The oldest dairy industry
Charalambides Christis was forged through the merging of the two biggest industries in Cyprus, dairies Charalambides LTD and Christies dairies LTD. They are the oldest in the dairy field in Cyprus, with each charting its own history.
The Charalambides history goes back to 1945, when Takis Charalambides and his son in law Evris Nicolaides, in Ayioi Omologites, started a milk trade out of his home, with a single cow forming the basis of a successful course.
Christis was established much later, in 1961, by Christis Yiorgallides, through a standard of innovation and modern production methods. Their starting point was a small milk pasteurisation factory in the centre of Limassol.
The history of Charalambides
Setting off-The Charalambides company began its operations in 1945 at Ayioi Omologites by Takis Charalambides and his son in law Evris Nicolaides. The two men started out with a single cow, which then became three and gradually grew to ten, all inside the Charalambides family home.
A few years later-In 1949 the farm needed an extension so the company moved to Acropolis, while the Charalambides family home turned into a dairy. Larger installations were built at Acropolis, with more cows added.
The Charalambides Dairy Farm-Things change between 1956-57. In 1956 Loukis Charalambides becomes a partner and is joined in 1957 by Dimitrakis Charalambides, with the business renamed to Charalambides Dairy Farm.
In 1957 was also a stand-out year for the company, as the Akropolis factory is turned into a dairy and for the first time in Cyprus the pasteurisation method is implemented. The farm then moves to Lakatamia.
In 1963, the company approaches the Swedish firm Tetra Pak, which introduced the revolutionary one use packaging for the first time. The package was shaped like a pyramid in half a litre and 250 ml quantities.
During this phase the milk is pasteurised and homogenised.
Charalambides Dairies-A few years later and to be exact, October 16, 1969, the company is renamed Charalambides Dairies.
In 1971, the Charalambides Dairies once again introduce something new to Cyprus with the Gable Top packaging (the classic carton), which was produced in cooperation with Norwegian firm Elopak.
In the same year, the company moves into new installations at Lakatamia.
The Turkish invasion of 1974, sees the doing away of the door to door distribution and milk now reaches consumers through retail sellers.
Vivartia at the forefront-On September 10th 2007, Vivartia submits a request to the Capital Market Committee for the purchase of all Christis Dairies stocks. Along with the acquisition of Charalambides Dairies, a new company is forged, Vivartia (Cyprus) Ltd.
In late 2011, the Constandinos.N.Siakolas Group and the Alexis and Elena Charalambides family acquires 90% of Vivartia, with a complete acquisition taking place in 2004, as Charalambides Christis becomes a purely Cypriot company. This was the largest buyout in the food industry sector of Cyprus and one of the most important buy outs of the past few years.
The Christis history
Taking the first step-Christis Dairies was founded in 1961 by Christis Yiorgallides, who created a small milk pasteurisation factory in the centre of Limassol, mostly working on the processing, pasteurisation and bottling of milk. The initial production was around 300 bottles daily. Through time, the company implemented innovative production methods at its modern installations.
Τhe company’s first landmark year was 1974 with the establishment of the cheese products unit, which filled up a major market demand for these products.
In 1985, Christis Dairies moved to a modern factory in the Ayios Athanasios area of Limassol and the completion of these installations sees the company extending its activities to producing UHT milk.
In 1988, the company launched a major export campaign, with halloumi, anari (soft cheese) and UHT at its forefront.
CTC Participation-In 1995 was yet another landmark year. Christis Yiorgallides, realising the sector’s and the company’s capabilities, invested 50% of the Christis Dairies capital to CTC. This move aimed to strengthened the company’s capital base, with a view to extending its activities abroad.
To this end, in 1997, it signed multiannual agreements with Danish companies ‘NORDEX’ and ‘EMBROG’ to produce and trade halloumi mainly to the UK, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Lebanon, Germany, Greece, the United States and Sweden. The list keeps growing to this day.
A year earlier, Christis Dairies was certified with the international certification of quality system ISO 9002.
In 1999, Christis Dairies built a modern cheese products unit with a high standard of equipment, resulting in greater variety of quality cheeses.
- Total annual sales: €134 million.
- Total local sales: €82 million.
- Annual exports: €52 million.
- From 2016 through to 2020, exports grew on average, by 14% annually. The company is the top retailer seller in Cyprus.
Δύο διαχρονικές ιστορίες σε μία
Charalambides Christis go back more than 75 years. They make up two of the oldest dairy industries in Cyprus, each with their own separate history in the sector.
Charalambides was established in 1945 and Christis in 1961.
A long standing heritage
‘The history and heritage of the two companies are indeed a point of reference in the growth of Charalambides Christis. They are a timeless value, with respect, inspiration and development’, says Alexis Charalambides, head of the company’s executive board.
It’s his response to the ‘weight’ of the heritage of Charalambides and Christis, for today’s owners, administration and management.
Respecting the past but moving forward
‘We often say that the future is forged on the past. To what extent does that hold true for you and why;’, we asked Mr.Charalambides.
‘Of course it does, but I would like to add that the future is not just built on the past, but also on the present’, he responds and goes on to say:
‘we are all working with respect and honour for the past, to the historical course of over 75 years and we seek to listen to the past and foresee the future, so we can remain innovative and provide consumers with our best possible result’.
‘Our strength continues to be our 100% Cypriot authentic products, both speaking to quality and taste, the heart of our relationship of trust with employees, associates, clients and consumers. We remain in open communication with the entire chain of production, from producers themselves to our consumers. It is a dialogue that both secures and strengthens a relationship of trust and certification that we have developed’ he notes.
