Sustainable and local production in Greece - Women on Ikaria make it happen!

  • Stage

    2/2

  • Backers

    54

  • Funded

    6.196 €

Added value for the environment

The project saves or improves the areas of ...

human

ground, water, air

climate

animals and plants

biodiversity

material and cultural assets

energy and use of resources

Resources used

The resources used are ...

produced sustainably

eco-certified

fair-trade

of regional origin

used efficiently

recycled, upcycled

renewable (e.g. energy)

This self-assessment by the project starter serves as a decision support for the crowd. Not all criteria must be met, but all alternatives should be considered.

Summary

A jam-kettle for the “Women’s cooperative” on Ikaria is the basis for the expansion of their work-shop. It symbolizes the contribution to a sustainable development of the island, a network of organic farmers and consumers and new jobs

Description

Who are we and where is Ikaria?

The island Ikaria is located in the Eastern Aegean Sea of Greece, near to Samos and the Turkish coast. The island has officially 9,000 inhabitants, but only 3,000 of them are living there the whole year. Ikaria is not a “must go”-party-island like Mykonos and Santorini, but it became famous due to its traditional dances and its good food. In addition to this Ikaria is part of the so called “Blue Zones”, a title that is grouping those parts of the world, which are marked by a high quality of living and longevity. On Ikaria this is based – among others – on its intact social infrastructure, the preservation of the traditional recipes instead of fast-food, but above all you may count the specific time management and everyday-life rhythm a key reason for this reputation (the Ikarians have their specific relaxed definition of time and this might be a reason, why they are less stressed).
On this background 11 women from Greece, Italy and Germany have founded in 2009 the first “Women’s cooperative” of Ikaria. We are living here for various reasons, but we are united in the belief, that our presence and future is here, on this island in the Eastern Aegean Sea. We are working here with the aim of producing high quality products based on agricultural products Mother Nature has given us on Ikaria. In this context we are dedicating ourselves to preserving the local tradition and to producing foods without any chemical substances, such as marmalades, chutneys, “spoon sweets” and pickled vegetables. We purchase the raw materials from the small producers on the island, who are following the philosophy of sustainable and organic farming. Through our work we could convince further farmers to start organic farming.
During the years we could expand our work and since 2011 we have been managing a cake shop and a small café, where we sell our products.

The results of 8 years hard work are impressive:
–    Despite the financial and economic crisis, which is hitting also Ikaria for nearly 10 years now, we can still offer permanent jobs to seven women. In many cases the income from the work with the “Women’s cooperative” is a substantial contribution to income of a family.
–    During summer season we are able to employ additional three women during the summer on a   temporary basis.
–    We are processing nearly 2 tons of fruit and vegetables on an annual basis. In this way, we are not only providing an incentive for expanding traditional and organic farming on Ikaria, but we are also generating a steady income for farmers and their families.
Our work is an important contribution to the sustainable economic development of Ikaria.

Our future: the expansion of our workshop and more jobs
Perhaps we are crazy, but times of crisis are also times of challenges and chances. Despite all the problems we are facing every day, we see our future on Ikaria.  This is why we do not only want to continue our work, but would like to expand it. We see in our cooperative and in the collaboration with the local producers the possibility to develop another economic and social form of living on Ikaria, a society that is based on sustainability, community, responsible consuming and a careful handling of Mother Nature.

What do we need? More place for workshop and café
On Ikaria, in Christos Raches, we have a chance to rent a building with a surface of 170 m². We would like to use 100 m² for a new and modern production place; further 70 m² will be used for the café and the cake shop.

Which material do we need?
–    Modern kitchen material
–    Refrigerators
–    Ovens

The total costs of the projects are 21,000 EUR. Out of it we would like cover 4,200 EUR with the crowd funding project a to buy a jam-kettle, which is one of the most important devices in our new kitchen. Further income will be generated via donations and the income of the upcoming tourist season.

