Dodoni CEO Michalis Panagiotakis. Photo: Courtesy of Dodoni
Founded in 1963, DODONI has grown to become the number one seller of Feta in Greece and a leader in exports, shipping to over 50 countries worldwide. DODONI Feta Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) is recognized by the European Union as a traditional Greek product produced according to strict traditional methods unique to Greece, some dating back 6,000 years to the Homeric Age. DODONI CEO Michalis Panagiotakis spoke with The National Herald about the company and its delicious, high quality, authentic products from the region of Epirus, well-known for its beauty and biodiversity.
TNH: For those unfamiliar with Epirus, what makes the region so special for your company and the products you produce?
Michalis Panagiotakis: Nowadays DODONI is an integral part of Epirus, and on a daily basis produces pure products that stand out thanks to their taste, quality and incomparable authenticity. Every day we collect 100% fresh milk from thousands of partner farmers, located in over 500 villages in the greater region. A region that has its own unique beauty and rich biodiversity – where more than 2,500 unique herbs and plants can be found here.
TNH: Besides delicious Feta, what are some of the company’s other popular products?
MP: Although DODONI Feta PDO is our company’s flagship product, we can also say that all our products are recording a positive performance. Indicatively a few of them are, our DODONI Greek yoghurt, which is in a category that is constantly gaining ground, our DODONI Halloumi, a semi-hard yellow cheese we launched a few years ago, our yellow cheeses – Graviera, Kefalograviera and Kefalotyri – which stand out for their taste and quality.
TNH: How are the exports of DODONI products doing in view of the recent global supply-chain issues and are there plans to expand further?
MP: Our export operations are increasing year after year. This is particularly gratifying as we are selling our branded products in more than 50 countries around the world, with USA, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom being our main markets. Now, the key objective for us is to further expand the DODONI brand in existing markets. Alongside the latest geopolitical developments, our expectations are being redefined and the changes that will shape a new framework are accelerating. From our point of view, the perception of these challenges is multifaceted and we want to keep a balance between the cost aspect and the least possible impact on the final consumer.
TNH: As the company approaches the 60th anniversary of its founding, what has been the key to its success?
MP: DODONI’s continuous growth is based on the very strong long-term relationships we have built with the farmers in Epirus, on the establishment of the highest quality standards in dairy farming and on the respect for the natural environment. All these have helped us build and maintain a model-company that offers superior quality and true taste, using nothing but the purest ingredients and operating responsibly.
TNH: What are some of the favorite recipes using DODONI products?
MP: Besides the beloved and all-time classic Greek salad starring DODONI Feta, the tasty and healthy recipes are numerous. We could highlight though the various pies you can make with DODONI cheeses, burgers with Halloumi, and cheesecake with Strained or Lactose Free yogurt.
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