History of Exports from Achaia

 

The journey with systematic exports from the Achaia region commenced around 1800. The first references however to discuss export activities date to the 15th century. By the 19th century Achaia had emerged as the currant capital (a key export product of our region to this day) since it was the largest export centre to predominantly England and France. 108,919 tonnes of currants were indicatively exported from the port of Patras during 1899 – 1900. Most of the national ports during the same period were of a mainly importing nature.

The port of Patras however, due to its advantageous geographical position, was considered to be the exit portal from the East to the West. Exports were of course not restricted to currants, since olives, fruits, pelts, etc., were included amongst the list of the region’s export goods. The first ships embarking laden with the prime and best quality currants to the large European ports were known as Primarolia ships.

Theseactivities yielded huge profits for the region’s currant producers and merchants, since they did not have to compete with other quantities of stored products. This is also the reason why all of the exporters sought to load their produce onto one or more of the Primarolia ships. The first currant crisis during the 1850s compelled many producers to personally export the currants that they themselves produced.

Competition took place within the context dictated by respect and care for product quality and in a roundabout way this is how the export culture of Achaia’s productive network developed.

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