Small farms dominate agriculture in Greece, with over half of the country’s 650,000 farming businesses cultivating plots of land of under 2 hectares in area. One of them – Agrifarm – was founded in 2014 by Dimitris Gremyloyiannis, who thought that cooperation between farmers offers competitive advantages and benefits , such as the reduction in production costs and transportation, allowing in turn farmers to increase production and concentrate on growing quality products. With the help of EU funding, he developed a network of 55 farmers from whom it sources products for his brand Agrifarm, ensuring jobs and allowing the farms to grow.
Agrifarm – which has won several awards worldwide – mainly produces rice and legumes based on innovative, environmentally friendly methods, that limit the use of fertilisers or pesticides, use sensors to minimise water consumption in the fields and grow local varieties, that are more resistant and do not harm the environment.
The company shares expertise with farmers aged 35 and under, and buys and exports their products, thus building solid, trust-based relationships in a volatile sector.
Dimitris Gremyloyiannis, owner of Agrifarm says: “Our initiative allows farmers to collaborate and support each other with agricultural expertise and knowledge, optimises their production and offers them competitive advantages, all key elements that allow them to grow their businesses further.”
With just 6% of EU farmers aged under 35 and more than half of them over 55, Agrifarm has an important social impact.
It enables young people to stay on their family farms rather than looking for other job options in the cities, where there are more opportunities. The project has attracted more young people to agriculture and provided them with an income.
Giorgos Apostolidis, who farms in Agios Konstantinos, near Farsala, and is part of Agrifarm agrees: “I believe that collaboration between small farms is key to our growth and that together we can achieve much more in the long run .”
Support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is a
priority for the EU because they are the backbone of Europe’s