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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 18 June 2016
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 18 JUNE 2016 21 GREECE PHOTOS: AGROKNOW Nikos Manouselis We're all familiar with big search and booking engines when it comes to travel. Imagine what we could do with the information on what we cultivate, food safety, fish farming and wine production for example. What makes you stand out apart from your obvious technological know-how? Apart from offering tailor made services, we also bring our Greek, or Cretan culture in my case, with us. You know how you can go to a restaurant in Crete, not have enough money to pay for your meal and the owner is more likely to say 'don't worry, just come by tomorrow' than ring the police? That feeling of being at home and surrounded by people you trust. I think that's what makes our clients recommend us to others and there is nothing more valuable than word of mouth. What problems have you faced by being in Greece? There are the obvious jokes and the occasional knot in your stomach when you hit certain types of hurdles but overall our international colleagues are positive when they hear we're Greek. Most people who have been to Crete, love it anyway so I always get a positive reaction! All joking aside –we find people appreciate Greek history and culture and the unique service we offer as a company so where we're based doesn't come into it. You must have faced certain difficulties though, considering the ongoing economic crisis? We try to put a positive spin on our situation as I think it's part of what makes us special. If we have made it through the last few years, there's not a lot that can get us down! In fact it was during last summer and the infamous capital controls that the idea for the Open Harvest event came about. We needed a way to prove we were still here and as far as we were concerned, it was business as usual. Now it's become much more than that, especially after signing our “Chania Declaration”, which is basically our open call to the EU, international governments, private funders and public sector funding bodies, stating what we think the priorities should be in a shared action plan for the worlds of food and agriculture. This is only the beginning of what we hope will develop into an annual event. That would be my dream: to leave a lasting legacy in my birthplace, a reason for me to return as often as I can.
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