Maria Vlachou

  • Current company Fereikos - Helix
  • Country Greece
  • Industry Consumer

Fereikos-Helix offers organic live snails and snail consumer products to wholesalers and retailers in Greece and throughout Europe. A lack of supply and sanitary regulations can make it difficult to meet peak seasonal demand. Its innovative supply chain model involves a network of 175 independent snail farmers. These farmers receive know-how and resources from Fereikos-Helix to produce high-quality, organic products year-round in an industry that largely relies on foraging, resulting in inconsistent product quality and availability.

Maria and Penny have helped establish 176 snail farms, creating over 200 jobs. Fereikos sells to customers in 11 countries, with nearly 70% of sales come from exports. To its network of snail breeders, Fereikos is is the exclusive provider of farming materials and consulting services that ensure smooth operation and organic standards of quality. The sisters have won the International Prize for Snail Farming and the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in Greece. Fereikos aims to be the world’s leading technology provider for snail farming in what the entrepreneurs estimate is a US$3 billion global market. The company is now shifting its focus to developing its product lines, introducing a line of frozen snails and ready-meals. It also plans to expand exports to non-EU markets.

Maria, a speaker of nine languages, developed marketing and sales skills and connections within the agricultural industry as a consultant. After completing courses in an agribusiness program at a local agronomy school, Penny joined forces with her sister to realize her vision of becoming the processor and distributor for Greece’s first network of independent snail breeders.

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