Protofanousis is the largest Greek exporter of cherries, distributing around 11,000 tons annually. Its main markets are Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland, the UK and Romania, while more recently exports have extended to Scandinavian countries.
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 1,100 meters.
The cherries go through a precooling process with a special hydro cooler 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 and color.
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 cherries are packed as follows:
|Description||Net Weight||Dimensions||Cases/Pallet 100x120 cm|
|Carton 2.5kg (Pituffo)||2.5kg||30x20x12||256|
Cherries may be kept in the refrigerator for 3-5 days in a plastic bag and should be washed before consumption. Avoid washing earlier, and allow the cherries time at room temperature before serving for best flavor.