History of Soybeans and Soyfoods in Greece, the European Union, and Small Western European Countries (1939-2015)

William Shurtleff, Akiko AoyagiISBN: 978-1-928914-81-5

Publication Date: 2015 Sept. 11

Number of References in Bibliography: 462

Earliest Reference: 1939

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Brief chronology/timeline of soy in Greece, the European Union, and small Western European countries.
 
1935 – Soybeans are first introduced to Greece. Anton Brillmayer, an Austrian soybean breeder, writes in 1947: At the same time [in 1935] the Department of Agriculture of the Greek government purchased a large amount of soybean seeds. Despite enquiries, no news could be obtained concerning their success (Die Kultur der Soja in Oesterreich, p. 14-18).
 
1936 – Spain is the world’s leading producer of olive oil by far, followed by Italy and Greece (Scoenfeld 1936).
 
1939Le Soja et les Industries du Soja, by Am. Matagrin for France is the earliest document seen which mentions that soybeans have been cultivated in Greece. The section on the Balkan countries (p. 47-48) states: In Greece, this crop has been introduced successfully as well.
 
1940 – “The Greek government planned extensive cultivation of soybeans in 1940, providing for importation of seed, requiring compulsory cultivation of the crop, and the purchase of the entire crop from farmers at remunerative prices” (W.J. Morse. 1940. Proceedings of the American Soybean Association, p. 72-74).
 
1940 – From Oct. to March 1940 the U.S. exported 157,000 lb. of soybean oil to Iceland. From Oct. to March 1941 the U.S. exported 121,000 lb. of soybean oil to Iceland (Soybean Digest. 1941. June, p. 5).
      Note: This is the earliest document seen (Aug. 2015) concerning soybean products (soy oil) in Iceland. This document contains the earliest date seen for soybean products in Iceland (March 1940); soybeans as such have not yet been reported.
 
1942 March – The story of Allied aid to Greece is one of the great mercy stories of World War II. Starting in March 1942, as many Greeks were starving, the first mercy ship sailed to Greece with food and medicine. Up to Nov. 1943, the United States through Lend-Lease sent 82 million pounds of food to Greece. A number of these foods (including soup powders, stew mixes, and spaghetti) were based on soy flour and grits, and specifically developed to suit Greek tastes (Lager, Mildred. 1945. The Useful Soybean: A Plus Factor in Modern Living. p. 24-26).
 
1945 May – The first shipment of an improved spaghetti – containing 12.5% soya flour, 5.5% egg, and 82% durum wheat – is sent to Europe. “The idea was to combat malnutrition among the people of Greece and other countries by increasing the nutritional value of spaghetti, a dietary mainstay” (Soybean Digest. 1946. May, p. 25).
 
1945 – Last spring's famine in Greece was checked with the help of soya in our War Food Administration's stew (Reader’s Digest. 1945. Sept. p. 50-52).
 
1946 June – By this date the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) has shipped 16.4 million lb. of soya flour and grits to Greece – most of it from the USA (Payne 1946, p. 54-56).
 
1947 – Three tons of Multi-Purpose Food (containing 86% soy grits) are first sent to the Vatican City to be distributed by the Pope to hungry children (Soybean Digest. 1948. Feb. p. 22).
      Note: This is the earliest document seen (Aug. 2015) concerning soybean products (soy grits) in the Vatican City. This document contains the earliest date seen (1947) for soybean products in the Vatican City; soybeans as such have not yet been reported.
 
1953 – Soybeans are listed in an index of seeds which the Argotti Botanic Gardens, University of Malta, are offering as part of a botanical exchange program. Thus, soybeans are probably now cultivated in Malta.
 
1958 Sept. – The term “Common Market” and the term “Common Market Area” are first mentioned in connection with soy (Soybean Digest, p. 51-52).
      The Common Market, better known as the European Economic Community (EEC), was created by the Treaty of Rome in 1957, shortly after the end of World War II, as a way of bringing about the economic integration of Western Europe. Its six founding members were Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany.
 
1960 – U.S. crude soybean oil is imported to Malta directly for the first time (Wanamaker 1962, p. 31).
 
1962Malta, which is part of the British Commonwealth, now imports each year about over 3,000 tons of crude degummed soybean oil in bulk, and about 2,000 tons of margarine and shortening to its excellent deep seaport at Valletta. From its relatively new refinery, Malta re-exports fully refined soybean oil to neighboring countries (USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. 1962. FAS-M-141).
 
1963 May – The “European Economic Community” is first mentioned in connection with soy (Soybean Digest, p. 22-24).
 
1969 Sept. 1 – The “European Community” is first mentioned in connection with soy (Foreign Agriculture, p. 2-5).
 
1972 MayGreece’s first soybean crushing plant, Soya Mills Co., is now under construction in the Saronic Gulf at Kalamaki, between Athens and Corinth, with operations expected to begin late this year (Soybean Digest, p. 40).
 
1979 Dec. – The “European Union” is first mentioned [in French] in connection with soy (Dussaigne and Dronne. Les protéines nouvelles en alimentation humaine).
 
1985 – R. Blanchet states that soybean production has started in Greece (In: R. Shibles, ed. 1985. World Soybean Research Conference III: Proceedings, See p. 1207-14).
 
1986 – Full-Fat Soy Flour, made by Soya Hellas S.A. in Athens, Greece, is the earliest known commercial soy product made in Greece.
 
1987 – Soy Ice Cream, Soya Milk [Chocolate flavor], Soya Bolognaise, and Soya Burger (with textured soy flour) are first made in Greece are made by Biotrophes Ltd. in Athens. The company is renamed Biotrek S.A. by Dec. 1987.
 
1993 – The “European Union” is established by the Maastricht Treaty.
 
2015 Sept. – The European Union now has 28 member states. The union reached its current number with the accession of Croatia on 1 July 2013. Many of the newer members are in “Eastern Europe.”
 
We have been unable to find any evidence of soybeans or soyfoods in Andorra, Liechtenstein, or San Marino.
 

Click here to download the full text to open and read book History of Soybeans and Soyfoods in Greece, the European Union, and Small Western European Countries (1939-2015)