TİM CHAIRMAN İSMAİL GÜLLE: WE WILL MAKE TÜRKİYE A BRAND COUNTRY ON SUSTAINABILITY
Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) continues its efforts to brand the country on sustainability in line with the goal of “Sustainable Türkiye in All Areas”. For this purpose, Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) shared the details of its “Sustainability Action Plan in Agriculture and Livestock Sectors” with the public to accelerate the transformation in the agriculture and livestock sectors.
Speaking about the “Sustainability Action Plan in Agriculture and Livestock Sectors” at the introductory meeting, TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle said, “As Turkish Exporters Assembly and Exporters' Associations, we are very excited about the campaign we have launched on behalf of a sustainable world that we inherited from the past and will leave for the future. The agriculture and livestock sector became our second sector taking an action with a great vision within the framework of our sustainability action plan. Hopefully, as a result of all these studies, we will reach the sectoral goals we have set within the framework of the TİM sustainability action plan together.”
Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM), the only umbrella organization of more than 100,000 exporters with 61 Exporters Association and 27 sectors, continues its efforts to brand the country on sustainability in line with the goal of “Sustainable Türkiye in All Areas”. In this context, TİM shared with the public the sustainability action plan in the Agriculture and Livestock sectors, which is one of the objectives of the Sustainability Action Plan, which includes 12 main targets prepared under the leadership of TİM Women's Council with the slogan “We produce for the world without consuming the world.”
The main objectives and roadmap of the 'Sustainability Action Plan in Agriculture and Livestock Sectors' were announced to the public by TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle at the introductory meeting attended by union presidents and members of the Council of Sectors. The objectives within the scope of the plan were determined under 10 main headings such as Agriculture and Livestock Sustainability Committee, Agricultural Production, Agricultural, and Animal Production, Aquaculture, Supply Chain-Processing-Packaging, Climate, Decent Work, Water and Energy, Public and CSO Joint Working Platform, Circular Economy.
Making the opening speech of the 'Sustainability Action Plan in Agriculture and Livestock Sectors' press conference, TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle gave some information from the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). According to the report, in the best-case scenario, if the global warming of +1.5 °C, more than 350 million people living in urban areas will experience water scarcity due to increasing droughts; global GDP will decrease by 10%; on the other hand, in the worst-case scenario, if the global warming of +4 °C, agricultural areas will shrink by about 10-30%; and global GDP will decrease by 23%. TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle stated that it is predicted in the G20 Climate Impacts Report that agricultural droughts, forest fires, coastal floods, and hurricanes may become more frequent.
Stating that the European Union has implemented serious measures to reduce the effects of losses and damages caused by climate change, Gülle said, “The European Green Agreement includes critical strategies and objectives centered on climate policy. In this sense, the Green Agreement presents both opportunities and threats for our SMEs exporting to the EU. With this awareness, we shared our TİM Sustainability Action Plan consisting of 12 main goals, which we prepared with the motto 'To produce for the world without consuming the world'.”
“We had said we would implement action plans for each of our sectors”
Stating that the first of its objectives is to create TİM Sustainability Science Committee in Industry, and sectoral action plans and to provide public consultation mechanism, TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle said, “In this context, we announced our first Sectoral Action Plan for our textile sector on July 12, 2021. With this move led by our textile sector, we said that we would implement action plans for each of our sectors by encouraging all our exporter sectors. We held the first meeting of our TİM Sustainability Science Committee in Industry on September 9, 2021. We hope that also our action plan, we announced today, for the agriculture and livestock sector will be good for our export family.”
“We closely follow all developments for the construction of sustainable agriculture and food system”
Saying that they are witnessing more and more scientific studies that increasing agricultural and industrial demand with the increase in the world population will lead to major problems when combined with climate change, TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle said, “The Field-to-Fork Strategy of the European Green Agreement target directly these issues. The Field-to-Fork Strategy includes sustainable food production, sustainable food processing and distribution, sustainable food consumption, food loss, and waste prevention. As TİM, we closely follow all developments for the construction of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food System.
