Interview 1

Tell us a little about your activity. How did you get started? Why did you get into food?

In 2007 in Alonissos we started the Alelma seafood workshop wanting to spread the tuna recipe that we have been making traditionally for many years.

Tell us a few words about your company and your products.

Our company is based in beautiful Alonissos. It was founded in 2007 by my husband Giorgos Anagnostou, with extensive experience in the fish trade, and me, Amalia Kalogiannis, with knowledge of the Alonissian tradition in processing tuna.
The laboratory area is well equipped, with the latest technology in the field of hygiene.
In our workshop we follow the traditional recipe by making the tuna in water or oil with all the modern specifications and certifications.

What is behind such a product? Is there any information you would like to share with us?

Our goal when we started was to help ALELMA tuna contribute to the healthy diet of Greeks. Tuna is a very good source of omega-3 fats. and proteins. Tuna is one of the foods that is often included in the diet of those trying to follow a healthy diet or lose weight. The most well-known quality of tuna is that it reduces the risk of developing coronary heart disease, as the high content of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats helps to reduce bad cholesterol in the arteries and blood vessels. Its contribution to the proper development of the body and the human immune system is also important.
But most importantly, what makes it suitable to be consumed by everyone, meaning people of all ages, small children, the elderly and most importantly women who are in the period of pregnancy is that ALELMA products have an absence of heavy metals. As a company we have a very strict evaluation of what concerns our supply of our raw material.

Does geographic location have anything to do with your products?

As islanders our bond with the sea was decisive. In addition, our many years of experience in the fish trade of our island at home and abroad, helped us to make the decision. As I have said on other occasions, tuna fishing was for our island an important period for the fishermen’s families. Imagine 50 fishing boats starting from our port, at about the same time in the morning, following the same course to start their daily fishing.

How do you foresee the future of Greek production? Is there room for growth?

It is a question that unfortunately cannot be answered because nothing is certain these days due to the political and economic situation that prevails in our country.
What is certain is that only if we rely on our own strength will we be able to face the problems and move forward.
However, the country’s problems continue to create some stagnation in businesses that really want to develop.

Greece or international markets? Where are you aiming and how do you see the Greek market developing?

Now to say that the future is inauspicious; Many problems; Government services do not help as much as they should;
Well this all happens in some areas. Fortunately, what possesses me and everyone in the ALELMA family is optimism and a great appetite for work. We will work, we will fight for alelma tuna made with the Alonissian recipe to reach the whole world.

Do any of your products stand out? If so which and why?

All our products are amazing. Each of them covers the different taste preferences of each consumer. But because we like the evolution this year, we are proud of our new product Tuna belly with rosemary in extra virgin olive oil. We have carefully selected the most nutritious part of the tuna, from the belly area.
In extra virgin olive oil, it is marinated and matured together with fresh rosemary. The result is a delicious feast that takes off.
It is a rich source of ω-3 with a very high percentage of 1.23gr/100gr. The product is for the few and elite in a numbered jar.

What does it matter for a product to be organic and targeted?

The importance of organic products is important. I believe that a key factor in our health is our diet. The sense of conscience should be raised among those who deal with food in our country. To observe and fulfill the rules for the preparation of organic and non-organic products. Unfortunately, of course, the portion of people who can afford to consume organic products is not large enough.

Do you think organic crops have a future in Greece?

I think we are a people who know how to eat. Our diet based on the Mediterranean diet has been passed down from generation to generation. We also see younger people abandoning foreign habits in terms of nutrition, so I believe that organic crops have a future. The most important thing is that there is suitable soil and climate for the right cultivation. We are the country that can grow and supply the whole world with truly organic crops.

In Greece we observe a very good level of packaging and image from the producers. What drives you to strive for good packaging?

We are a highly competitive people. When competitiveness exists for a good purpose, it has the corresponding results. We all want to win our share of the trade. The means to reach the desired result is, among other things, a good packaging.

Have you ever thought of “giving up” and changing activities?

In no case. Our family consists of five members. We raised our three children together with our business and as a result they have loved our work. Each of them is slowly spreading its wings, taking its knowledge and experiences, leaving us behind to hand over the baton to them when the time comes.

Can Greek producers make a difference in the production of quality products? What do you think?

Greeks can achieve anything. They have learned to work and move forward. They can make a difference in the production of quality products. However, the decline of our country must be stopped at some point before it is too late for the Greeks because even endurance has limits.

What are your dreams for the future?

Let the ALELMA family grow and meet my jars all over the world!