Turkey’s black sea region produces up to 80 % of the global hazelnut harvest. In Turkey, there have been issues such as child labor on hazelnut farms and poor working conditions of migrant workers. Hence, Lindt & Sprüngli helps Turkish hazelnut farmers to improve their farming practices.
Lindt & Sprüngli is aware of the challenging labor situation and living conditions of migrant workers during the hazelnut harvest season in Turkey. We have implemented a policy to source at least 50% of our whole hazelnuts from Italy or from Sustainability Programs of defined suppliers from Turkey. In addition, our action plan aims at establishing step by step a traceable and sustainable Turkish hazelnut supply chain.
Since 2014, Lindt & Sprüngli works with key hazelnut suppliers that have implemented sustainable hazelnut programs in Turkey. These programs are based on the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program framework. First, farmers are organized into groups to implement a system to trace hazelnuts back to their origin. Second, farmers are trained to learn more about good agricultural, environmental, and social practices. These measures set the baseline for continuous progress. During the harvesting season, farm visits verify if the knowledge gained in trainings is implemented and certain minimum standards met (e.g. no child labor). Farmers are also supported with specific measures for improvement – for example, the distribution of new harvesting machines to increase productivity or soil analysis.
In addition, the Lindt Cocoa Foundation supports a major project to engage and entertain children of migrant family workers and to prevent child labor. In summer schools children were taught mathematics, Turkish, English, arts and sports. Besides that, awareness about labor issues was raised among labor contractors, local government authorities and the local population. For more information, please have a look here
Together with local partners, Lindt & Sprüngli regularly discusses improvement and program extension opportunities. While the positive impact is already being perceived, we are aware that there is still plenty to do to resolve the grievances completely.