Τhe CAP and the primary sector in the Green Deal era: EU guidelines and national planning


Smart Farming – Smart Advice: the digital catalyst for a more sustainable and competitive agriculture


Simplification and modernization for producers and public administration: the IACS in transition towards a new era


Green and Digital investments in the primary sector


Ramon Armengol completed his studies in Law from the Lleida University and has taken several courses regarding cooperative managing (Business School ESADE 2009/2010). His work aims to promote cooperatives activities as governance, engaging young farmers to the farm activity, gender policies, sustainability, rural development, international cooperation. 
He is the Chairman of the Pigmeat Board of Spanish Agrifood Cooperatives and a member of the COPA-COGECA Pigmeat Working Party. Member of the Board of the Spanish Pigmeat Interbranch Organization INTERPORC, an organization which represents farmers, cooperatives, traders and industries of the Spanish pigmeat sector focusing in innovation, communication and promotion activities being a model for the rest of the interbranch organization in Spain. He is also a Member of the Spanish Interbranch Council (representing Spanish Agrifood Cooperatives), which was set up by Spanish Ministry to discuss the improvement of agrifood organisations collaboration through interbranch organisation. Mr. Armengol is Member of the Board of the Agrifood Cooperative d’Ivars (Lleida, Spain), which has 3.616 farmers members with a turnover of about €200M, Member of the Board of the Regional Cooperative Federation of Catalunya with 321 agrifood cooperatives in this region with 22.000 farmers members and Member of the Board of the Spanish Agrifood Cooperatives - an organisation that represents the agrifood cooperatives in Spain with € 26 billion of turnover and with 1 million of members. Mr. Armengol has been managing a pig meat livestock farm since he was 20 years old, currently producing 2.500 tons of pig meat and employing 8 people. He speaks Spanish, Catalan, French and English. He was born in Lleida, Spain, he is married and has 3 children.

Born in 1961 at Cantal, France by famer parents activists in the Catholic Agricultural Youth (Jeunesse Agricole Catholique - JAC), Christiane Lambert chose the farmer’s profession very early: At 19 after obtaining a Certificate of Senior Technologists (Brevet de technicien supérieur - BTS) in the agricultural sector, she started working in a milk and pork meat production farm. She has been the President of the Young Farmers’ Center (CCJA) of Massiac (1981-1984) and then Vice-President of the Young Farmers’ Center (CDJA) of Cantal (1982-1988). She was the first President of the Regional Cetner for Young Farmers (CRJA) of Auvergne in 1986. Today Christiane and her husband Thierry, are farmers of 106 hectares of corn, wheat, barley, pea and oilseed rape, crops targeted for the breeding of the Naisseur Engraisseur pigs, with 230 sows and 3 employees. As the first woman President of the National Center of Young Farmers (CNJA), between 1994 and 1998, her activities were characterized by the National Map for the setup of young farmers which applied in the Regions, by the application of multifunctionality and the opening to concerns related to the environment and the locality. She has been the president of FDSEA of Maine-et-Loire between 2001 and 2011, Secretary General of FRSEA of Pays de la Loire from 2001 to 2014 and Office Member of the Regional Chamber of Agriculture of Pays de la Loire. Sha has been the administrator of the National Federation of Agricultural Trade Unions (Fédération Nationale des Syndicats d’Exploitants Agricoles - FNSEA) since March 2002, member of the Board of Directors since 2005, first Vice-President since December 2010 until April 2017, Vice-President of the Environment Committee, President of the Agrifood Chain Committee and responsible for the Sustainable Development and Society Pillar. She is the first female elected President of FNSEA, on 13 April 2017. Christiane LAMBERT was the President of the FARRE Network (a forum for the rational agriculture with respect to the environment) from 1999 to 2005 and President of the Lifelong Learning Fund for Farmers (VIVEA).

Mr. Christodoulos Antoniadis is a Management Advisor for Commercial and Agricultural Banking of Piraeus Bank since May 2015.

