European development bank backs organic farming in Turkey

Published 18.09.2019 00:14

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and a Turkish organic farming company have signed a 16 million euro ($18 million) financing deal to help take the firm to the next level.

Işık Tarım will use the loan to expand its production and reduce waste, said the EBRD yesterday.

"The EBRD funds will enable the company to build a new hazelnut processing plant in Ereğli, in the Black Sea region of Turkey, and finance the expansion of freeze-dried fruit production at its Afyon plant in central Anatolia," the statement said.

It will also allow the company to improve its land management, introduce energy and resource-saving technologies, as well as reduce and recover waste, reconfirming its commitment to sustainability.

"The EBRD never stopped investing in Turkey even during difficult times, because there are always good projects you can find in Turkey, and Işık Organic is one of those," Arvid Tuerkner, the EBRD managing director for Turkey, told Anadolu Agency (AA).

Mehmet Ali Işık, the founder of Işık Tarım, said the loan will help them promote sustainable organic agriculture in Turkey.

"With these funds, we will expand the area we harvest from and be able to work with even more farmers," he added.

Işık Tarım, employing almost 1,500 people, exports organic dried fruits and nuts to more than 30 countries including Australia, Canada, EU countries, Japan, and the U.S.

As a leading institutional investor in Turkey, the EBRD has invested 11.5 billion euros (some $13 billion) in the country since 2009, including investments last year alone totaling some $1.2 billion and $621.5 million in 2019.

Almost all of the bank's investments were made in the private sector. The bank's 7 billion euro Turkey portfolio is the largest among the 38 economies where the bank invests.

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