Creta Carob: the pride of Crete
Who would have imagined that the carob of Crete, the misunderstood food of the Occupation of Greece, would turn out to be a superfood especially beloved by the general public with multiple benefits for our health.
The courageous action was made by the founder of Creta Carob. Since Creta Carob was founded in Argyroupoli, Rethymno, in 2006, it was to become the pride of the place, as the tree used in its production, the carob tree, in addition to its organic cultivation, is native to many areas of the Mediterranean and in Greece, especially in Crete and Cyprus, so the raw material is in abundance. The company uses 100% Cretan locusts as it makes the most of the existing trees and thus it has increased the value of the locust bean fruit. Thus, whoever has carob trees in his field, collects the fruit and helps in its utilization, which is completely in line with the model of an ecological production with very low energy footprint, according to which Creta Carob operates. Due to increased production, as consumer needs increased, Creta Carob proceeded with full environmental awareness to the cultivation of locust tree.
Of course it was not easy to take the carob and process it. Before Creta Carob was founded, there was a huge gap in technical knowledge and most people had the impression that carob is just “food for the animals”, or “the chocolate of the occupation”. So the first steps were taken slowly but steadily. Five years after its establishment, and despite the unclear time horizon of the success of the investment, Creta Carob started its operation in 2011, when the first products came on the market. In fact, because there were no locust processing machines, the company created the tools it needed by patenting its own patents (patent is an exclusive right of use granted for a period of time to the inventor (natural or legal person) of a new method, substance or mechanism).
Today Creta Carob manages to increase the quantity of its products steadily, while over 50% of its products are exported abroad, where carob is much more popular than in Greece. The rest is absorbed in the domestic market. The company produces about fifty (50) different products, exclusively from locust bean, all of high nutritional value, with natural sweeteners (without added sugar). They range from carob honey, carob powder, coffee, nutrition bars, breadsticks, spaghetti, to locust bean gum (carob pectin), even anti-aging creams and cosmetics. Of course there are continuous improvements in existing products following strict hygiene rules.
Among other things, Creta Carob has invested in research, as in collaboration with the Agricultural University of Athens, it created the “carobite“, a dessert-snack of ecological character, high nutritional value and low fat that causes rapid satiety. The innovative carobite took third place in the European competition of innovative food products Ecotrophelia 2014. Creta Carob also collaborates with Aretaio Hospital to create a product that helps patients with kidney problems.
Overall, Creta Carob is a Greek company with many innovations and environmental awareness. In order to promote carob as a product of high nutritional value, it proposes an alternative lifestyle and physical therapy. But the most important thing is that by using the misunderstood locust bean to enrich our lives with it, Creta Carob managed to highlight the ‘forgotten treasure of Crete’ as its founder admits, in a superfood that improves the local place and its people in many ways. In short, it is the pride of our place.