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Organic Apricots and Apricot Kernels from Malatya

Richness in minerals and vital substances

The center of Turkish apricot cultivation is located in Malatya, East Anatolia. The cool and dry climate of the high-plateau (1000- 1500 m above Sea level) is perfect for growing sweet apricots. On about 700 ha the apricots are cultivated organically by 56 Rapunzel farmers. Rapunzel apricots are guaranteed to be unsulphured and maintain their natural brown-orange color and full aroma. Harvest of apricots start in July. Special sackcloths are laid under the trees and the branches are shaked so that the apricots fall down.

The harvested apricots are laid on the sackclothes and dried under the sun for 2-3 days until apricots become softer. After this process, the apricots are collected and pitted one by one, by hand. After pitting, the apricots are laid on the ground again and dried 3-4 days more. After the drying is completed, the farmers make a pre-selection at the farm concerning quality and size. The dried apricots are put into Rapunzel plastic boxes and transported to Rapunzel headquarters in Izmir.

The physical quality control of the apricots is done on the farm by Rapunzel Quality Control personnel and apricots are loaded to the trucks under direct control and organization of Rapunzel agriculture engineers.

Support of the organic apricot farmers:

  • Annual farmer meeting with the organic apricot farmers in different project villages in Malatya
    - Information regarding changes in organic regulation (Turkish and EU)
    - Challenges in organic apricot cultivation and possible solutions
    - Suggestions concerning organic inputs
    - Rapunzel requirements
    - General environmental and social aspects
  • Follow up and assistance to the organic armers / farms throughout the year: monitoring and support where necessary
  • Organization of regular farmer workshops (e.g. concerning compost or Demeter preparations applications etc.)
  • Distribution of organic inputs to the farmers
  • Payment, preparation and assistance with the organic inspection (support of the farmers for the required paperwork)
  • Estimation of the possible crop capacity from the organic farm at harvest
  • Control of the storage location before new harvest starts
  • Distribution of Rapunzel boxes for appropriate storage and transport of the dried organic apricots
  • Direct purchase from the farmers during harvest. That involves:
    - the farmers can receive pre-payment some months before the harvest
    - the farmers get a fair price calculation based on quality assessment of the organic apricots in the field
  • Support of the organic farmers if difficult situations arise (e.g. such as frost in Malatya in 2014)

Processing of the organic apricots in �ren at Rapunzel:

  • Processing of exclusively 100% organic apricots / other dried fruits or nuts at Rapunzel
  • Shock freezing after arrival at Rapunzel warehouse in order to kill insects and larvae
  • Storage under optimal conditions (temperature and air humidity setting and control)
  • Processing after purchase (freshly processed)
  • Washing of the organic apricots with fresh water
  • Soft and gentle drying (45 °C) after washing
  • Careful hand selection
  • Thorough analysis program for raw material, during processing and for finished product

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