From Farm to Table: Online Company Increasing Incomes of Turkish Small-scale Farmers by Connecting Them Directly to Consumers
Turkish company Tarlamvar is reviving the small-scale farming industry by promoting organic and sustainable farming, while connecting local farmers to consumer markets
ISTANBUL, August 13, 2019 /3BL Media/ - Fair trade company Tarlamvar has joined Business Call to Action with a commitment to revitalize Turkey’s small-scale farming sector by providing livelihood opportunities to at least 1000 low-income small-scale family farmers through its supply chain and providing capacity building on organic farming techniques and Good Agricultural Practices (G.A.P.) certification to 100 low-income farmers by 2021.
Launched in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that engage people with less than US$10 per day in purchasing power (in 2015 dollars) as consumers, producers, suppliers and distributors. It is supported by several international organizations and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Due to rising costs of farming supplies and equipment, in the last 20 years, 2.5 million small-scale farmers in Turkey have moved to big cities in the hope of finding a job, leaving behind a collective four million hectares of farming land. To help encourage farmers to stay on the land, Tarlamvar has created an online platform where it brings small-scale farmers and consumers together by using innovative marketing and business strategies.
Tarlamvar has three signature products that it offers customers: the first is Tree Ownership, where consumers can ‘purchase’ a tree and can track their own food’s path from farm to table. Owners are notified when the farm is irrigated or when their tree is fertilized. When the harvest arrives, farmers pick the fruit and send it directly to tree ‘owners’. Tarlamvar also offers vegetable boxes, which are packed by farmers and provided regularly to the customer. Finally, Tarlamvar also supplies vegetables to a number of quality restaurants in Turkey. Chefs order produce online, farmers near Istanbul prepare the vegetables, and Tarlamvar delivers direct from the farmers to the restaurants.
“Not only are we helping famers to have a more marketable product and connecting them with customers, we’re also helping consumers to be more conscious about where their food comes from and how it is grown,” says Ata Cengiz, Tarlamvar CEO.
Farmers must meet two criteria to work with Tarlamvar – first, they must be a small-scale-family farmer with a total farming land of less than 25 decars, and farming must be their only source of income. Second, the farmer must have a G.A.P or Organic certificate which proves his or her farming technique is organic and sustainable. For those farmers applying for a partnership with Tarlamvar without certifications, Tarlamvar helps them obtain them by connecting them with local certification institutions and providing training on the G.A.P. certification requirements, such as organic farming techniques and the auditing and produce testing process all G.A.P. certified farmers must go through to maintain their certification.
Tarlamvar also pays a percentage of income to the farmer up to 10 months ahead of harvest, increasing their financial stability. Additionally, the company ensures that farmers achieve 40% above market price for their goods – which consumers are willing to pay due to the increased information flow about the progress and quality of the produce they have purchased, as well as the fact that the goods are certified Fair Trade products. On average, Tarlamvar’s farmers receive two-to-three times more than regular farmers.
“Not only does Tarlamvar provide a reliable income to its farmers, encouraging them to keep farming, but it is also encouraging consumers to buy sustainably farmed produce, which is good for the environment, and good for farmers. In this way they are contributing to multiple sustainable development goals,” says Sahba Sobhani, acting Head of Business Call to Action.
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BCtA membership does not constitute a partnership with its funding and programme partners, UNDP or any UN agency.
About Business Call to Action (BCtA): Launched at the United Nations in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. BCtA is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), UK Department for International Development (DFID), and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org.
About Tarlamvar: Tarlamvar is a Turkish company bringing small-scale farmers and consumers together by using digital technologies and innovative marketing and business strategies. The company has three different business models with different customer bases: tree adoption, vegetable boxes and supplying produce to restaurants.