CRETACERT: The organisation that was set up to provide identity to the Cretan agricultural products.

Identity of CRETACERT

CRETACERT is a non-profit organization, which established in order to create and promote the agricultural Cretan products of great quality. The organization represents all sectors related to the process of production and trading of the agricultural products. It involves a large group of producers, export traders, cooperatives, agriculturists, packers, exporters as well as various Chambers such as the Geotechnical Chamber of Greece - Annex Crete, Prefectures, and municipalities of Crete.

Its founding members, acting in the production and trading, already represent 70% of trading vegetable quantity of Crete. The organization is still expanding with new members, to encompass all the Cretan agricultural products.


The purpose of CRETACERT

1.The CRETACERT basic purpose is to provide added value to the certified Cretan agricultural products of high quality, which means that all products ”carrying” the CRETACERT Trademark will be -first of all- of Cretan origin, without overruns in the established maximum levels in plant protection chemicals and additionally tested, in order to have fixed quality standards in terms of appearance, taste, packaging and conservation. They will also be safe for the consumer, not only in terms of plant chemicals protection, but also in hygiene conditions of conservation and transportation.

The ultimate goal of the CRETACERT Trademark is to provide solid reputation and high profile in the market to the Cretan products.

The CRETACERT Trademark will be a collective Mark of Quality, which will not abolish, but will accompany the individual marks of all productive or commercial enterprises, which meet the requirements to obtain the Mark. To this end, regulations, quality control mechanisms and imposing penalties are anticipated for those who do not comply.

2. Furthermore:

•   it will undertake market surveys and data processing. By the same time, it will create a communication channel for its members in order to provide them information about the market, data for agriculture under contracts and programs of supermarket chains involving agricultural products of Crete.

•   it will organize international conferences in regular time scale, which will show what the trends of the market are, will take the conclusions under consideration and will be taking measures of immediate integration of the relative proposals directly across the supply chain of products under the labelling of the institution.

•   it will formulate and implement framework of principles in public relations sector for the creation of transparent conditions of communicating with the Media for the correct information of the consumer.

•   it will develop local, inter-regional and intra-regional cooperation not only domestically but also with the corresponding institutions of other European Union Member States in order to achieve the purpose of the company.

•   it will undertake documentation, evaluation and the assertion of the necessary infrastructure for the improvement of living conditions and development.


Philosophy of CRETACERT

The economic data, that are routed worldwide, mark the end of the period of protectionism and the entrance in a new commercial farming, which will increase international competition.

The new figures are:

1. The abolition of financing from the European Union by 2013.

2. The simultaneous free movement of agricultural products worldwide by the developing countries, which has already been initiated by the World Trade Organization (WTO)

3. Free trade area (Euro-Mediterranean partnership) by 2010.


Those facts will find Greek agriculture unprepared to compete with low-cost countries, if we will not prepare ourselves for a period where quality will balance the price competition.

A change of strategy is required from price competition, that exists up to day, to quality competition. For this reason the cooperation of producers, geotechnical agents, traders and consumers is essential.

Only a trademark of quality and origin will end the unfair competition with products from third world countries, the insecurity of the producer and of course the mockery of the consumer by providing him with healthy and best quality controlled products.


History and Creation of CRETACERT

It all started with the “International Conference for the Future of the Fresh Horticultural Products” that was carried out on 6,7 8 July, 2006 in Ierapetra, Crete. That conference showed the critical need for strengthening the reputation of the products of Crete through the creation of a Quality Trademark.

The conference was organised by the Geotechnical Chamber of Greece- Annex Crete and it began with a listing of the problems of the area, based on a questionnaire that was distributed to the people of the island of Crete.

It continued with pre-conference meetings in basic production areas. The main purpose was to reduce the opposition in the chain of production - sale of agricultural products and to establish an accepted proposal in order to face the international competition in the future. The conference, which was the summit of this unity effort, did not close with wishes only, as it usually happens, but, through a course of procedures and actions, it led to the election of a coordinating committee (consisted of producers, agronomists and traders from all over Crete), which paved the way to the creation of CRETACERT.

The establishing assembly of the Organization for the approval of the memorandum of association was held on February 22, 2007 at the premises of the Geotechical Chamber of Greece - Annex Crete, and it was attended by its 36 founding members. The elections for the Board of Directors took place on May 3, 2007, at the same place.


Sectorial Committees

The memorandum of association anticipates the establishment of sectorial committees for each group of uniform products. The sectorial committees study and make their propositions and recommendations to the Members of the Board for the planning and the policy of the Organization in each sector and they also contribute to the materialization of the decisions taken by the Members of the Board regarding the products of each sector.


Future Steps

CRETACERT already carries on the following actions:


• Preparation of the Corporate Rules and Regulations

• Development of the business plan

• Expansion of the Association with new members

• Designation of the basic standards and rules for “carrying” the CRETACERT Trademark as well as the creation of the quality and control mechanisms.

• Consolidation of the Trademark in Greece and abroad


The first formal presentation of the CRETACERT Trademark will be made at the opening ceremony of the “2nd International Conference on the Quality and Marketing of Agricultural Products”. The conference is organised by CRETACERT and will take place on the 25th, 26th and 27th September 2008, at the “Creta Maris” Conference Center in Hersonissos, Crete.


The Cretan products carrying the CRETACERT Trademark, will be placed on the market in the Fall of 2008, immediately after the conference, and a broad advertising campaign around Europe will follow.


Any information regarding the conference is provided by the website


Members of the board of CRETACERT:

1.  President: Michael Kechagiadakis, Agronomist

2.  Vice President: Kariotakis Eftichis, President of the “Kountoura producers group

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3.  Secretary: Christakis Manolis,President of the Agri-Industrial Union of Timpaki

4.  Treasurer: Syggelakis Chrysanthos, Exporter

5.  Members: Chatzigiannakis Stelios, Trader-ExporterChatzakis Charalambos, Manager of the “Agricultural Co-op of Ierapetra”Kaparakis George, producer, board-member of the “Anatoli Union”



The Members of the Board invite:

• The Hellenic Government and the Region of Crete, to support financially and morally this joint effort.

• The Deputy Members, Municipalities and all associations of Crete, to facilitate CRETACERT¢s difficult and demanding work.

• All those involved in the production and trading process of agricultural products, to support the organization by joining CRETACERT in order to enable it to gain the power needed for the achievement of their common goal.





Address: Koraka & Omireias 1 72200 Ierapetra                                                         


Tel: 28420-24616,  FAX : 28420-80160



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