Until then he served as the Deputy CEO of Piraeus Bank, responsible for Commercial Banking and at the same time he was a member of the Executive Committee of the Group. In the past he was Member of the Board of Directors of the bank and served all its critical sectors having at times the responsibility of the areas of Loans, Network, Large Enterprises, Green Entrepreneurship, Loan Restructuring, supervision and special operation of the Bank’s agricultural policy focusing on the Contractual Agriculture while at the same time he was supervising subsidiaries «PIRAEUS LEASING S.A.», «PIRAEUS FACTORING S.A.» and «ETVA VI.PE. S.A.».

He has been working for Piraeus Bank since 1992, and previously he has worked for the Commercial Bank for 19 years. He has been member of the Board of Directors of companies of interest to the Bank, as well as of others.

He was born in 1955 in Aidonochori Serron and he is a graduate of the Law Department of the School of Law and Financial Sciences of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, as well as a graduate of the Department, with specialization in Public Law. He is married and he has two children.

Mr. George Handjinicolaou is Chairman, non-executive member, of the Board of Directors of Piraeus Bank, and serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Athens Stock Exchange (ATHEX). He is also Chairman of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation
, a non-profit foundation. Mr. Handjinicolaou has also been elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Bank Association, the non-profit legal entity that represents Greek and foreign credit institutions operating in Greece.

Mr. Handjinicolaou received his PhD in Finance from the graduate school of business at New York University, where he also earned his MBA, and holds a BS degree from the Law School at the University of Athens, Greece.

His career in the financial services sector spans over 35 years, the vast majority of which was spent at global financial institutions based in London and New York. 

Mr. Handjinicolaou held the position of Deputy CEO of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) in London for 6 years (2011-16), where he was also a member of the Board of Directors. Previously and for over 25 years, he held senior management positions in the derivatives and fixed income markets at several global financial institutions including Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and UBS in London and New York, while he started his career at the World Bank in Washington, DC.  Mr. Handjinicolaou has also leadership experience in Greece from his roles as CEO of TBANK and as Vice Chairman of the Greek Capital Market Commission. 

Svetlana Edmeades is a Senior Agriculture Economist in the World Bank. She is currently engaged in analytical and advisory work on agriculture and rural development in the EU countries and investment operations in the Western Balkans. In Greece, she leads the sector work between the Ministry of Rural Development and Food and the World Bank - the Strategic Planning for Agriculture and Rural Transformation and Action (SPARTA). Svetlana holds a PhD in Agriculture and Natural Resource Economics and before joining the World Bank in 2006 she worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington DC.

Mr. Alikviadis Alexandrou is an executive of Piraeus Bank since 2000, and he is currently General Manager for the Agribusiness Sector, a part of the Corporate & Investment Directorate General. He is responsible for the Development of Retail Agricultural Banking, the Contract Banking as well as the Centers of Agricultural Businesses and Organizations. He started his career at the National Bank of Greece, continuing his professional path at the ABN AMRO BANK and then at PRICE WATERHOUSE COOPERS. He was born in 1964 in Athens and he holds a BSc from the Athens University of Economics and Business, and a MSc on the Finance Science from the University of Southampton. He is married and has three children.

Makis Voridis was born in Athens in 1964. He graduated from Athens College and obtained a degree in Laws (LL.M.) from the University of Athens. He holds a Master of Law from the University College London (LCL), specialized in International Commercial Law. He is fluent both in English and French.

In 1992 he served in the Army, as a Cadet Reserve Officer of Artillery. He has been practicing Law in Athens for the last 30 years. He is married to Danai Michelakou, pediatrician and they have two children. In September 2007 he was elected for the first time as a member of Greek Parliament and is being re-elected until today. In November 2011, he was appointed as Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and public transportation Networks, during the coalition Government of political parties PASOK-NEW DEMOCRACY-LAOS, under Prime Minister Loukas Papadimos.

From 2012 until 2014 he was the Parliamentary Representative of Political Party “New Democracy”.

In June 2013 he was assigned as President of the Political Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

In June 2014 he was appointed Minister of Health by Prime Minister Antonios Samaras.

In January 2016, the President of political Party “New Democracy”, appointed him as Divisional Director of Internal Affairs.