What will be the result?
–    Better working conditions, expansion of our production;
–    Possibility to certify our products; this certificate is the pre-condition to export our products;
–    Integration of new products on our production list, such as: goat cheese, olive oil and honey;
–    Creation of at least 7 new jobs;
–    In collaboration with the local producers we could expand the production of organic products; that means we can help to increase the income of local farmers on Ikaria.

How will we invest the money?
Jam kettle 60 l:                                                                    4,200 Euro

Marketing and shipping of the barter products:         1,000 Euro

Summary:                                                                         5,200 Euro


Apart from the crowd-funding, we see currently only little chances to raise the capital necessary for our dream. Due to the crises we are facing different problems: the tourist season has become shorter, but nevertheless we have to cover the costs of production and salaries. Up to now, we have not been able to participate in national or European programmes as we don’t have necessary equity at our disposal. The same goes for bank credit, as we cannot offer the necessary guarantees.

In case that the crowd funding will exceed the sum needed for the jam-kettle, we will invest the money in the next kitchen-device: a new professional oven.

What is the funded money used for?

5.200 € Marketing and transport costs
4.200 € a jam kettle

What do we need to extend our facilities?

First of all we do need more place forour  workshop and the café as well as the corresponding devices:

–    Modern kitchen material
–    Refrigerators
–    Ovens

The total costs of the projects are 21,000 EUR. Out of it we would like cover 4,200 EUR with the crowd funding project a to buy a jam-kettle, which is one of the most important devices in our new kitchen. Further income will be generated via donations and the income of the upcoming tourist season.

What will be the result?
–    Better working conditions, expansion of our production;
–    Possibility to certify our products; this certificate is the pre-condition to export our products;
–    Integration of new products on our production list, such as: goat cheese, olive oil and honey;
–    Creation of at least 7 new jobs;
–    In collaboration with the local producers we could expand the production of organic products; that means we can help to increase the income of local farmers on Ikaria.

How will we invest the money?
Jam kettle 60 l:                                                                    4,200 Euro

Marketing and shipping of the barter products:         1,000 Euro

Summary :                                                                           5,200 Euro

Apart from the crowd-funding, we see currently only little chances to raise the capital necessary for our dream. Due to the crises we are facing different problems: the tourist season has become shorter, but nevertheless we have to cover the costs of production and salaries. Up to now, we have not been able to participate in national or European programmes as we don’t have necessary equity at our disposal. The same goes for bank credit, as we cannot offer the necessary guarantees.

Why is the project an EcoCrowd project?

Our project is focusing on  a sustainable, environmental friendly economic development of the Greek island of Ikaria. In collaboration with the local producers of the island we would like to give an example, that it is possible – despite the crisis and with only little money – to cooperate and to commit ourselves to the preservation of traditional farming and production of local products. In this context we are not oriented towards the past, but we do see the work of our “Women’s cooperative” as a model that can help to secure the future of women – especially young woman – on the island. This could be a way how women could develop a perspective for living and working on Ikaria –  for themselves and for their families. In addition to this we believe that with our work we can make a substantial contribution to enhance organic farming on Ikaria and to increase the sensibility of its inhabitants and visitors towards this form of farming, producing and eating.
If we put our project into a broader economic consideration, we would like to prove that Greek women and cooperatives can make an important contribution to the further development, if not even different development of the Greek economy as well as to the agricultural and environmental policy.

Tell us something about yourself.

We, the members of the “Women’s Cooperative” on Ikaria, are a group of women with different characters and knowledge, even different nationalities and ages. But with our work in the cooperative we are sharing a dream: to live on Ikaria and to stay and to make a change in producing food, selling it and living together in a small societey.

During the 8 years of hard work we have learned to organize ourselves and to follow our goals. And the success has proven us right. Our products are convincing and we have a worldwide network of customers. The economic and financial crisis in Greece is an enormous challenge for us, but we have accepted it and we are trying to find our proper solutions for it. Thus we are confident that our project will be a success story.

We the the future, because ...

it needs us, the women, who are takng the risk, who are keeping up the optimism to make it happen: to expant the network between producers and consumers, to keep the tradition of local recipes and to find new ways of communication and collaboration.

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