11 March 2021

The Future of Hazelnut: Sustainable Hazelnut Production in Turkey

The Future of Hazelnut: Sustainable Hazelnut Production in Turkey

Why is Hazelnut Important?

It is an agricultural product that is extremely important for our local and national economy and is produced in 16 provinces from Istanbul to Artvin. The product concerns about 400 thousand families, namely 2-2.5 million people and provides employment for hundreds of thousands of citizens and brings about $3 billion in export revenue every year.

In addition to these, it is an indispensable component of the hazelnut, confectionery and chocolate industry with its healthy and nutritious content. Turkey, both quantity and quality leader in the global hazelnut agriculture, still produces two-thirds of hazelnut production all over the world and exports the pretty much part of this production.

Heritage to the Future with Sustainable Hazelnuts

Approximately 22% of the land is used for the purpose of plant production in Giresun, where 79% of the agricultural area is composed of hazelnut orchards. The data show that there are approximately 79 thousand hazelnut producers in Giresun. We can easily refer to hazelnut production that concerns 100 thousand families as well as unregistered orchards. In the light of this information, it reveals the importance of the hazelnut in Giresun with a population of 426 thousand for both families and individuals who reside in the region and have migrated from the city. Hazelnut is the main or side source of revenues for almost every family except for the districts located in the central region such as Şebinkarahisar. The hazelnut plant, which stands out with its production in Giresun, is a renewable resource and is a part of the North Anatolian and Caucasus habitat which is the one of the most important ecological areas on a global scale. The social and economic system established by human beings grows with hazelnut, which is the gift of the ecological system. In other words, the sustainability of the hazelnut plant in social and economic areas, namely its capability to continue to offer product, job and income opportunities for also future generations depends on the healthfully maintenance and functioning of the ecological system.

Hazelnut Production Process

Each step of the hazelnut production process from pruning, fertilization and spraying stages in the hazelnut orchard to hazelnut harvest, storage and marketing, which takes place over a period of twelve months, has its own details. It is very important to apply the process that must be done in each of these stages, using the accurate method in the correct amount at the right time, in order to ensure the social, economic and ecological sustainability of the product.

The ecological basis of hazelnut agriculture is the soil, water and the species found in nature as well as the diversity created by these species. Uninterrupted soil applications and agro-business practices with the use of increasing amounts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides adversely affect on soil health, pollute the water and reduce biological diversity. The lives of future generations like us depend on natural assets, which are the fundamental ground of agriculture.

Thanks to sustainable agricultural practices, food production can be increased by 58%. Sustainable agriculture is based on the principle of protecting the natural assets which are necessary for production that will meet the needs of both today’s and future generations.

Why is Sustainable Hazelnut Agriculture Necessary?

The world population is rapidly growing. In countries such as China and India, we see a population expressed in billions. It is estimated that the population in Europe and America will reach to billions in the near future. The rapidly increasing population will bring along a serious food requirement in the coming years. One of the main goals of agro-business is to provide each person access to basic necessities now and in the future.

As well as hazelnuts, the production in high quantity of all other agricultural products at affordable costs can reduce or even completely eliminate the problem of access to nutritional sources, which is one of the world's biggest problems today. Following a sustainable model in hazelnut agriculture will not only prevent the problems, but will also be a breakthrough that will transfer this fruitfulness in our country to future generations. Today, there are areas where sustainable agriculture is carried out and they are increasing in number day by day.

The continuation of agro-business practices without slowing down means the continuation of a tradition that will harm the country's economy and thousands of families embracing hazelnuts. At the same time, it prevents us from handing down the wealth of the world to the next generations. That is why sustainable agriculture is our only salvation route for hazelnuts and all other agricultural products.

As Olam Progıda, we also focus on the sustainability in hazelnut agriculture. We support our producers with sustainable agricultural practices in order to prohibit the cultivation lands which are increasingly polluted by agricultural pesticides, climatic change and water scarcity. The sustainability mission we have adopted to make young generations be interested in the agriculture is also the element that will make the lands that will feed them alive. We believe that the healthy ecosystems and the welfare of our farmers will increase thanks to the sustainable agriculture, which is included in our lives with developing and growing societies. To learn more about our sustainability program: /en/sustainability/sustainability-in-hazelnuts