Multidimensional corporate social responsibility
Nothing is left to chance. Success is deep-rooted, coupled with timeless values. ‘At Charalambides Christis we are proud that through a common vision, we have managed to grow into the biggest dairy company in Cyprus. We are doubly proud, that beyond being leaders in production and distribution of food, we have managed, through consistent and multidimensional corporate social responsibility, to open through this road too, as we needed to as leaders in the industry’.
Centred upon human value, we have developed the biggest programme of social solidarity in Cyprus, namely ‘Participation’, having thus far completed 60 projects for fellow citizens and vulnerable social groups in need’, said Alexis Charalambides
Authenticity is our standard
Charalambides Christis has justifiably earned consumers trust having authenticity, tradition and innovation as the core of its values.
‘Mega brand Charalambides Christis are part and parcel with authenticity, tradition, high nutritional value, safety, innovation, growth and the credibility of products that the company produces and rubberstamps’ Alexis Charalambides notes and adds:
‘By following these values for over 75 years, with faith and vision, Charalambides Christis has justifiably earned the trust and hearts of our consumers. I believe that one of the main factors of the company’s success, is the human approach central in its operation, providing, through modern organisational structures, the opportunity to its highly qualified staff, 700 employees, to bring out the best in themselves, thus securing both personally as well as in a corporate sense, stable prospects of development and growth.
‘In addition, as a modern business organisation, active on the global market, we built valuable cooperation with commercial firms of international standard and prestige, as the company exports to more than 32 countries, growing into the largest food export company in Cyprus’.
Every organisation needs to have a vision in order to move forward. The same, to a greater degree, holds true for businesses. We asked Mr.Charalambides to set out in a few words, the Charalambides Christis vision, as well as his own personal future ambition. ‘For the Charalambides Christis family our vision is to continue, in this constantly changing business environment, both locally and internationally, to offer our best, as an innovative leader, as the biggest food industry in Cyprus, with international standards of quality and knowhow’.
As far as his own vision goes, the answer is always connected to the vision of the company itself; ‘My personal vision and goal is to safeguard the Charalambides Christis values and strengthen its anthropocentric approach, both in the company’s internal system, from production to consumers, as well as society as a whole. My steadfast commitment is to provide the best possible service, in all the company’s fields of action and expression’.
The Ethics Code
The Charalambides Christis ethics code guides our daily business interactions and reflects the company’s behaviour standards and corporate values’.
‘The Code clearly makes clear to every member of Charalambides Christis that the way in which we achieve our business results is equally important as the achievement itself. The company’s Code of Ethics holds true for all its people, including managers, other officials and all our employees in general’, Charalambides Christis notes in its webpage.
Where it all happens
Over the past few years, Charalambides Christis has invested over 30 million euro in renewing and modernising its factory’s equipment and strengthening its structure of storing and distributing its products in the absolutely best safety standards for its consumers both in Cyprus and abroad. It is a modern technological structure. Around 650 physicochemical and microbiological tests are conducted daily at the Charalambides Christis factory, connected to all production sectors, from the control of raw materials, the intermediary stages, the factory grounds, as well as the final product.
We have achieved a number of certifications. With a view to produce and distribute, products that are fully in line with both local and international standards, as they change over time, Charalambides Christis implemented a Comprehensive Management System in the framework of the BRC standards for safety, the IFS International Food Standard, ISO22000 / ΗΑCCP.
As the company stresses, this system has been certified for more than a decade, based on the most demanding international food safety standards, such as BRC and IFS, by independent certification organisations.
‘As a provider to the biggest commercial chains abroad, such as Tesco, Morrison’s, Waitrose, Almarai, Saputo, but also the McDonald’s, we hold additional certifications for the verification of these private standards implementation’ the company clarifies.
In addition, Charalambides Christis is certified both in the production of biological products such as goats’ milk, yoghurt and halloumi, as well as trading in biological import products.
‘In addition, as a member of SEDEX we have received one of the most important certification, in regard to our employees’, the company notes.
The five keys to success
Alexis Charalambides explains how thew company’s values remain unchanged over time
‘Our company’s long standing course is based on its reliability, in connection to its values and the timeless nature of common values is of fundamental importance to continuing our business success.
- Family and a collective spirit: The recognition and work satisfaction of all our employees, through a collective spirit and a family atmosphere, is a priority. Irrespective of anyone’s position in the hierarchy, our goal is to feel ‘at home’. We are all members of the wider Charalambides Christis family.
- Freedom: We cultivate immediate and open communication, taking initiative, expressing different opinions and supporting change aiming towards improving our work. Just treatment, objectivity, honesty and honour is our driving force.
- Quality: Our goal is to provide quality and added value to the consumer. This calls for comprehensive attention in all sectors of our company, taking care of the assets and resources that we use, as well as developing the knowledge and skills of our human potential.
- Innovation: We work for today, but always within a planning framework for tomorrow. We encourage new ideas and ways of working and create new, innovative products that improve the lives of consumers and respond to new/modern needs.
- Responsibility: Our priority is safety at work, respecting employees and local communities and operate as an active social element, contributing towards the progress and prosperity of society as a whole. We are committed towards sustainable development and environmental protection’.
Nisou Industrial area
347 Limassol Ave.
2571 Nicosia, Cyprus
+357 7000 6455