Agricultural Cooperative of Rachi Pieria “Agios Loukas” (AC Rachi) Greece – Coordinator

The Agricultural Cooperative of Rachi Pieria “AgiosLoukas” was founded in 1978 to initially operate as an administrative committee whose object was to create a cherry grove for its members. In cooperation with the local departments of the Prefecture in 1979-80, the Cooperative launched a pilot project involving the planting of a cherries grove of 350 thousand square meters (approx. 86.5 acres), which won the Cooperative a prize by the Ministry of Agriculture. This pilot project was very successful and the entire area became known on account of the new and dynamic product, the product’s quality and the cooperative nature of the particular cultivation. Until 1990 the entire annual crop – 300 to 450 tons of cherries – was allocated to exports in Europe, which improved to the country’s foreign trade balance.

Today the A.C of Rachi Pieria “AgiosLoukas” numbers over 100 members while its cherry grove has expanded to 1,100 thousand sq. meters (approx. 271.8 acres). In 2007 the Cooperative was granted preliminary recognition as a Producers’ Organization with the designation P.O. “AGIOS LOUKAS” of Rachi Pieria with the aim to carry out a 4-year investment plan of 3,7 million Euros. The investment involves the expansion of the building installations, the modernization of the cooling chambers, the installation of a Hydrocooler, and the installation of an electronic sorting line per size and color of cherries (GP Graders/Australia).
The capacity of this equipment is 4 tons per hour.

Also, the investment plan included the replacement of old cherry trees and the installation of a modern system for the protection of the trees from torrential rain. The new investment not only maintained but also increased the quality of the product, offered new capabilities for standardization, improved the organization of production, increased the Cooperative’s turnover and made this blessed region popular with visitors in the broader area.

Regarding cultivation, production, standardization, and marketing of the “Agios Loukas” Cooperative cherries, which are marketed under the brand name “Cherries of Rachi Olympus”, the policy of the Cooperative is to show full respect to the producer as well as to the consumer and the environment. The cultivation of cherries is controlled by the cooperation and the cultivation cares and sprays with nutrition are performed after the advice of the supervisor agronomist and technical consultant, who in cooperation with the Administrative Council and the producer-members propose and implement the bestsolutions for crop protection and nutrition of cherries. The formulations are supplied by the cooperative as a whole their disposal to the members takes place via sms to qualify each application at the appropriate time, with appropriate weather conditions and appropriate preparation.

Each year old trees are replaced by new ones, according to plans, while new cultivars are also planted (e.g. Sweet Early, Burlat, C1, Early Star, Grace Star, Black Star, Crunchy Vasileiades, Lapins, Ferrovia and Sweet Heart). These cultivars are distinguished for their quality characteristics and increased yield.


Sustainable production practices

The aim of the organization is to create and implement a new farming practice to reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers, while adapting farming techniques to the new realities of Climate Change. As a result, safer fruits of better quality will be delivered to factories, which will also help them reduce the use of other inputs, like energy, water etc.

Some of the sustainable practices that the members of the organization are implementing during the whole production process are

• do not use chemical pesticides,
• recycling organic waste,
• use naturally occurring pest replant that are non-toxic
• Are familiar that the new innovative techniques can also accelerate the process of reducing
• dependency on pesticides
• use quality seeds for plant varieties
• Improved compliance with environmental regulations and better ability to adapt to new
• regulations
• Improved overall environmental impact

All members of Cooperative “Agios Loukas” operate highly sophisticated wastewater treatment inside their facilities, recycle water used in various parts of processing, deposit solid residues of wastewater treatment to facilities that treat them further to produce organic fertilizers.


 Based in the heart of Greece, Rachi Pierias is a hidden gem located in the Pieria Prefecture of Central Macedonia, and offers an enchanting blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and a rich cultural heritage.

 Geographically, Rachi Pierias benefits from its proximity to both the Aegean Sea and the towering Mount Olympus, often referred to as the 'Home of the Gods' in Greek mythology.

 As you move inland, you'll encounter a rich tapestry of history and culture. The region is home to several historical sites, including the ancient city of Dion, which was a significant religious center in antiquity. Visitors can explore the archaeological park, which features well-preserved ruins and the remains of a theater, temples, and baths. Dion is also closely associated with the worship of the ancient Greek gods, making it a place of particular interest for mythology enthusiasts.

 Nature lovers will find the natural wonders of Rachi Pierias captivating. The imposing Mount Olympus, the highest peak in Greece, provides a spectacular backdrop to the region. Hiking and mountain biking trails lead adventurers through forests, gorges, and meadows filled with wildflowers. This area is teeming with diverse flora and fauna, and birdwatchers will be delighted by the variety of species that choose Rachi Pierias as their home.

 Regarding to the climate the summer months in Rachi Pierias is warm and sunny , the spring and autumn are typically mild and pleasant, while the winter has a cooler and wetter weather.