Turkey is the biggest hazelnuts producer with around 75% of the global production. In Turkey, hazelnut farming is linked to several sustainability issues, related to labor conditions, and farm productivity. During hazelnut harvest, there is a reliance on seasonal workers. Workers often travel from different regions in Turkey or abroad. They travel from one crop to the next over several months. Their living conditions during the nut harvest are often precarious, as they sometimes lack basic access to health services and proper housing facilities.
Barry Callebaut sources UTZ certified hazelnuts from Turkey. UTZ is working with Turkish hazelnut farmers, to improve agricultural practices to increase their yield, to ensure better living conditions for their employees, and to ensure zero child labor by implementing trainings and monitoring.
In addition, since 2013 Barry Callebaut is part of a Public Private Partnership (PPP), coordinated by the trade association Caobisco. The PPP aims to eliminate the worst forms of child labor in Turkey. There has been several phases of the project, beginning in the province of Ordu and extending to other hazelnut producing areas along the Black Sea. The PPP project is now in its third phase and managed by the International Labor Organization (ILO). The objectives of the project are as follows:
- Capacity building: Supporting the improvement of local and national capacity in combatting child labor
- Direct intervention: Developing intervention and monitoring models, carrying out trainings and activities
- Awareness raising: Developing local capacity to conduct advocacy and public awareness on prevention of child labor