Taste the tradition
Dedicated to the production of feta cheese, Roussas Dairy uses pure, pasteurised Greek sheep & goat milk to deliver traditional, high quality products to its global customer base
Founded in 1952 by the Roussas family, Roussas Dairy has maintained the traditions of its forefathers by focusing on achieving truly authentic products through traditional methods of production. While the company today operates in a highly modern, state-of-theart production plant in Almyros, Central Greece, its high quality feta cheese is still created following the skill and mastery passed down from the family’s nomadic Sarakatsani ancestors, who for centuries roamed through the mountains of central Greece with their herds.
Following three expansions at its 10,000 square metre plant, the company’s annual capacity has grown to more than 20,000 tons of cheese annually as well as 140,000 litres of sheep/goat’s milk per shift. The latest expansion is a ten million euros project in total scheduled to be completed in early 2017, improvements at the plant also included the construction of a new packaging building, the installation of new robotic packaging lines, new automated production lines and new office premises and seminar halls; the company also over doubled the capacity of its sewage treatment plant.
Despite this progression into ultra-modern, expansive facilities, the company still views the dairy as a means to enhance the traditional methods, which result in the delivery of high calibre, world-renowned cheese. Indeed, in the present day more than 90 per cent of the company’s annual production is exported to locations such as the US, Canada, Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia and the Middle East and Far East. Retaining its name in Europe, Roussas’ products are also known as the brand Mt. Vikos in the US and Canada, Mt. Athos in Australia and Asia & Terra Aeolica (Europe, Australia).
Products available under the Roussas’ name which has a logo, proudly emblazoned with the slogan ‘ARTISAN CHEESE MAKERS’, include feta P.D.O., which is aged in tins; feta P.D.O. that is aged in wooden barrels, a traditional technique which requires the cheese to mature in specially handcrafted beech tree barrels, organic feta P.D.O., diced feta P.D.O., white cheese, spreadable cheese, yellow cheese, fresh cheese, grillable cheese, labneh and yoghurt.
With a packaging availability, ranging from vacuum packed portion sizes of 30 grams to bulk 60 kilogram wooden barrels, Roussas Dairy can correspond effectively to various consumer demands on a global market scale.
New products within the company’s portfolio include the latest entry, Roussas spread with Feta and Greek Yogurt, which is a tasteful and innovative product that was developed as an addition to the company’s wide product range. Future range additions include products that comply with latest nutritional trends such as Lactose free cheese and Low sodium cheese.
Key to Roussas’ ongoing success is the company’s belief that quality products begin with quality ingredients, in which purity plays an intrinsic part of the cheese-making process. Strongly opposed to the use of GMO’s when it comes to the production of animal feed, the company remains steadfast in the use of pure, natural milk and is proud to have adopted the principles of organic cheese production, from the very first steps of organic farming in Greece. With organic production rapidly increasing in popularity as consumers become more aware of the means in which their food is produced, dairy organic producers such as Roussas are certain to benefit from further demand. In addition to being certified as an organic cheese producer, Roussas is also involved in all aspects of animal care; in fact, the company pays attention to animal feed, nutritional requirements and veterinary practices, while the scientific personnel at the factory keep up-to-date with any new developments in the organic field.
Alongside being an organic cheese producer, Roussas also barrel ages some of its feta products and is the lead exporter of feta that matures in this traditional manner, keeping alive a centuries old maturation technique. After maturation, cheese is portioned, packed and exported to reach every consumer across the globe that loves authentic, high quality feta. This distinguished product can be found on shelves for premium quality cheeses at the special cheese corners of retail shops.
Complementing this commitment to traditional, high quality, cheese products is the fact that all packaging for Roussas’ is manufactured from premium quality materials that are mostly recyclable and environmentally friendly, ensuring the packaging will naturally decompose with time and not cause harm to both the environment or animals that live within it.
This commitment to quality and heritage has proven fruitful for Roussas, with the company winning a number of awards at the coveted, blind-tasted Great Taste 2015 awards. Judged by more than 400 of the most demanding palates, belonging to food critics, cooks, restaurateurs and chefs as well as a host of writers and journalists, the Great Taste awards is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and specialty food producers.
Winning six precious gold stars in total, the company is now able to proudly carry the little gold and black Great Taste logo on its products. When a product wears a Great Taste label it not only carries a badge of honour, but is also a signpost to a wonderful tasting product. Winning products were Roussas Barrel Aged Feta, which was awarded three stars, Roussas Organic Feta, which was awarded two stars, and Roussas Feta Cubes in EVOO with herbs, which was awarded one star. In addition to these awards, Roussas Barrel Aged Feta was also included in the 2015 Great Taste Top 50 Foods, which means the product has been part of an exhaustive judging process that defines the best 50 foods that consumers should be buying and tasting.
Having achieved major success at the Great Taste awards, Roussas is seeking to increase its international market share through the delivery of distinctive tasting products of unrivalled quality. However, although its size has increased and means of production have changed, the company remains committed to purity, flavour and quality. Because of this, Roussas Dairy S.A. is confident that the company will continue to set high standards when it comes to exceptional, fine tasting, authentic Greek dairy products for cheese connoisseurs all over the world.