At an event held to mark the conclusion of the first phase of the German-Turkish cooperation project for improved quality management along the value chain of organic produce, the results of a survey among German importers and Turkish exporters was presented.
A majority of respondees stated that they have noticed a trend towards greater awareness of quality issues over the past three years, and that this has led to more frequent residue checks and a decline in residue problems. During the event, representatives of the German and Turkish agriculture ministries, the Turkish federation of export industries, the Turkish organic farming association (ETO) and FiBL met at a workshop to discuss quality aspects in relation to organic products.
One of the key elements of cooperation is the practical training delivered to players throughout the value chain. To that end, the project has provided specific training formats for extensionists, chambers of agriculture, government authorities and organic inspection bodies. A network of demonstration farms allows farmers and extensionists to engage in intense exchange grounded firmly in practice. Moreover, a country-wide organic farming journal was launched a year ago.
The project’s second main element is the promotion of dialogue among players throughout the sector – from agricultural producers in Turkey to importers in Germany.
The cooperative project titled “German-Turkish cooperation in the organic farming sector” is receiving financial support from the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMELV). It is carried out by FiBL Projekte GmbH and FiBL Switzerland in close partnership with ETO, and will run until December 2015.
Turkish farming is predominantly small-scale. In 2012 there were approximately 55,000 organic farmers managing some 525,000 hectares. The average farm size was 9.5 hectares. The Aegean region around Izmir is one of the main centres of organic production.
- agrar-presseportal.de: BMEL press release (in german)
- fibl-project-turkey.net: project homepage
- skydrive.live.com: event impressions