A key factor in achieving sustainable growth is a sustainable supply of raw materials at the most basic level. Apart from certain products — such as cocoa, which cannot be supplied from Turkey — a large portion of our raw materials is procured from the domestic market. This also allows us to add value to the lives of hundreds of thousands of local workers.
2900 contracted farmers in Turkey currently supply us with agricultural produce. 80% of our wheat — the chief raw material in our business, is supplied by the domestic market. In purchasing wheat and other agricultural raw materials we prioritize direct supply from farmers, and we contract planting by providing seed support to them.
SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PRACTICES
Wheat Productivity Project
At our food and beverage companies we support the Turkish agricultural products we use – from wheat to milk, from hazelnuts to oils – and we sustain this approach on a global scale with our international businesses. We stand side by side with Turkish farmers through our various projects in wheat yields and seed support.
We carry out seed projects for the improvement of wheat yields. Since 2009 we have conducted a project improving agricultural wheat for biscuits, in cooperation with the Bahri Dağdaş International Agricultural Research Institute. With such projects, our aim is to breed seeds which have a high yield and are resistant to diseases and drought.
In wheat procurements, we grant privilege to purchases made directly from farmers, and carry out contractual planting by providing seed support to farmers. One of the most significant ways to protect agricultural areas is through ensuring that manufacturers’ agricultural activities have economic value and that manufacturers receive compensation for their efforts. In the food and beverage industry, our main area of activity, we work with this responsibility in mind.
Cocoa is important to us. So are the people that produce it. By adopting the principles of sustainable supply, we support the economic and social development of the communities that produce one of our key ingredients.
Yıldız Holding is a proud sponsor of PACTS (Processors Alliance for Cocoa Traceability and Sustainability). PACTS seeks to increase cocoa yields by creating an environmentally friendly and professional production chain. The organization offers cocoa producers support through education, agronomics, and education in innovative production practices.
In 2014 we began investing in the PACTS program, to improve the living and working conditions of cocoa producers in the Ivory Coast. With this investment, PACTS meets the clean drinking water and solar energy needs of fermentation and drying facilities. The work and lives of both the teams in these facilities and in the local community will be improved significantly.
The investment will bring clean water to as many as 4000 people at each of eight facilities in the Ivory Coast which currently do not have access to clean drinking water. It is expected that by the completion of the project there will be a reduction in diseases resulting from polluted drinking water and an improvement in the general health conditions of the local community. In addition, solar lighting systems are being implemented at 15 drying facilities. The solar panels will illuminate both the indoor and outdoor areas of the buildings, and it will be possible to charge electric tools for seven hours per day, increasing safety levels and field of vision at night.
In 2012 Ülker Chocolate, the largest consumer of cocoa in Turkey, joined the World Cocoa Foundation, the global platform for chocolate manufacturers. Together with this international platform we aim to support the economic and social development of cocoa farmers by adopting sustainable principles in agricultural production to increase prosperity around the globe.
As the first Turkish company to join the World Cocoa Foundation, we support projects conducted by the foundation to improve sustainability in the cocoa sector and to increase prosperity among cocoa farmers. Founded in 2000, the World Cocoa Foundation, is composed of members from global corporations in the chocolate sector. The foundation completes projects in countries where cocoa is produced, in cooperation with governments, universities, civil organizations and farmers. These projects include research to increase the quality and yield in cocoa production, and education initiatives for cocoa farmers and their families.