Ιn July 2017 he was elected President of the Special Committee on Countering Terrorism the Parliament Assembly of OSCE.
In July 7th 2019 he was appointed Minister of Rural Development & Food by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Born in Larissa on 10-01-1972, married, with a son, he studied at the Law School of AUTh. He is an active and combative Lawyer at the Supreme Court of Larissa. Since 2005 he has been actively involved in the consumer movement as an elected president of Consumer Institute (IN.KA.) of Thessaly, as a member of the Board of Hellenic Food Authority (EFET), and as Vice President of the National Consumer and Market Council (ESKA). In 2008 and 2009 he participated in the Standing Committee on Trade of the Hellenic Parliament as a representative of consumer organizations for bills concerning consumers. In January 2015, he was elected Member of Hellenic Parliament for Larissa prefecture and was re-elected in September 2015 (Political Party ANEL). He was Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Food from November 2016 until July 2019. In July 2019, he was elected Member of Hellenic Parliament for Larissa prefecture (Political Party SYRIZA). He served as Deputy Head of SYRIZA division for rural development.

Deputy Head of the party for agricultural issues in general.

Mr. Alexandros Kontos was born in Xanthi in 1960. He is a graduate of the Higher Industrial School of Thessaloniki and the Vocational and Technical Teacher Training Academy (SELETE) of Thessaloniki. He holds a MSc. From the Aegean University on Agriculture and the Environment. He is a member of the Economic Chamber of Greece. Since 1982 he was a senior management executive of companies that process agricultural products. In 1989 he started working the Factory Director of Xanthi for the Cooperative Union of the Greek Tobacco Producers (SEKE S.A.) one of the biggest in terms of exports and most profitable tobacco companies in Greece. Between 2004 and 2009 he served as the Deputy Minister and Minister of Rural Development and Food, while between 2000 and 2015 he was elected six times Member of Parliament of Xanthi with New Democracy. He was a member of the Parliament’s Constant Committee on Production and Trade, the body responsible on topics of the Ministry of Development and Investments, the Ministry of Environment and Energy, the Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy, the Ministry of Rural Development and Food and the Ministry of Tourism. He participated in the Parliament’s Constant Committee on National Defense and Foreign Affairs, the body responsible on topics of the Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 2009 until today he is the General Director of SEKE S.A., substantially contributing to the development of the company. He is President of the Association of Agricultural Cooperative Organizations and Enterprises of Greece (SASOEE), the largest agricultural association representing more than 120 cooperative organizations. From 2013 until today he is the Administrator of the SEKE Kardajali and SEKE Dooel Prilep companies and from 2017 until today the Administrator of SEKE Elbasan. From 2018 until today he is the Representative – Administrator of the Cooperative, Commercial and Export Company C.TEΙΚΕ. He has an extremely rich knowledge and experience on agricultural topics, as his whole professional and political path was and still is connected to the agricultural sector. He is the author of many articles on economic and agricultural content for journals and newspapers in Greece and abroad.

Ioannis Mavroudis is the CEO of GAIA EPICHEIREIN since 2018. A founding member and shareholder of NEUROPUBLIC S.A., he was the CEO of NEUROPUBLIC from 2003 - when the company was founded - until 2018. Ioannis Mavroudis was born in Piraeus. He studied Management in the American College of Greece and he holds a BSc in Master Science, Major in Management. He also holds a MSc. “Global Master In Management”. Between 1998 and 2003 he was the Export Manager of Emporiki Group, being responsible for the development of the company’s exports network in 26 countries. He has a long experience in the informatics sector, having participated in the implementation of several big budget projects, as well as significant specialization in projects related to the modernization of the primary sector.He is a member of the Alumni Association of the American College of Greece, AWS, CEO CLUB and until 2014 he was a member of the Digital Governance Committee of SEPE – the Federation of Hellenic Information Technology & Communications’ Enterprises. He speaks English, German and Spanish. He is married and has a son and a daughter.

