Reference Regions

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Crete (Greece)

Description of the Reference Region

The Central Rethymno region is a hilly and mountainous area between the two major massifs of Crete (the White Mountains and Psiloritis Mount), having a typical landscape, with steep slopes, mainly covered with shrubby vegetation, oaks, kermes oaks, carob trees and olive trees. Numerous small villages (less than 500 residents) are scattered in this landscape. The dominant land use systems are permanent, extensive and agro-silvo-pastoral.

The area has a high level of vulnerability, mainly due to an ageing and declining population and climate change.

Selected Value Chain

The lengthening of the carob value chain during the last decade has revived interest for the cultural impact of the tree in the area, and its innovative products and by-products.

The products have a strong connection to land use. It is mainly based on the endeavour of a local company and several mills that process the beans. The seeds, the gum and the flour by-products of carob are exported out of Crete, to national and international recipients.

Carob beans have traditionally brought complementary revenue to farmers and is an alternative to intensive farming. Carob bean processing has led to high value products mostly in the nutraceutical industry. Additionally, the use of carob gum in both pharmaceutical and biomedical industries can add to the vitality of the value chain and the semi-mountainous villages in the region.

Multi-Actor Platform (MAP) members

The Multi-Actor Platform brings together farmers who cultivate carob and farmers who harvest self-planted trees, academics with a research interest in carob, the Regional Directorates of Agriculture, Rural Development and Forestry, Carob processing plants and businesses, and carob cultural institutions and initiatives.

Publications & events

MOVING Leaflet

Article: Kick-off meeting of the Greek regional Multi-Actor Platform

Article: Participatory workshop on the carob flour value chain in Crete

Policy Brief: Carob Flour Value Chain, “Central Rethymno”

Video: MOVING: Αξιοποίηση ορεινών όγκων μέσω διασυνδεσιμότητας και πράσινης ανάπτυξης

Practice Abstract (1st set): The carob flour value chain and its sustainability in Rethymno

Article: The vulnerability and the adaptive capacity of the mountainous region in Rethymno

Video: Vulnerability and resilience of the carob value chain (GR & EN)

Article: The future of young people in Crete: sustainable development and viable agri-value chains

Article: Pessimism, the feeling of youth towards the carob flour value chain in Crete

Practice Abstract (2nd set): Responding to threats to the Cretan Carob Flour Value Chain (EN & GR)

Article: The role of carob flour in circular economy in Crete

Article: Revitalising Crete through the carob flour value chain: A community of practice approach

Final Policy Brief: Carob Flour VC “Central Rethymno”


Sofia Triliva
University of Crete

Charalampos Piteris
Region of Crete