After long term negotiations and appointments, the CEO of Stevia Hellas Cooperative, Mr. Christos Stamatis, an entrepreneur with vision for the agricultural sector and dedicated into providing better services to farmers, has finally sealed a big deal for Stevia Hellas Cooperative's farmers and Piraeus Bank.
Piraeus Bank and our Agricultural Cooperative - STEVIA HELLAS - recently announced their cooperation under the Bank's Contract Farming and Livestock Program. The program is aiming at the immediate and active support of all those involved in the primary production process and the strengthening of new crops for the production of products with particular dietary characteristics such as stevia.
The 90 members of our Cooperative Enterprise, who are currently cultivating for this purpose about 400 ha, can now benefit from the new deal between the Bank Institute and the Agricultural Cooperative.
Our Cooperative's facilities are located in an industrial building in the area of Lamia and we have recently completed our investment in modernization. The mechanical equipment that is been used, includes mainly sheet compactors to reduce transport costs. However, the immediate investment plans of our cooperative are the acquisition of packaging machinery, while in the medium term, the establishment of facilities according to the standards of the cooperating factory in France for the processing and disposal of the final product in liquid and solid form.
Modern practices, significant scientific knowledge and the systematic work of its members have led our Cooperative to claim the first place in Europe today, producing high quality products that compete well with the imported ones. All of their production is directed to our HQ,and then transfered to France for extraction and purification. The final product, is already been selled in big chains (e.g. AB Vasilopoulos, Delhaize Group) and confectionery industries (e.g. Green Cola).
Through Piraeus Bank's program, the producer has the necessary liquidity available on highly competitive terms at the time he needs it, but also guarantees timely repayment when delivering the products to the cooperative. According to Christos Stamatis, Managing Director of the Cooperative, the producer must be able to access services, supplies and equipment in order not only to produce a good quality product but also to go one step further, to give extra value to the product
This new Agreement on Contract Agriculture concerns a comprehensive financing proposal and certifies Piraeus Bank's firm commitment to supporting rural business and encouraging any sound and productive effort in the primary sector of the economy.