Already since 1938, and according to the founding statutes of Chios Mastiha Growers Association, one of its fundamental targets has been «The protection of Chios Mastiha through the systematization, processing and joint trading thereof, the enhancement of Mastiha Growers’ living standards by offering to them all kinds of services and the financial advancement of Mastiha Cooperatives through a mutual collaboration among them.»
Today, the Association represents approximately 5,000 members of the agricultural families belonging to the 20 Primary Cooperatives of Mastihohoria (the mastiha villages).
The Administration organ of Chios Mastiha Growers Association is a Council of nine, the members of which are elected every four years by the members of the General Assembly.
The General Assembly is the principal organ of the Association and is composed of 90 representatives elected by the members of the 20 Primary Cooperatives; it convenes once a year, except under extraordinary conditions. The Primary Cooperatives welcome as members all physical persons involved in mastiha production either professionally or as a secondary occupation. Every mastiha grower has the right to elect the representatives of the primary cooperative where he belongs and has got 0-3 votes, depending on the quantity of mastiha he has offered within a four year period.
Number of Growers in each Cooperative
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Services offered to Mastiha Growers
The majority of permanent residents of Mastihohoria are not professional growers. In the past few years, mastiha’s price increase has attracted more and more young people who are gradually becoming interested in its production. Today, very few trees remain uncultivated, while new ones are constantly planted, something which gives a fresh impulse to the land of southern Chios.
The key role of Chios Mastiha Growers Association is to offer full support to its members in every field and to act on the basis of their profit. Thus, it offers administration services and geotechnical support to the 20 primary mastiha cooperatives, aiming at the protection of the growers themselves, as well as of mastiha production.
Specifically, within the context of administration services, the Association:
- Sees to the development of the cooperatives’ activities.
- Participates in and materializes development schemes selected either by the national field of action or by U.E. programs.
- Offers accounting and financial services to the cooperatives and to their members as to IACS subsidies (IntegratedA dministration and Control System) (land, bovines, sheep and goats), olive oil subsidies, VAT refundf or farmers, olive fly abatement, etc.
- Offers to its associates all types of assistance, as to the supply of fertilizers, white soil, etc.
- Being an agent of the insurance companies AGROTIKI ASFALISTIKI & SYNETERISTIKI (Agricultural Insurance & Cooperative), it drafts insurance policies with the growers.
- Informs its members of any community regulation or national ruling regarding special subsidies and aids towards farmers and growers.
Geotechnical supportoffered by the Association to its members is multi-faceted. We shall indicatively refer to the following:
- Programming, organization and elaboration of projects regarding cultivation techniques and modern production methods.
- Follow-up and participation in the quality control mastiha and the rest the products.
- Investigation of the lentisk’s enemies and diseases and efforts to resolve the problem, in collaboration with the Benakio Phytopathological Institute and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
- Investigation of the lentisk’s nutritional needs and determination of a fertilization program for the quantitative and qualitative effects of those nutritional needs, in collaboration with the pedological laboratory of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
- Efforts on genetically identifying the lentisk’s varieties using molecular methods, in collaboration with the molecular biology laboratory of the University of Ioannina and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
- Investigation of the lentisk’s multiplication methods and examination of the possibility to create a nursery garden in collaboration with the laboratory of floriculture and multiplication material of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
- Examination of the possibility to certify the cultivation of lentisks with Agro 2.1, 2.2 (Integrated Cultivation Management System) in collaboration with the Organization of Certification & Surveillance of Agricultural Products and the Ministry of Rural Development and Food.
- Investigation of the action spectrum of approved phyto-pharmaceutical drugs involved in the cultivationo flentisks, in collaboration with the Ministry of Rural Development and Food.