Low productivity is a problem for many hazelnut farmers, and this is a sector that has been associated with child labor and poor conditions for migrant workers. UTZ runs the world’s largest program for sustainable cocoa, and four members – Migros/Delica, Natra, Rewe Group and Jumbo Supermarkets – joined forces with UTZ in 2014 to start the hazelnut program. Ever since, the UTZ hazelnut program brings together a strong coalition of over 100 members worldwide to tackle these sustainability challenges.
The journey so far
UTZ is the first independent, third party sustainability label working in the hazelnut sector. Working together with farmers, traders, NGO’s and governments is what we are good at. Together we are driving improvement of productivity and social issues. Over 100 hazelnut products have an UTZ logo on their package. And farmers appreciate the focus on good agricultural practices, as this contributes to increasing productivity on hazelnut farms.
Around 4.500 hazelnut farmers now apply the UTZ standards for sustainable farming. Connected to 80% of the largest exporters in Turkey.
In parallel, we focus on the prevention and elimination of child labor on UTZ certified farms.
Child labor is a complex problem that we cannot tackle on our own. We are working with other local and international organizations, finding ways to collaborate and complement our program. Besides raising awareness around the child labor issue with farmers, we work with NGOs who provide school or day care facilities for children.
World Wide Program
Turkey produces three quarters of the world’s hazelnuts. Therefore our efforts and commitment are focused on this country and Georgia. Nevertheless, to truly enable sector change, the Hazelnut Program has recently opened up to other countries as well.
Certified hazelnuts are here to stay, also in the merged UTZ – RA organization.
We are working with over 100 members including many of the major supply chain actors and producers in the hazelnut sector. We look forward to increasing the demand for sustainable hazelnuts and scaling up the program in the field, reaching out to more farmers in the years to come from countries all over the world.
Want to know more? Let’s talk hazelnuts.