The isolated village of Egklouvi is located at an altitude of 730 metres on Lefkada, an island and mountainous region under Article 174 TFEU. However, owing to its remoteness, many of its inhabitants are choosing to move away.
It is also known for the unique quality of its lentils, which are traditionally grown at a height of 900 metres. The Englouvi plateau is listed by the FAO as one of the five areas protected in Greece for their unique natural beauty.
Other exceptional local products are Karya field beans, Asprolia oil, honey and fish roe.
On 23 September 2020, Greek Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Emmanouil Fragkos of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group filed a written parliamentary question to the European Commission. MEP Fragkos enquired “what stage has been reached by deliberations on a move to include Egklouvi lentils, Karya field beans and Asprolia oil on the list of Greek PDOs?”
Further, MEP Fragkos asked two more pointed questions. First being “has reference been made to the above products in any local or regional smart specialisation strategies that have been updated and evaluated with a view to creating new jobs and boosting agricultural income?” which he followed with “what other initiatives could be taken by the regional and municipal authorities or the farmers themselves to establish how they could increase or diversify their earnings through investment in their particular assets?”
On 09 December, Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski responded on behalf of the European Commission and reported that “the Commission has to date not received from the Member State any application to register a name as a Protected Designation of Origin or a Protected Geographical Indication for the products Karya field beans and Asprolia oil”. He added that “the Commission received application for PDO ‘Φακή Εγκλουβής/Faki Eglouvis’ on the 11th of November 2020 and within six months following the date of application, the Commission will scrutinise the application in order to check that it is justified and that it meets the condition of the scheme”.
He further explained that “for the period 2014-2020, the Region of Ionian Islands has developed and adopted a Regional Smart Specialization Strategy to assist the transformation of the regional economy based on knowledge and innovation” and “the areas identified as priorities in this Strategy refer among others to the sector of Agri-Food with an emphasis on the ‘basket of the Region’ which includes all local products of the Region which can therefore be supported by the European Regional Development Fund, as far as this is part of their 2nd transformation”.
Commissioner Wojciechowski clarified that “under EAFRD and the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, farmers may benefit from support through a wide range of measures such as private investments related to production, processing and marketing, training, setting-up of producers’ groups, young farmers, small business development and community-led local development actions” and “similar support measures are also available under the Commission’s proposal for the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Greece may include these in its CAP Strategic Plan”.
Finally, he declared that “details about the available support and the regional distribution of EAFRD in Greece may be obtained from the managing authority”.
Photo Credit : https://pixabay.com/photos/lenses-red-lentils-small-food-3817956/