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Society

Kyriakos Filippou, Co-Founder of FAGE Dairy Company Has Died, 82

ATHENS – Kyriakos Filippou who co-founded the FAGE dairy company with his brother Giannis in the 1960s passed away on April 19 at the age of 82, Kathimerini reported.

The cause of death was not released. The funeral will be held April 20.

Greek Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis was among those who sent condolences to the family.

“Kyriakos and Giannis Filippou took over their father’s dairy shop in Patisia, central Athens, and turned into an international company with presence in 44 countries,” Kathimerini reported, adding that “as of 2012, the company is headquartered in Luxembourg.”

The name FAGE is an abbreviation in Greek of the Filippou Brothers Dairy Company (Filippou Adelphoi Galaktokomikes Epicheiriseis), Kathimerini reported, noting that the company’s products include its world-famous yogurt, desserts, milk, cream, and cheeses.

Filippou’s daughter, Elena Filippou-Koumandarou, said: "He was an authentic gentleman, just and dignified, who in a few words, but wisely, inspired the trust of all who knew him. He was a natural leader, visionary and innovator, ahead of his time. His pioneering and progressive thinking, but also his courage, ethos, will, optimism, and discipline were the core of his personality and the driving forces of his brilliant course. He was a rock of composure! Anger, he liked to say, is a bad counselor. He worked hard and tirelessly in his life, with the discipline of the scientist, the courage of the visionary and the psychic strength of the fighter. A man so creative, but also so balanced, he touched and inspired many lives in the world – a world that always approached with courage for the present and optimism for the future.”

The announcement of the company

“Kyriakos Filippou passed away yesterday. A pioneer, visionary who changed the food industry in Greece and brought the name of FAGE to the ends of the world. A scientist, a just employer, a generous, eternal explorer of the best, he leaves behind a legacy of ethics in business.”

Kyriakos Filippou together with his brother Giannis continued the family business that started from a dairy in 1922 at 213 Patision and after 1974 developed into an industrial giant. The first FAGE factory opened in Galatsi in 1964 and after 1975 came the factory in Metamorfosi with which the company perfected the standardization of yogurt preparation, which radically changed the Greek market. This made the yogurt have a consistent taste and a longer shelf life.

Kyriakos Filippou studied chemical engineering and was the first in Greece to find a way to inactivate yogurt so that it can be standardized and last longer. He was also the first to introduce to the Greek market in the 80's strained yogurt made with cream, FAGE’s leading product, Total.

In 1981, exports to the European market began, while in 1990 the company expanded to the American market. In 1991, FAGE entered the cheese market, producing mainly traditional Greek cheese, while in 1993 it entered the fresh milk market. In 2000, the third generation of the Filippou family took over the management of FAGE.

Kyriakos Filippou was the honorary chairman of the Board of Directors of FAGE Greece for life, while he was the senior executive director of FAGE Greece and its chairman from 1989 to 2005.

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