Thesauri Caviar, of the Papagiannis family, based in Arta, is a Greek sturgeon farming and caviar production business. Thesauri produces caviar on its farm, the first in Greece, breeding mainly 3 pure species of sturgeon (not hybrids) out of 27 in total that produce caviar, namely Acipenser gueldenstaedtii, Acipenser Baerii, and Huso huso. From farmed Russian sturgeon Acipenser gueldenstaedtii Ossetra caviar is produced, from Siberian sturgeon Baerii caviar and from Huso huso sturgeon the excellent Beluga caviar. The history of the business begins in 1992, when the father of the Papagiannis family brought the first sturgeon eggs from Astrakhan to the family farm. His source of inspiration was the story of the national benefactor from Psara, Ioannis Varvakis, who was the first exporter of caviar and one of the most important Greek traders of the product. The company’s farm (Aquafarm) extends over an area of 33 hectares on the edge of the Ambracian Gulf, with excellent quality water from artesian well that springs up from a great depth and flows through the tanks through an open circuit of continuous flow, ensuring hygiene, safety and well-being of the fish. Exhaustive controls, at all stages of fish farming (breeding, fingerling, larva) and at all levels (diet, well-being, water quality), ensure the best possible condition of the fish when they mature. Regarding the production methods, the company, active for twenty-one years, has managed to develop such know-how as to be able to closely monitor the fish one by one with ultrasound and select the females that have reached the appropriate stage of maturity. The salting and packaging process takes place in a laboratory. The first quantities of caviar began to be exported, mainly to the USA, where most of the production is sold today. In the USA, the legislation is particularly strict, which proves that the product goes through very strict controls. The unit meets all quality system specifications (FSSC) 22000 and is FDA approved for the United States market. Today, the company exports 95% of production to 20 countries in Europe, USA, the Middle East, and Arab countries. In recent years it has also been circulating in the Greek market, under the name Thesauri.
Aquaculture - V. GEITONAS & Co Ltd
The Aquaculture Company – V. GEITONAS & Co Ltd, based in the village Psathotopi in Arta (Epirus-Greece), at a short distance from the Logarou Lagoon, is the largest producer of European eel (Anquilla anquila) in Greece, producing and making available to the European market a variety of eel products (Live, Fresh and Smoked), excellent quality tilapia (Oreochromis spp.) and flathead grey mullet (Mugil cephalus). The company employs 20 workers, has a processing department, and is active in the processing and preservation of fish, available fresh, chilled or frozen. 170 – 220 tons are exported annually out of the 200-250 tons raised in total. Most of its exports are destined for countries such as Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, France, Belgium and England (throughout Europe), with the Italian market being particularly prominent. The Russian market (Moscow) is also of interest. 85% of the company’s total turnover is exported. At the company’s facilities, the eels arrive by air in special packaging (boxes). The fishing of these eels starts at the beginning of November and ends at the end of May. They are immediately placed in small covered tanks, where the first stage of rearing begins. The eels are then transferred to outdoor tanks, where they grow slowly due to the changing climatic conditions. The total rearing period lasts from two to three years, so that the eel reaches the desired special color, taste and shape. Having achieved the big step of controlled production, this company proceeded with the first expansion of its facilities, which was completed in 1996. In 2004, a second expansion took place with investments in new high-tech water recycling systems, achieving an increase and better control of production, the construction of new tanks and the construction of a processing unit for smoked products. But the business also expanded into processing, but also into new markets. In particular, the processing enabled the company to expand its range of products and at the same time to expand into new markets – such as France, Spain, Belgium and Cyprus – as well as the domestic market, which is now growing at a rate of 25% per year. The Aquaculture Company – V. GEITONAS & Co Ltd, having developed the appropriate infrastructure, has the ability to raise and offer to the market high quality smoked eels, according to the traditional way. The preparation process begins with cleaning the eels. This is followed by salting and smoking without preservatives and additives in a traditional oven. The process is completed by filleting and standardizing the eels according to international standards. However, the company has also launched on the market selected trout fillets “Oncorhynchus mykiss”, from the best fish farms in Epirus, which are products of excellent quality and high nutritional value. Last but not least, this company has a traceability system.