Field trip at Kerasia


The beginning of the harvest season is always a celebration for the growers. The time has come for them to reap their efforts and enjoy their hard work’s outcome. PROTO, always happy to participate in this process, invited once again some of its customers to visit its cherry fields just on time for this year’s harvest, in order to witness firsthand PROTO's cherry experience.

Kerasia region and cherry production

"Kerasia" (in greek it means "cherries") is one of the main locations were PROTO sources its cherries, located approximately 100 km to the west of Thessaloniki, northern Greece. It produces almost exclusively cherries, with an estimated total quantity of both industrial and table cherries reaching 5-6.000 tons annually. PROTO has decided to further invest in the region after seeing that the cherries production is high, many varieties are being cultivated but most importantly, the people of Kerasia really love what they do. The investment includes new bigger cooling rooms, bigger hydrocoolers that allow for the water to reach a temperature of approx. 3 °C in less than 20 minutes and thus reducing the time needed for the cherries to reach the packing house. New water pumps were installed and everything is now powered by a new more efficient power grid.

Warm welcome -May 18th

The PROTO team, accompanied by our visitors, started an early day and not long after 09:30 reached the company’s facilities. Dimitris Patsoukos aka Jimmy, our trusted  local grower with a total of 100.000  m2 or 10 hectares of cherries farms,   greeted the team upon arrival. Sharing interesting info about the region he notified our guests that the farmers at Kerasia have their farms dispersed. Himself  has 0,1ht at an altitude of 300m, 0,5 at 700m and so on. This may create practical issues but has the advantage of growing more varieties which have different climatic demands and are either of early or late harvest. Meanwhile this dispersion reduces the risk of higher or even total loss in case of bad weather incidents, such as the ones that occurred this season.

Early varieties

Jimmy gave the team a tour of farms with early varieties such as Early Lorry but also farms with late varieties such as Regina. Unfortunately, quite a few farms at altitudes over 600m suffered frost damage that reduced the production at approx. 50%, while farms at altitudes over 1000m suffered a 100% loss. Jimmy explained that this year has been one of the worst during the past decades and that the cherries supply will be short on July.

Packing and shipping

After roaming many cherry farms of Kerasia, the team headed back to Thessaloniki to have a look at where and how all these cherries are going to be packed and shipped. The all-new expansion of the PROTO facilities with the new cherries calibrator was more than a pleasant surprise for our visitors. Its capacity and the defects detection abilities made our customers impatient to receive their first shipment of PROTO cherries!

The cherry season is finally upon us -despite the quantity loss that Greece suffered. Thanks to its continuous investments, PROTO will make sure that it delivers once again cherries of the highest quality to its loyal customers.

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