08 Oct Turkish Organic Tomato farmers on the brink of disaster
2020 is not a good year for anyone, well except for Amazon. But for Turkish Tomato farmers and Organic farmers especially, this year could be a catastrophic year. So how did it get so bad and how are we helping our farmers?
The Perfect Storm
Looking over the endless green plains of Torbali in Turkey, It’s hard to imagine there are any problems, you might think that the world is at peace. But there is a problem building in the historic birthplace of farming and it might just have reached a tipping point. For many years, the humble Turkish tomato farmer has been working away with prices sliding down due to global competition and rampant price gouging.
It is a known fact in Turkey that farmers only get a fraction of the money you pay for their products in the market and that is being pushed down every year. When you add in local currency issues and a global pandemic you can see there isn’t much give in a system already close to breaking point “Factories will buy at prices that are basically a breach of contract, forcing market prices down,” Turkish Agricultural Chambers Union (TZOB) Chair Şemsi Bayraktar said. This is often causing the farmers to operate at a loss and with so many farmers close to bankruptcy, it doesn’t take a great deal of foresight to see shortages on the horizon and farmers out on the street.
So what can be done about it?
A fair price for a quality product
Modern industrial farming is all about a race to the bottom, cheaper prices, bigger crops, more chemicals and hormones. With our farmers, the race is for quality, not quality at any cost, but hand in hand with nature. Our farmers understand that a premium, organic tomato is worth more than twenty regular chemical laden tomatoes.
This is why we work hand in hand with them, developing natural ways to combat pests, allowing the earth to supply it’s vitamins and richness naturally. Also, by working with us, our farmers know there is no middleman, they will receive a fair price for a premium product. They know that we are working not just for this year, but for many years to come, so they feel more confident in investing in their crops and planning for the future.
What does the future hold?
A light in the darkness
Since the start of the covid pandemic, one trend has been shining above the rest and it’s one shaft of daylight in an otherwise dim and dinghy room. Organic produce has been expanding rapidly in every country around the developed world. People are realising the value of fresh natural produce, having been forced to sit home for months on end has given people the opportunity to think about what they eat and what goes into making their food. Modern industrial farming is unsustainable, it’s self destructive at best, globally destructive at worst. But with the help from companies like ours, willing to go that extra mile in supporting, literally, the grass roots, there is a chance.
So maybe think twice about those cheap value products, does the cost really represent the effort that should go into growing or making that product? Isn’t it worth paying a little more for that organic tomato to make sure both the farmer and the planet itself has a future. We think it is, that’s what we promise to keep investing in our growers, to keep working with them to find real world solutions to problems because anyone can just chuck some chemicals around and call it farming.