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Organic Hazelnuts from Black Sea

Hard shell with tasty kernel

At the Turkish Black sea coast in the regions Ünye, Çarşamba and 19 Mayıs (Ondokuz Mayıs), about 225 organic farmers are organized on a 1250 ha area that is cooperating with the Rapunzel organic project. They are mainly small scale farmers who organize most of the works in the hazelnut gardens with the help of their family members. In the fertile region on the foothills of the Anatolian mountains the aromatic hazelnuts find perfect growing conditions.

On slightly steep slopes the nuts are shaken from the trees, picked up by hand and afterwards dried in drying areas. As in other projects, regular meetings are made with agricultural engineers. Different topics are discussed, solutions for the problems are found and the social impact is also promoted.

Support of the organic hazelnut farmers:

  • Annual farmer meeting with the organic hazelnut farmers from different project villages:
    - Information regarding changes in organic regulation (Turkish and EU)
    - Challenges in hazelnut cultivation and possible solutions
    - Suggestions concerning organic inputs
    - Rapunzel requirements
    - General environmental and social aspects
  • Follow up and assistance to the organic farmers / farms throughout the year: monitoring and support where necessary
  • Organization of specific farmer workshops (e.g. for compost, Demeter preparations applications)
  • 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
  • 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 the quality controls when the hazelnuts are delivered to the cracker.
  • Support of the farmers / farmer associations if required
  • Support of the organic farmers if difficult situations arise

Processing of the organic hazelnuts in the regions of the Black Sea:

  • Rapunzel rented a cracking facility for hazelnuts in the regions of the Black Sea: This facility is run by Rapunzel staff and processing is under Rapunzel responsibility
  • The cracking facility is used for only 100% organic hazelnuts
  • Gentle treatment of cracked hazelnuts as main installations are made from wood
  • Careful hand selection at the end of the process
  • Well trained staff
  • Fair working conditions for the workers with payment of social security etc.

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