Tassos Haniotis is Director for "Strategy, Simplification and Policy Analysis" in the DG for Agriculture and Rural development of the European Commission. During his 30-year career in the European Commission he has also held posts as Acting Director for Direct Payments, Head of Unit in the Agricultural Policy Analysis and Perspectives Unit and the Agricultural Trade Policy Analysis Unit in DG AGRI, as Deputy Head of Cabinet of former European Commissioner for Agriculture Franz Fischler, and as Agricultural Counsellor in the European Commission’s Delegation in the US.
Tassos holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of Georgia in the U.S., and a B.A. in Economics from the Athens University of Economics and Business in his native Greece, and was a visiting Fellow at the Centre for European Agricultural Studies, Wye College, University of London.
A member of the Executive of the International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium during 2012-14, Tassos currently represents the European Commission in the G20's Rapid Response Forum, which he will Chair in 2020-21.

Director, MSc Agricultural Science - Dep. Crop & Environmental Innovation; SEGES

Head of Crop Innovation in SEGES since 2014. SEGES is a National Research an Innovation Center owned by The Danish Agriculture & Food Council and thus the Danish farmers. SEGES has more than 600 employees of witch 75 work in the Dep. Crop & Environmental Innovation.  We do innovation, research - and develop solutions within the crop production area and the environmental impact of crop production.  

Georgios Georgantas is Deputy Minister of Digital Governance, Responsible for topics on the Simplification of Procedures and member of Parliament for the Prefecture of Kilkis. He studied at the Law School of the Democritus University of Thrace, and has been practicing law since 1992. He was elected Member of Parliament in May 2012, and was re-elected in June of the same year as well as in the elections of January and September 2015 and July 2019. From February 2016 to July 2019 he was appointed Head of Administrative Reconstruction of New Democracy, by the party’s President, Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis. In November 2014, he was appointed Deputy Minister of Education, Religions and Lifelong Learning by the Prime Minister Mr. Antonis Samaras. He has an active parliamentary presence, having participated in various parliamentary committees, such as the Standing Committee on Public Administration, Public Order and Justice, while he has played a key role as a member of the Inquiring Committee on the investigation of scandals in the field of Health during the years 1997-2014, and the Special Parliamentary Committee for conducting a preliminary examination, in accordance with the decision of the Plenary Session of the Parliament taken during the meeting of 21 February 2018, regarding the NOVARTIS case.

Giannis Maniatis holds a diploma in Rural and Surveying Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, and a PhD in Engineering. Since 1995, he was Associate Professor of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and since 2002 he is an Associate Professor of the University of Piraeus. He is a Visiting Professor of the University of Bonn, Institute of Financial Geography. Director of the Postgraduate Program “Climate Crisis and Information and Communication Technologies”, and Director of the Laboratory “Systems and Policies of Environment and Energy”.


Political and Societal Activity

-          MP of Argolida (2014 – 2019)

-          Minister and Undersecretary of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (2009 – 2015)

-          Secretary General of the Ministry of Transport and Communications (1998 – 2001).


Academic Activity

He has taught at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the University of Bonn and the University of Piraeus, both Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses:

-          Environmental Mentoring and Climate Change

-          Geographic Information Systems (G.I.S.)

-          Natural Resources and Integrated Development

-          Structural Policies of the European Union

-          Land Uses and Values

-          Systems and Policies of Environment and Energy

-          Digital Entrepreneurship and management of Technological Innovation

Manos Sdrakas is a graduate of the Department of Agriculture, School of Geotechnical Sciences of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. In 2001 he started working as an agronomist and in 2005 he founded Novaplan, a company providing agricultural advisory services and developing systems for Integrated Management (AGRO, GLOBALGAP, TN), quality (ISO 9001), food safety   (ISO 22000, IFS, BRC), work safety and ethics (ISO 18001, SEDEX, GRASP), and environment (ISO 14001). He is a certified agricultural advisor and has a long experience as an agricultural advisor. He has worked as a trainer of the geotechnical Chamber of Greece on topics of Integrated Management application and other international standards. He has attended a high number of seminars on topics of certification and integrated management.


