with beekeeping and to have the first beehives on their own. The third of their children, fascinated by beekeeping, stayed in the village and helped his father, especially with the task of carrying the beehives to nearby locations in order to achieve better honey varieties and quality. It was finally in 1980 when the young son started his small beekeeping business. Today, he owns more than 1000 beehives, which he carries throughout the country, all year long. In that, he benefits for the rich and different varieties of honey offered by the landscapes, with authentic flavors and an outstanding variety of colors and scents. As the years passed, a new generation of the family now runs the business and leads the company to the 21st century, respecting the traditional methods in combination with a modern know-how, in order to produce and package the beekeeping products exactly as nature offers them.
The business still uses the traditional beekeeping methods of production of honey and other bee products. In order to support and to extend the supply chain, focused on honey, the 3rd generation developed and implemented other activities and products: pollen, bees’ wax etc. The business is entirely local: honey is produced directly in the rural areas of West Greece.
TRADITION AND INNOVATION
Greece has a long history of bee-keeping and there are more beehives per acre in Greece than any other country in Europe, so it comes as no surprise that Greek honey is considered one among the best in the world. A wide biodiversity of flora combined with the Aegean summer sun is what helps to produce the unique Agria Melissa’s products. The business is now prosperous and well-known in Greece thanks to the work of the 3rd generation of owners focused on innovation and on the differentiation of products: along with honey, Agria Melissa expanded its core business through bees’ wax, pollen. A big step forward was the development of the e-commerce platform (now Agria Melissa sells worldwide) and the ability to transform the traditional and family-based know-how into another business activity: the 3rd generation produced useful toolkits, especially in digital format, in order to teach how to deal with beehives and bees’ products efficiently. This educative product directly addresses new farmers who are moving their first steps in the field of the honey’s market.