(Akyazi) As far as the eye can see, walnut trees rarely shed their withered leaves in early autumn. But under the wet leaves, anger roars against the spreading giant.
Turkey’s hazelnut growers, the world’s largest exporter, have been accused of cutting prices, condemning the control of their crops by the Italian Ferrero.
“They have a monopoly, so they have a free hand. But they buy less than last year. This year, I will not sell anything to them,” warns 43-year-old Aydin Simzek, who stared into the corner of his eye at the dozen Kurdish collectors packing hazelnuts with large handles in large canvas bags. .
Sheriff Coyou, wrapped in her thick waistcoat and floral shawl, spends a dozen hours a day in Akashi (northeast), kneeling green despite the fact that pregnancy is already known.
For a woman who came with her family to Thierry Bagh (southeast) for a six-week harvest, a working day costs 12 euros.
To 25-year-old Mehmet Sirin, he pulled up his hat to avoid the drizzle and said, “This is an exploitation: hazelnuts will return to us in the form of nutella, but we will get much less profit than them.”
“A pure injustice,” he goes back to work.
According to the FAO, the United Nations Agricultural Fund, Turkey contributes 70% of world production and 82% of exports, more than Italy (20%) and some countries, including Azerbaijan, Georgia and Iran.
Of the 600 to 700,000 tons of hazelnuts collected, about 300,000 go for export: “How can foreigners alone benefit? Omar Demir, chairman of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, protested.
“Damn, they buy from us for 22 to 23 pounds [environ 2 euros] Resel a kilo for $ 23 [20 euros] : How do we get there? We must stop their way. ”
Major wholesalers, such as suppliers to the Italian group, especially regret the supply of tools and fertilizers to farmers and the advance payment at a pre-determined price for their harvest. – He.
Since it is true, no one can stand in line. Cuper Saga recognizes this, and he has no choice: “What can I do? I needed money for my daughter’s wedding … I sold my 1600 kg of chickpeas to the wholesaler.
He immediately received the money when the Bureau of Agriculture (DMO, Public Regulatory Authority) made the payment in installments.
“Not at this price”
There are 5,500 registered manufacturers in Akyazi district. In front of the houses, in the open air, the tarpaulin is harvested, and in a few more days, it is still raining, looking at the sky.
“Ferrero and key shareholders in the market are pulling down prices,” denounces Sener Bayraktar, head of the local Chamber of Commerce, accusing the Italian company of raising crop values to weigh prices.
“But the producers are afraid, if they complain, they can’t sell any more of it,” he notes.
He assures local players that “Ferrero has set up a system that does not offer any opportunity”. He called on the authorities to support the Independent players more openly and to raise the prices of the latter and encouraged the manufacturers to book their prices. Hazelnut.
Asked by AFP, the Italian giant defended itself: “We do not buy directly from manufacturers, we go through a network of buyers and specialized suppliers. […] While respecting the laws of the market and its dynamics, ”explains Ferrero, who has been in Turkey for more than 35 years.
Since the supply of Turkish raw materials was essential for the production of noodles and rocks, in 2014 the group formed a local subsidiary that manages six processing plants (fermenting, shelling and roasting) Ferro Findic (hazelnuts in Turkey) and one noodle production. Site.
In 2014, the group also acquired Olden, the king of hazelnuts, which ensured control of the market and prices.
-76,500 registered to support hazelnut growers – The Ministry of Agriculture encourages them to engage in product conversion rather than just selling their raw material, which will ensure better returns for them.
Last year, Aydin Simzek sold his entire crop to Ferrero. This year, he plans to book 15 tonnes, in full, at TMO. “When Ferrero acts in good faith, I also enjoy eating noodles. But not at this price. ”