“We will continue our multifaceted efforts to take out our export from the green economic transformation process with maximum benefit”
Noting that export in the agriculture and livestock sectors increased by 22 percent to $29.7 billion in 2021, the export of this sector to EU countries amounted to $7.8 billion and to other European countries by $2 billion, TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle continued, “We export one-third of our agricultural and livestock products to Europe. This rate is 80 percent in hazelnuts, 59 percent in dried fruits, 50 percent in fruit and vegetable products, and 26% in aquatic products and animal products. The importance of the European market and the Green Agreement for our agriculture and livestock sectors is clear. In this context, since the first day of the publication of the European Green Agreement, we have organized many activities and training programs to raise awareness of our exporters in the focus of green transformation and green reconciliation. One of them is the 'Regional Sustainable Export Mobilization Training Program', which we have implemented in Türkiye with the participation of the relevant Ministry and public institutions, industry representatives, and academicians. In general, we aim to organize training for all our regions during the year.”
Saying that they placed the Carbon Regulation Mechanism and Its Effects on Exports in the focus of the upcoming Export 2022 Report of TİM that will be published soon, TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle said, “We will present our report, which includes analysis on a sectoral basis, to the press in the coming days and share it with our Exporters. We will continue our multifaceted efforts to take out our export from the green economic transformation process with maximum benefit. Hopefully, as a result of all these efforts, we will achieve the sectoral goals we have set within the framework of the TİM sustainability action plan and in coordination with our unions together.”
“I reiterate our invitation to a production approach that prioritizes nature and the environment”
Emphasizing that adopting sustainable production and consumption models in food is essential for all-out movement in order to achieve economic growth compatible with the planet, TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle invited industrialists, producers, suppliers, and exporters to the understanding of production that prioritizes nature and the environment. Gülle also said, “Please come and let us reduce wild irrigation in agriculture. Let us move on to drip irrigation, prioritize the recovery and use of wastewater. Let us go from synthetic fertilizer to organic fertilizer. Let us reduce the use of fossil fuels in production. Let us promote product rotation and biodiversity. Let us expand organic farming, increase local production. Because it is our binding duty to leave a livable world for future generations.”
“We will make Türkiye a brand country in the field of sustainability”
Noting that they are very excited about the campaign they have launched on behalf of a sustainable world as Turkish Exporters Assembly and Exporters' Associations, TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle said, “Agriculture and livestock sector became our second sector taking an action with a great vision within the framework of our sustainability action plan. I congratulate our sector, which has made significant strides in sustainability by demonstrating this vision. Hopefully, as a result of all these studies, we will reach the sectoral goals we have set within the framework of the TİM sustainability action plan together.”
Melisa Tokgöz Mutlu, Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Age Fruit and Vegetable Sector: We will carry the Zero Waste Project to the agriculture and livestock sector in our exports
Melisa Tokgöz Mutlu, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Age Fruit and Vegetable Sector, who was the keynote speaker at the Sustainability Action Plan press conference in the Agriculture and Livestock Sectors, stressed that reducing dependence on pesticides and antimicrobials and excessive fertilizer use, as well as increasing organic agriculture and improving animal welfare, is necessary for the continuation of sustainable food systems depending on the agriculture and livestock sector.
Melisa Tokgöz Mutlu, Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Age Fruit and Vegetable Sector, said, “Within the scope of this action plan, we will carry the “Zero Waste Project” to the agriculture and livestock sector in our exports. We will be encouraging manufacturing and exporting companies in this sector to 'Measure the Corporate Carbon Footprint by Scientific Methods'. In order to minimize the consumption of intensive water during raw material production and processing in the relevant sector, we will work to develop techniques, support them with incentives and monitor them and audit them within the framework of the legislation.”
TİM Sustainability Action Plan in Agriculture and Livestock Sectors
1- AGRICULTURE AND LIVESTOCK SUSTAINABILITY PLATFORM
Agriculture and Livestock Sustainability Committee will be established under the umbrella of the TİM Sustainability Science Board in Industry.
Support will be provided for research and development projects by cooperating with universities, private sectors, public and non-governmental organizations.
Public incentives and initiatives will be made to diversify vehicles related to environmental management and environmental protection.
It is planned to explain to the young population of the country on various platforms that vegetable production is a business area by increasing productivity in vegetable production and ensuring the variety of products where profitability is essential. In this context, in order to make agricultural production and farming attractive, sustainable and to restore respect to the farming profession, professional incentives will be carried out in partnership with the public, and training, consultancy and incentive opportunities will be provided for young entrepreneurs.