Ioannis Chaniotakis is a Senior Director of the Agricultural Sector Operations Development at Piraeus Bank. He holds a PhD in Business Management, a MSc. in Agricultural Economics specialized in the Marketing of Agricultural Products and Food, and a Bachelor in Agronomy, with specialization in Agricultural Economics. He has a professional experience of more than 25 years in the banking sector, in the fields of Marketing, Retail and Agricultural Banking. He has a significant experience in the development of new banking products, as well as on topics regarding the development and the financing of the agricultural sector and value chains. He has also participated in research projects and has taught as a visiting professor on topics related to marketing, in both post-graduate and under-graduate programmes of Greek universities. His research work has been published in international academic journals and presented in international conferences.

He is a graduate of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens and holds a PhD from the same institution. He was the co-founder and member of two Greek technology companies that follow until today their successful path. Facilitating the technological tools of informatics and the methodology of a mechanic, he has designed and developed systems for telecommunications, the defense industry, the operational processes, the knowledge management and the agricultural automations. He is currently the President of NEUROPUBLIC S.A., focusing on the Research and Innovation of Technologies. As NEUROPUBLIC’s President he has significantly contributed to the conception, the design and the implementation of information and technology solutions, making the company one of the most dynamic and reliable in the field of innovative technologies, both in Greece and abroad.

Since 2017, Mr. Belcapo is the national Technical Manager of Coldiretti’s* Farmers’ Support Centers, responsible for the organization and coordination of the 1,400 employees  of 623 local offices all over the country, as well as for liaising with the Italian national and regional paying agencies, in the context of the processes for the allocation of EU and national aids.

Since 2013 he is the responsible of Coldiretti’s Farmers’ Support Centers’ in terms of organic farming activities in the context of the Rural Development Programme (RDP), namely on the Organics Information System (S.I.B.)

He is an active member of the Planning Committee on Risk Management in Agriculture, of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies (DEPARTMENT OF EUROPEAN AND INTERNATIONAL POLICIES AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT).

Since 2018, he is Coldiretti’s responsible for the implementation of “satellite monitoring”, in collaboration with the AGEA Paying Agency, according to Article 40bis of EC 746/2018 Regulation.

Since 2019 he represents Coldiretti’s Farmers’ Support Centers in the NIVA "New IACS Vision In Action" project, which aims to identify solutions for the transformation of IACS in a tool that facilitates the management and access of European farmers to the aids of the future CAP.

In 2007 he was the expert participating on behalf of Italy in the study regarding the “administrative burdens resulting from the CAP reform in Italy”, which was ordered by the Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission.

 *With one million members, Coldiretti is the largest agricultural organization of Italy and represents the agricultural entrepreneurs of the country at national and international level.

Kostas Giannopoulos was born on November 30th, 1976. He has a diploma in Economics from the faculty of Law and Economic Sciences of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

▪ Economics department of SOCOTAB S.A. (summer of 2003)

▪ Economics department of EAS Kilkis as cooperation and insurances manager (April 2006-October 2007)

▪ Vice-president of OPEKEPE (Subsides Organization of Agriculture Development Ministry) (October 2007 until March 2010)

▪ Deputy president of OPEKEPE (September 2009-March 2010)
▪ General manager of EASTH SA (April 2010-today).

Activities / Hobbies / Honors

▪ Professional footballer 1998-2000 (Kilkisiakos F.C.)

▪ Member of the cultural committee of Gallikos City (2002-2006)

▪ Founding committee member of the union of Thracian associations of Kilkis State.

▪ President of the cultural association EXEDOROS

▪ Elected departmental advisor at the prefectural elections of 2006

▪ President of the culture, sports and youth organization of the prefecture of Kilkis (2006-2010)

Chairman of the tourism promotion and development of Kilkis (2006-2010)

▪ Kilkis city board president (November 2009-December 2010)

▪ Elected councilor Kilkis in the elections of October 2010

▪ City council president Kilkis (January 2013-August 2014)

▪ Vice president of development Kilkis (ANKI) from January 2013 to August 2014.

Candidate for vice district commissioner of Kilkis at the elections in May 2014, elected regional councilor

Mr Giannopoulos is married and has two children. He speaks Greek and English.

