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Louvis Panagiotis: Spartan organic honey

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“We produce honey, royal jelly and propolis. These products are known for their nutritional and therapeutic values since ancient times. The nectar the gods consumed supposedly contained honey, which made them immortal!” says Panagiotis Louvis, beekeeper in Sparta, Greece. “My great grandfather was among the first honey producers in the region. One could say it’s in my DNA, running in my blood. I would like to turn this into a family business so I recently brought in my younger brother who is now twenty years old and has become my right hand.”

Panagiotis learned everything he knows on the job: “After school, I began working for an experienced beekeeper for about six years and I learned everything about bee farming and honey production. Eventually, I decided to set up my own business.” With the help of a recent EU-guaranteed loan from the Bank of Piraeus, backed by the EIF under the Investment Plan for Europe, Panagiotis was able to buy around 200 beehives, thus doubling the original number of bees as well as his production.

Hard working and forward-looking, Panagiotis dreams of having his own honey standardisation and packaging facility and export his products to other European countries: “I don’t want to bite more than I can chew so I’m not looking to become too big but I’d definitely like to make our honey known outside Greece now that we have increased our production capacity.”

More than anything else, Panagiotis focusses on the quality of his product. ”Our honey is clean and we test it regularly in a certified laboratory. You cannot imagine how hard it is to get good honey quality and the market is a tough one but a good product can go a long way,” he says. “On top of that, I really feel that we have great responsibility towards the consumer as this is food you and your kids eat. You can’t just go and sell bad quality.”

Company: Louvis Panagiotis (Greece)

Type of business: apiculture

EIF financing: EaSI Guarantee Financial Instrument, EFSI

Financial intermediary: Piraeus Bank

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Greece, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/el/index.htm

 

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