In villages, towns, and rural areas, access to education, health, etc. social services, and quality of service will be increased, preventing the abandonment of agricultural areas and ensuring regular processing of land. To create production patterns, especially in line with market demands, studies will be carried out to monitor the current expectations of the market and transfer them to production.
Proposals will be made for legislative infrastructure to prevent land fragmentation through inheritance, to prevent the disintegration of agricultural land, and not to open up to zoning structures.
3-AGRICULTURAL AND ANIMAL PRODUCTION
Up-to-date technologies will be used to support sustainable agriculture (organic agriculture, permaculture) and disseminate organic production, and R&D studies for these technologies will be encouraged.
Renewable and biodegradable packaging production technologies such as vegetable plastic and paper straws will be developed and certification applications will be expanded.
By ensuring the establishment of animal product processing facilities in the right locations, projects will be created to minimize production losses by ensuring that the raw product reaches the process as soon as possible, as well as to ensure its supply under the most favorable conditions.
With the creation of animal waste management facilities, organic fertilizer production project studies will be supported in energy acquisition or vegetable production.
To ensure sustainable production in the field of aquaculture, necessary practices and incentives will be made for the dissemination and legalization of insurance in the field of fisheries against the risks of mass death and the risk of fish diseases.
Accredited fish hatcheries will be established in selected pilot regions to meet all the needs for juvenile fish from fish eggs obtained from the domestic market.
The production, sale, and use of biological substances such as vaccines and drugs and chemicals used in aquaculture health will be disciplined and additive-residue programs will be carried out effectively.
5-SUPPLY CHAIN-PROCESSING AND PACKAGING
A strong communication system will be established to ensure the production of raw materials suitable for the needs through cooperatives, producer unions, and similar institutions, and will be supported by a digital software system and its traceability will be ensured.
The infrastructure of the communication system to be established will be provided in cooperation with GSM operators and will be used for informational purposes in the supply chain about all kinds of agricultural activities, needs, and actions.
Product inspections will be carried out at every stage of the supply chain (from field to fork) and full traceability will be ensured by creating a controlled production system under international standards.
Within the framework of the full integration efforts to the European Green Agreement, scientific carbon footprint measurement and reporting and pilot applications will be implemented in the Institutions.
In line with Türkiye's 2053 “Carbon neutral” target, nitrogen fertilizer use will be reduced and alternative fertilizer use will be encouraged.
To create sustainable food systems, efforts will be carried out to expand food systems that fall outside the scope of traditional food systems.
7- DECENT WORK
Consultancy activities will be supported to establish, spread, and provide certification services for social compliance and sustainability quality standards in the supply chain and enterprises.
Awareness and corporate responsibility studies will be increased to minimize occupational health and safety risks and prevent occupational accidents.
Awareness studies will be carried out to improve the working conditions of women working in fields and industries.
By implementing the principle of equal pay for equal work, women's employment in the food sector will be increased, child labor will be prevented and young entrepreneurs will be encouraged to farm. Work will be carried out to facilitate business development in rural areas.
8- WATER AND ENERGY
Public broadcasts will be created on the efficient use of rainwater, underground and surface water resources in the field and the food industry, and awareness-raising and training activities will be expanded.
Efforts will be made to increase the use of digital monitoring tools and applications in the fight against agricultural drought.
Efforts will be made to support greenhouses and production facilities that use renewable energy.
9- PUBLIC AND CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS JOINT WORKING PLATFORM
Agroecological applications and the dissemination of boutique and efficient agricultural practices will be supported. Considering regional dynamics, common and participatory agricultural practices will be encouraged.
Updating/strengthening water regulations in the context of national water policy will be followed. Support will be provided for the use and recovery of aboveground and groundwater resources. Pond-building supports for rainwater accumulation will be delivered to more farmers.
Producer cooperatives will be encouraged, and they will be ensured to act responsibly in terms of 'good agricultural and livestock practices and quality and price stability.
10- CIRCULAR ECONOMY
Support and collaborations will be provided for the establishment of deposit application systems for packaging recycling.
Incentives will be provided for the use of auxiliary products formed at every stage of production (pulp, non-processing products, blackwater, etc.) as animal feed, fertilizer (compost, biochar, organo-mineral applications), biogas, ethanol, oil, etc.
R&D studies on the reassessment of wastes in agricultural production will be executed.
Measures will be taken to reduce/prevent food loss and waste of enterprises.