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UTZ Certified announces initiative for sustainable hazelnut farming in Turkey

FBR Staff Writer Published 17 April 2014

UTZ Certified has expanded its sustainable farming initiatives with a new program in Turkey that will focus on hazelnut farming.

The three-year initiative will implement a pilot project across hazelnut producing regions, including Trabzon and Giresun in the Northeast, and Duzce in the Northwest.

As part of the project, UTZ will apply a set of requirements covering safe and healthy working conditions, good agricultural practices and environment protection to bring the hazelnuts sector to sustainable production.

Requirements were developed in consultation with farmers, industry, governmental institutions, NGOs and other stakeholders, noted UTZ.

Members such as Migros/Delica, Natra and REWE Group are taking part in this initiative.

Turkey contributes over 70% of global hazelnut production with majority imported to European countries.

UTZ Certified executive director Han De Groot said, "UTZ is keen to take up the challenge and expects to have its first certified hazelnut production in the market by the beginning of 2016."

UTZ Certified is a program and label for sustainable farming of coffee, cocoa and tea that enables farmers to learn better farming methods, improve working conditions and take better care of people and the environment.