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