Indigenous Greek Black Pig

The Fotiadis family has been inextricably connected to livestock farming for over a century. Since 1925, the refugee great-grandfather Fotiadis started the indigenous Greek Black pig breeding, so the love of land and the passion for pig-farming were inherited from generation to generation.

The indigenous Greek black pig is an ancient inhabitant of the Mediterranean. It is a domesticated breed and not a wild boar, even though they are similar in appearance, and it is considered an endangered species along with other native animal breeds.

According to archaeological findings, traces of its breed in the Greek territory date back to 5,500 BC as domestic indigenous Greek black pig’s bones were found in Sitagrous, Drama. It is even speculated that it is the first farmed pig of Europe. This fact amazed the Fotiadi’s Farm so it was considered its duty to be occupied again with our national pig.

Indigenous Greek black pigs breeding of Olympus is semi-extensive as the 5-month-old animals are raised free in a winter pasture of 300 acres until they become 11 months old. This way, they are highly differentiated from the conventional intensive pig-farming. While the conventional pig gives birth to 12-14 piglets, the indigenous Greek black pig gives birth only to seven. In contrast to the conventional pig which is utilized at the age of 5 months and weight of 110 kg, the indigenous Greek black pig is utilized at the age of 11 months and weight of 100kg.

The history and the passion for diversification of the product made an innovation in the indigenous Greek black pig’s meat of Olympus, including our national fruit in its feeding, the olive. Feeding with olive provides the meat with additional value not only in flavor, because of olive’s intense scents, but also in its nutritional value. According to analyses, its especially increased omega3-omega6 fatty acids content was ascertained. Whereas the conventional pig has 0.08 omega3-omega6, the indigenous Greek black pig fed with olive has 4.58. It also contains more protein and iron as well as less intramuscular fat so we can see that it creates meat with high nutritional value.

Fotiadi’s Farm protected with the European patent the method of olive feeding, by the Industrial Property Organization in 2014 and submitted an application form for the worldwide patent in 2015.

Indigenous Greek black pig’s meat fed with olive seed was given exceptional assessments by 28 distinguished food tasters and special scientists. They appreciated the secrets, appearance, flavor and scents of the exquisite meat. The high evaluations of well-known professionals among three blind samples went beyond any expectation.

One of the elements that each food should have is the legend and the indigenous Greek black pig has a great benefit on that because it is the kind of pig which Evmeos had, Odysseus loyal swineherd. It is the kind of pig which was bred in Macedonia in 334 BC when Alexander the Great created probably the biggest slaughterhouse of the ancient times in order to feed his 50,000 soldiers before their expedition towards the East.

The indigenous Greek black pig of Olympus is a native treasure which lays inside our cellular and historical memory.

1925. The Fotiadis family, coming from Pontus, is occupied with the indigenous Greek black pig breeding.

1996. The fourth generation of the family’s stock breeders gives up the indigenous Greek black pig breeding and focuses on wild boar breeding.

2010. Fotiadi’s Farm participates in the European program “Qubic”, which is about the dissemination and maintenance of the Mediterranean indigenous Greek black pig. Our country is represented by Anagnostis Argiriou, Institute of Applied Bioscience researcher, CERTH. Spain, France, Corse, N. Italy, Sicily.

2011. Under the suggestion of CERTH, 11 certified sows were bought, whose DNA is like the ancient indigenous Greek black pig’s and the Fotiadis family is occupied again with the traditional indigenous Greek black pig breeding.

2013. A Two-day Scientific Conference on indigenous Greek black pig is held in cooperation with the Minister of Rural Development Mr. Tsaftaris Athanasios, the management board of the supermarket AB Vasilopoulos and the Association of indigenous Greek black pig Breeders.

2014 January After some searching for the diversification of flavor and characteristics of the meat, olive becomes part of the indigenous Greek black pig’s feeding. The experimental breeding starts in cooperation with Aristotle University Professors Mr. Giannena Ilias and Mrs. Tzika Eleni as well as with CERTH Dr. Anagnostis Argiriou. It is completed in 5 months.

2014 May. An organoleptic assessment of the indigenous Greek black pig’s meat special fed with olive, compared to the indigenous Greek black pig and the conventional pork is carried out. It is held under the supervision of AUTH Professor Amvrosiadis Ioannis and CERTH Professor Anagnostis Argiriou, in which 28 specialized chefs, food tasters and food writers participated. The results were exceptional and the indigenous Greek black pig’s meat fed with olive stood out among 3 blind samples.

2014 August. A special analysis made by CERTH ascertains that the existence of omega3-omega6 fatty acids in special-fed indigenous Greek black pig’s fat is 58 times higher than the conventional pork.

2014 November. The invention of special feeding with olive is submitted to IPO.

2015. An application form for the worldwide protection of the patent for the feeding method with olive is submitted.