Enjoy the best of their kindThe Protofanousis family has been specializing in the packing and distribution of fruit since 1928. Today the company is the largest Greek kiwi and cherry exporter, with an annual turnover of 25 million euros. It handles about 25 million kilos of fruit per year, mostly of Greek origin. It supplies products directly to large supermarket chains in Greece and exports to European countries, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and North America. It employs 30 permanent staff and up to 150 staff according to the season. It maintains refrigerated storage facilities and packing plants in Thessaloniki with a total area of 7,500 sq.m., Controlled Atmosphere refrigerators in Nea Ephesοs, Katerini, with a capacity of 8,000 tons, a distribution center in Thessaloniki's central vegetable market, and a warehouse-precooler in Kerasia.
Protofanousi handles about 15,000 tons annually between October and May and ranks at the top of the Greek companies that market kiwis. Almost all of the production is of the Hayward variety and most comes from Pieria, Kavala, Larisa and Arta, four of the most suitable areas in Europe for kiwi growing. All production is certified by GlobalGAP and Tesco Nurture. The handling and storage of the fruit takes place in Nea Ephesos in Pieria and the packing in Ionia in Thessaloniki. The fruit is transported in privately owned refrigerator trucks from production to packing. Continuous monitoring of kiwi orchards, oversight of harvesting by agricultural experts, and determination of the right stage of ripeness for the desired values of sugars and dry matter ensure the high quality of the fruit. Thanks to the advanced technology of Protofanousi’s storage facilities, the fruit is kept under ideal conditions, contributing to a product that can maintain its quality characteristics – flavor and firmness –for an extended period. The countries to which the company’s kiwis are exported include China, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Ukraine, most European countries, South Africa and Canada.
Protofanousi is the largest Greek cherry exporter, annually distributing about 5,000 tons. Its main markets are Great Britain, Italy, Germany, Holand and the Baltic countries and the company has recently extended its reach to countries in Southeast Asia. The production comes from Pella and is fully certified by GlobalGAP. The fruit is first brought to a refrigerated storage facility maintained by the company in Kerasia, Pella, in the center of a region where the cherry is the main crop and cherry orchards extend into the foothills of the Northern [Voras] Mountains to an altitude of 1,300 meters. The cherries go through a precooling process with a special hydrocooler at the same facility. Packing takes place the next morning at the Protofanousi processing center at Ionia in Thessaloniki. A sophisticated electronic calibrator ensures accurate sorting on the basis of size, color and defect. Continuous monitoring of the cherry orchards and harvesting at the appropriate stage of ripeness, in conjunction with maintaining the “cold chain”, contributes to consistently high fruit quality. The quality and excellent taste of the fruit are also due to the fact that much of the land where the cherries are grown is quite dry. The main varieties in an order based on harvesting date are as follows: Satin, Samba, Larian, Crystalina, Georgia, Early Star, Grey Star, Black Star, Big Star, Lapins, Bakirtzeika (Greek variety), Ferovia, Germensdorfer, Skenna, Regina, Kordia, Sweet Heart.
Protofanousi handles production, packing and distribution of about 600 tons of red seedless and mix seedless per year a volume increasing every year. Main variety at the moment is Crimson Seedless with origin from Pieria and Larisa.
Protofanousi handles production and distribution of 1,000 tons of plums per year, a volume that places it among the major plum marketers in the country.