For the last 20 years, Mr. Dimitris Kapnias has been specialized in the field of geoinformatics. In the long path of his professional activity he has worked in positions of responsibility and as a technical advisor in the private sector and for International Organizations. Following his professional experience as a Scientific Officer (DG_JRC) in the Department of agricultural policy of the European Commission, his current position as a Senior Executive of GAIA EPICHEIREIN S.A. focuses on ICT applications and services in the agricultural sector. Since 2014, his basic responsibility is the management of the contract regarding the «Supporting farmers to complete and submit the Integrated Aid Application to IACS» in the context of the agricultural aids of the European Union. He is also working on the analysis of new geoinformatics applications and services in agriculture. In this context, he is in charge of monitoring the European legislation regarding the agricultural aids and the activities regarding the rural development representing the company in international fora. He also participates in business programmes and contributes to the preparation of proposals of project as well as in the development of studies for achieving the strategic goals of the company.

I work in the Unit of Implementation Support and IACS within the European Commission’s Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development. Responsible for a team within the Unit, I provide support to Member States in the implementation of Direct Payments schemes, in particular as regards IACS, and in the facilitation of the digitization and use of new technologies in the administration of agricultural policy. Actively involved in the CAP reform, I provide support to Member States in their preparation of the future CAP Strategic Plans.I obtained the Biology degree from the University of Athens in 2007 and the Master and PHD degrees in Biology from the University of Grenoble in France in 2012. I joined the European Commission in 2017, where, since 2018 I work in the IACS Unit in the Directorate of Sustainability and Income Support.

Profession: Team Leader – Implementation Support - Unit of Implementation Support and IACS - Directorate of Sustainability and Income Support - DG AGRI 

Christos Barlias, Vice President, GAIA EPICHEIREIN SA, President, Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Corinthia

John Pazios is the General Manager of the Messinia Union Agricultural Cooperative & CEO of Agricultural Union S.A. – Agricultural Advisory Services. He has managed the IACS Project between 2016 and 2020, serving an average of 23.000 producers per year, operating a network of 23 Farmers’ Service Centers and employing a staff consisting of about 60-80 employees. He is 36 years old, and holds a BSc in Geography from the University of the Aegean, Mytilene Campus. He has worked as a Company Advisor in a company that he holds until today, and as an external associate of an Information Systems Company. Mr. Pazios is responsible for the operation of the Apiculture Center of Peloponnese, based in Kalamata. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the SUSTAINOLIVE project and member of the Local Management team of the CLLD/LEADER 2014 – 2020 project in Messinia. He is also a member of the Audit Committee of the Hellenic Blockchain Node and the Organizing Committee of Innovation Hackathons (Crowdhackathon). Last, he is responsible of OPENTOURISM Kalamata for the Non-Profit Laboratory of Business Culture Mataroa.org

President of Cajamar Caja Rural*. 

Born in Villalba (Lugo), he is an agronomist and has a master's degree in European Communities from the Universidad Politecnica of Madrid.

In 1992 he joined the Confederación de Cooperativas Agroalimentarias de España, a year later he moved to Brussels and since 1996 he was director of the Cooperativas Agro-alimentarias de España office in Brussels.  During that period he was also the administrator of CCAE Calidad and held various positions of responsibility in the European Confederation of Agricultural Cooperatives (COGEGA), an organization of which he was appointed president in 1993. 

In 2000 he returned to Madrid when he was appointed General Director of Cooperativas Agro-alimentarias de España, a responsibility he held for 15 years.

In 2014 he joined the Board of Directors of Banco de Crédito Cooperativo, being a member of its Executive Committee, chairman of the Audit Committee and member of the Appointments and Remuneration Committee. In 2016 he was elected president of Cajamar, a responsibility he carries out after being re-elected by the General Assembly held on June 25, 2020.

 *Cajamar is the leading rural savings bank and the lending cooperative in Spain. It has 1.4 million partners and 3.4 million customers. It’s integrated and is the first shareholder of Grupo Cooperativo Cajamar, leader of Spanish cooperative banking. Grupo Cajamar has more than 1.100 branches and agencies, and more than 5.500 employees and agents.

Mr. Athanasios Vlachopoulos is Director General of Corporate and Investment Banking of Piraeus Bank, with areas of responsibility including Financing of Large Businesses, Development and Sustainable Banking, Transaction Banking, Consortium Loans and Piraeus Factoring. He has more than 20 years of experience in the financial sector, and in the past he held positions of responsibility in Barclays Bank, HSBC PLC, BNP Paribas and ATEBank. He has also been a Member of Board of various banks.

