GREEK AEGAGRUS CHEESE (GRAEGACHEESE)
The great competitive advantages of the Greek agri-food sector, which is part of the Mediterranean diet, can be found in the high quality and wide range of local and traditional products (such as Products of Designation of Origin - PDO and Products of Geographical Indication - PGI). To this end, it is important to widely implement production certification programs at farming level, and secure the designation of traditional
products. This way the advantages and quality traits of these products will be promoted, and will be protected against competitive products with different composition from other countries. At the same time, it is important to communicate the identity of these products to the public.
In order to utilize and protect the comparative advantages of cheese-making in Central Macedonia, promote and boost its uniqueness and quality traits and bring out the viable and proper development of the industry, we propose a comprehensive program which intends to lay the foundation for the convergence and cooperation of Research and Academia with the production of goat cheese. It should be noted that the region of Central Macedonia has the highest production of goat milk (23.5%).
Hence, aiming to protect the identity of traditional goat dairy products, we should develop the right methodology with the help of molecular biology tools, to ensure the authenticity of these products, by inspecting them and the raw material (goat milk), in order to certify they are made of milk coming from indigenous goat breeds. Therefore, one of the challenges is the development of a molecular method with immediate application in the traceability of animal products (milk, dairy) from Greek goat breeds, which will
ensure a “national” identity to those products.
To do that, the business in collaboration with the research institutions shall follow the steps below:
- Shall design and develop the methodology (Industrial Research). Phase Α
- Shall develop a new, innovative tool (array) that will be tracing animal products (milk, dairy) from Greek goat breeds – Experimental Development, Phase B.
- Shall apply this new innovative tool in the business – Experimental Development, Phase B.
- The Hellenic Agricultural Organization DIMITRA shall prepare a standard, which will ensure the production of goat cheese products from milk coming from indigenous breeds. This standard shall include in detail all the specifications that must be met by the farms that wish to be included in the GRAEGA CHEESE system, the way system certification will be taking place, and the way the certification shall be renewed every year - Experimental Development, Phase B.
The implementation of this particular innovation shall lead in the production of standardized products, whose authenticity will be ensured, their added value will be protected, and their recognizability and competitiveness will be boosted.
Dr. Ioannis Sakaridis
HELLENIC AGRICULTURAL ORGANIZATION DIMITRA
INSTITUTE OF VET RESEARCH