Observatory

Observatory of Green Businesses

Riverland Dairy Bio Farm

Eco tourism

Running successfully from 2004, Riverland Bio Farm is the first of its kind in Cyprus. The business breeds goats, sheep and other animals while producing animal based products, such as eggs haloumi-a local cheese delicacy and other, while growing vegetables. Everything here is bred and raised organic and this includes both the material and the practices used.

 

Riverland occupies a little more than 25 hectares and is based a little outside of the capital-Nicosia. The animals here are well looked after. A combination of factors, sanctioned by independent certification bodies approved by the EU, ensures that the farm can consistently deliver high quality organic milk and meat, free from chemical and antibiotic substances. These factors include a mixture of state of the art technology, hygienic practices, free grazing, constant care and a low animal population per square meter. In essence, the farm aims at minimizing the need for medical intervention by establishing preventative actions.

Among the distinctions it received, is the first place prize in both, innovation in the primary sector by the Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and industry, as well as that of better investment in the European programme of agricultural development. Yet Riverland-which supplies its product through a vast range of organic shops, is much more than a bio farm. It organizes activities such as workshops-including food preparation, festivals that include pony rides, archery, climbing, arts, crafts, a great deal of family farm fun in the countryside and more. It also operates a small cafe that helps the revenue stream along.

Riverland occupies a little more than 25 hectares and is based a little outside of the capital-Nicosia. The animals here are well looked after. A combination of factors, sanctioned by independent certification bodies approved by the EU, ensures that the farm can consistently deliver high quality organic milk and meat, free from chemical and antibiotic substances. These factors include a mixture of state of the art technology, hygienic practices, free grazing, constant care and a low animal population per square meter. In essence, the farm aims at minimizing the need for medical intervention by establishing preventative actions.

Among the distinctions it received, is the first place prize in both, innovation in the primary sector by the Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and industry, as well as that of better investment in the European programme of agricultural development. Yet Riverland-which supplies its product through a vast range of organic shops, is much more than a bio farm. It organizes activities such as workshops-including food preparation, festivals that include pony rides, archery, climbing, arts, crafts, a great deal of family farm fun in the countryside and more. It also operates a small cafe that helps the revenue stream along.

Size of business

Riverland is a five member family business, which occupies about 25 hectares.

Supports

A governmental grant that covered 50% of initial expenses.

Opportunities and plans for the future

The recent jump-start on green and eco products in Cyprus shimmers hope. Green doesn’t necessary mean big.  It means more not losing touch with what you wanted to do and why while living the small joys of green life that get you through all the hustles. This means that, as far as smaller scale endeavors are concern, the time is ripe.

A budding consumer public is now more willing to spend a bit more on bio products and animals raised in a more ecofriendly manner. Accompanying this is the shift towards a cultural touristic return to past practices and developing the countryside.

Visits to the farm are increasing day by day, adding revenue and enabling further investments to be made. The managing director is a seasoned vet bent on expanding organic practices well outside the scope of Riverland. This translates into Riverland looking more and more as a green institution rather than only a business. Capitalizing on its success, the business is in the brink of expansion by setting up accommodation areas and a wild butterfly and local herbs conservation site.

Furthermore and looking onwards to the sales part of the enterprise, Riverland has begun its exporting activities, such as supplying Kefir to the Greek market. As to organizing events, it now features three major festivals a year, set in October, July and August, with each one of them able to feature up to 7000 people in attendance.

 

Pitfalls and challenges

The overall system here was not very supportive; especially for a would-be entrepreneur with little access to professional and technical services. This means that in such environments, one must really have love of it to go into a green business in the first place. Furthermore, in doing so, prospective entrepreneurs need to be grounded, have a clear vision and not expect to get really rich from it, as in general, the rate of return in this area, especially for the primary sector, is low.  On top of that, agriculture in Cyprus is dying as it is unable to compete with other countries that have a better and more suited environment for farming.  Droughts, input costs, expenses on fertilizers and pesticides, as well as the opening of markets and more, all contributed to increasing pressure on the agricultural sector, barring initiatives.  

Contact information



9ης , Ιούλίου Καμπιά, Λευκωσ

99 592598

riverland@cytanet.com.cy

99 592598