He was born on 24/8/1970 in Thessaloniki. In 1988 he graduated from the “German School” of Thessaloniki and in 1992 he obtained an MSc on “Production and Management Engineering” from the University of Manchester, Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), UK. He fluently speaks English (Proficiency) and German (Abitur) and has advanced knowledge of French and Spanish. He is the Executive Vice President of the «Redestos – Efthymiadis Agrotechnology Group” Board of Directors, and CEO of various companies of the Efthymiadis Group, which for the last 80 years is actively engaged in agrifood (inputs and supplies, laboratory quality analyses of food and beverages, production and sales of fresh agricultural products) in Greece, Balkans and many more countries. Since 1998 he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Greek Seed Trade Association (EEPES), and since February 2016 he holds the position of the President. Since 2005 he is also a member of the Board of the Federation of Industries of Greece and since 2009 he is also a member of its 7-member Management Committee. Last, since October 2016 he is a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Farming School of Thessaloniki. He is married to the lawyer Katerina Gkratziou, they have two boys and live in Thessaloniki.

George Zalides is a graduate of the Department of Agriculture of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, with PhD studies at the Department of Soil Science and postdoctoral studies at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the Michigan State University (USA).

He is the Director of the Laboratory ‘’Remote Sensing, Spectroscopy and Geographic Information Systems’, Professor of Soil Pollution and Degradation, Department of Agriculture of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and Director of the Interbalkan Environment Center (i-BEC) since 2007. In the positions of responsibility that he held until today he has applied standards and Total Quality Management principles with validated administrative results.

His research interests focus on topics such as the use of Earth Observation data for the provision of  related services, both in the sectors of social benefit of GEO (Group on Earth Observation), and in the Sustainability Goals of the United Nations, implementing the corresponding services with the use of protocols and standardized methodologies of GEO, the development of corresponding spectral libraries, necessary for the monitoring and management of agricultural and natural ecosystems, based on the NEXUS approach (safety of food, water, energy and public health). In addition, his research activities apply to the circular economy sector, through the development of protocols for carbon footprint in the agrifood sector, composting, and the cultivation of microweeds at large scale.

His involvement in the total quality management in University and research institutes, as well as know-how transfer organizations, in all the administrative positions that he has served at national and international level, including the Council of the Authority of Quality Assurance and Certification in Higher Education, has provided him with the administrative experience and the skills to manage such Institutes and Organizations. He has served as special expert and national representative in international committees, as well as member of national and international committees and councils, and visiting Professor at US Universities.  His vision is the increase of competitiveness and the economic development, through the transformation of scientific knowledge in politic, through the involvement of academic and research institutes, and know-how transfer organizations with SMEs, for the efficient transfer of know-how and finding the appropriate solutions, with assurance and certification of all processes involved.

Konstantinos Kiltidis was born in the Kilkis Prefecture on February 7 1956.

He graduated from the Medical School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and specialized as a Family General Doctor at the Regional Hospital of Thessaloniki “G. Papanikolaou”. He is fluent in French and has served as a Reserve Health Officer between 1981and 1983.

He worked as a doctor at the Health Center of Alexandreia Imathias between 1986 and 2000, reaching the position of Director of the National Health System. He also served as the President of the General Hospital of Kilkis between 1991 and 1993.

He was elected a MP of Kilkis Prefecture between 2000 and 2012. In 2007, he was appointed by the Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis as Undersecretary of Rural Development and Food, a position he held until 2009.

He served as an advisor of the 4th Administrative Health Region of Macedonia-Thrace between 2012 and 2016.

He was the Vice-President of the Hellenic Society of General / Family Medicine between 1986 and 1991, Chairman of the Greek Parliament’s Inter-Party Committee against drugs between 2004 and 2007 and member of various Parliamentary Committees.

From September 2016 until today, he is the President of the Agrifood Partnershio of the Central Macedonia Region, with the participation of 18 Scientific, Professional, Local Government Organizations of the Central Macedonia Region.