The background of “SYKIKI” was substantially initialized in the year 1929, when, the Greek State established the “Office for Protection of Greek Figs”.
The aim of establishing this office at that time was to study and apply scientific means in the expansion of the production of dried figs.
By means of a new legislatory act in 1934, the office was assigned broader responsibilities, which connected it in a more efficient way to the productive process of dried figs. At that time, the first six sterilizing facilities were established by the State.
“SYKIKI” makes its appearance in 1935, when it was established from various unions and cooperatives of fig growers in Messinia and Lakonia.
In 1952, the above mentioned “Office for the Protection of Greek Figs” was dissipated and its whole property devolved to “SYKIKI”, which starting from that year on initialized its course, which has been successfully continued until today.
Local Contribution of "Sykiki"
About 4,000 households in the prefectures of Messinia, Lakonia and Arkadia are actively engaged in the cultivation, packaging and distribution of figs.
Undoubtedly, for many years now, the contribution of “SYKIKI” in the local economy has been enormous.
The Cooperative “SYKIKI” has been listening to the steps of progress and has been adapting itself to the requirements of modern times.
The support from the fig growers, the modern organization and the modernization of infrastructure, guarantee the continuation of its successful course in time.
The basic values lie in ensuring the quality and maintaining the good reputation of the Greek dried fig in a global level.
The Fig Fruit
Figs have been a basic part of human nutrition for the last 3,000 years. The fig fruit was an article of first necessity for ancient Mediterranean civilizations and an integral part of their diet, occasionally substituting even bread.
It has been the favourite fruit and a basic element of Greek nutrition since ancient times, since it comprised the basic nourishment for Olympic Games’ athletes, but at the same time, it was connected to the worship of Dionysus, Dimitra and the hellenic “feast of Pythagorea”.
The fig fruit, besides being nourishing was also a symbolic fruit as it symbolized prosperity, fertility, knowledge and unity.
In ancient Athens, figs were ranked first in preference, and, of course, first in cultivation. Their export was strictly prohibited and a penalty was imposed on those who exported them illegally.
The ones who accused an infringer of this kind received a reward and were named “detractors”. Later on, nevertheless, this adjective took the negative meaning of slanderer.
The fig fruit occupies an equally special place in Mythology, but also, later, in the Turkish Occupation Era.
The Fig Tree
In Ancient Greece, the fig tree was considered to be a sacred tree. According to history, one of the main reasons which forced the Persian king Xerxis to attempt to concur Greece were its famous figs, especially Attica figs.
Homer is reciting Ulysses, who, in order to convince his father Laertis that he was his true son, reminded him of the fact that he had received from him “forty figs”.
In the years 1930 – 1935 the fig tree cultivation boom takes place, in Southern Peloponnese region, where export of dried figs to the European countries and to the United States takes place. At this era, fig production plants existed in 6 communities of the prefecture Messinia.
In the years to follow, the cultivation of the fig tree was rather slowly being replaced by that of the olive tree. Due to the above fact, combined with the rather adverse climate conditions which prevailed and the migration by the rural population to urban centers, lead to a decrease of the production.