Another innovative project led by the Cyprus Institute is taking shape, with the introduction of the first fruits and vegetables bearing the quality label "Mountain Agriculture Troodos" to the market. The products available in the new "Mikropolis" supermarket are distinguished by their high quality and are manufactured solely by Troodos producers.
The Troodos Quality Label is Cyprus's first comprehensive effort to establish a voluntary quality system for agricultural products. It is not only about labeling, but also about developing criteria to help producers improve agricultural practices on three levels: the environment, business responsibility, and food safety and hygiene.
The ultimate goal is to highlight the uniqueness of mountain products in conjunction with good agricultural practices for the benefit of the environment and consumer health. Producers who apply a set of mandatory and voluntary criteria centered on the three themes are eligible to participate in the quality scheme. At the same time, they must meet the criteria for mountain production, where the climate and environmental conditions contribute to the best-tasting fresh produce quality.
Nikos Tzionis, an apple producer in Agros, stated that the Quality Label will give Troodos agricultural products new life and identity, while Lambros Achilleos, President of SEDIGEP Pitsilia-Troodos, urged mountain producers to support this effort.
According to Dr. Christos Zoumidis, a researcher at the Cyprus Institute, the effort to develop the "Mountain Agriculture Troodos Quality System" began three years ago and included consultations and discussions with producers as part of the 3PRO-TROODOS research project (2019-2023). This is an Integrated Research Programme (INTEGRATED/0609/061) coordinated by the Cyprus Institute and co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research and Innovation Foundation. The goal of 3PRO-TROODOS is to improve agricultural production and food processing in Troodos through social innovation, sustainable natural resource management, and climate change adaptation.
The effort's leader, Savvas Maliotis of Filagrotiki Consulting Company, spoke about the farmers of the "Mountain Agriculture Troodos" Quality Label's vision to provide consumers with products that stand out, not only visually and taste-wise, but also produced with responsibility for the worker, society, the consumer, and future generations.
It should be noted that by purchasing these products, Troodos farmers are supported in their role as guardians of the mountain areas, the environment, and our health.