Turkey is one of the most suitable countries for organic farming due to the presence of a wide variety of agro-food products ranging from cold temperate to subtropical well adapted to different agro-ecosystems, rich biodiversity and traditions in agriculture.
Organic agricultural support policies in Turkey include:
- Area payment;
- Subsidized credit;
- Environmental Reservation Area;
- Biological and Biotechnological Control;
- Agricultural Advisory Service Support;
- Partly Export Support.
In Turkey 35% of total conventional milk production occurs in the Ege Region. Izmir Province is one of the provinces with the highest milk production with 22% of the production in the Ege Region. Organic agriculture is a form of agricultural production in which chemical input is not used and where each step from production to consumption is controlled and certified. Therefore, adopting and applying organic agriculture methods is increasingly being considered by farmers.
Tire Milk Cooperative is one of the 21 Organic Products Producer Organizations in Turkey that operate in organic agriculture.
The success of Tire in dairy production can be attributed to a plentiful natural infrastructure including natural resources, climate, and topography; favorable economic and regulatory conditions provided by the government; private sector and private bank involvement; the introduction and spread of modern technologies and scientific approaches; funding possibilities and improved financial systems; availability of trained workers; the support of Tire and İzmir municipalities and the good management of the cooperative.
Tire Milk Cooperative has developed partnership with:
- Food, Agriculture and Livestock Ministry (MFAL);
- İzmir Provincial Directorate of MFAL;
- the Tire District Directorate of MFAL;
- Izmir Metropolitan Municipality;
- Tire Municipality;
- Ege University Faculty of Agriculture (Consulting Partner);
- Agricultural Research Institute;
- Department of Training, Extension, and Publications;
- Private companies in the dairy production chain (produce, process, store, transport, and sell dairy products);
- Agricultural input providers;
- Agricultural Bank and other banks;
- Animal Breeders Association.
Thus, institutional arrangements have helped in using technologies to increase agricultural productivity in the dairy sector.
Organic farming is a form of farming that requires less investment and offers greater reductions in costs. The farmer converting to organic methods can reduce his costs very effectively, for example, by recycling as much material on the farm as possible. Labor costs can be reduced by taking preventive measures against disease, pests and weeds. He can reduce investment costs by using local plants to prepare proprietary pesticides, by rearing animals to produce fertilizer, milk, eggs and meat, by producing his own cattle feed, sharing equipment and machinery with his neighbors, etc.
The important thing is that Turkey has the necessary preconditions for the development of organic farming. Farmers are familiar with the production technologies. And it is necessary to continually educate and guide interested producers regarding this type of agriculture.
Economic indicators tell us that organic production is gaining in significance today. Prices of organic products are still high, despite the increase in sales volume – between 15% and 50% more than the equivalent product obtained through conventional production methods. There is great potential for development of the local market.
Tire Milk Cooperative grew into a big organization with several intermediary services for its members and also created a strong brand with wide range of dairy products in both regional and national markets.
Tire Dairy Cooperative work under the European Union standards and protect small-scale dairy producers.
The cooperative plays a ‘hub role’ in spreading information, knowledge, innovation, and technology among all stakeholders in the dairy sector. More importantly, it makes great efforts to encourage the development of modern animal husbandry in Tire and shows the latest and most advanced techniques to its members.
Cooperative had changed life and gave more income and opportunity to farmers and city. Cooperative is an important employment source with its 285 employees in its region.
Developing the organic farming, cooperative has economic, cultural and social benefits:
- Economic benefit - in organic agriculture farmer increases his income significantly without increasing the number of cows. There are control and certification service procurement in organic agriculture. Producer can benefit from control and certification bodies individually and also benefit with cooperative as legal entity. The cost of services received by the producer group is low because of that it is shared. In Turkey cooperatives (producer organizations) store, process and pack most of products. Therefore the value added of product increases. So rural-urban migration can be prevented. Cooperatives have social benefits like gathering producers, developing democratic decision making awareness, ensuring mutual communication and developing knowledge network.
- Cultural benefits: producer organizations are organizations formed by farmers generally in the same environment. There is common culture between producers that share the same environment, worry, religion, language and nationality etc. With organization farmers will meet a common point and have a mutual cultural exchange
Organic farming is orientated towards the future and towards further development, not just in terms of environmental protection and the improvement of human health, but also in terms of economic prosperity
Turkey, Menemen / İzmir
International Agricultural Research and Training Center (IARTC)
Telephone : +90 232 831 10 52 Fax: +90 232 831 10 51