Flavours from the Fields

Project Aims

This project, a TUI Care Foundation initiative delivered by the Travel Foundation, is helping rural, small-scale producers in south-west Turkey to benefit from tourism. The aim is to improve the livelihoods of farmers and small-scale producers in the Muğla region by facilitating the local supply of traditional ingredients and delicacies to hotels, restaurants and gift shops.

The area is famous for its honey, olives, citrus fruit, almonds, herbs, pomegranates and fresh vegetables. Traditional delicacies made from this fresh produce, such as oils, vinegars and jams, will be bought by hotels for their kitchens and gift shops.

We are supporting local producers to develop a range of goods that appeal to hotels and customers, and we encouraging hotels to buy locally, and promote local products to their customers.

As tourism returns to coastal areas following the pandemic, this initiative will help spread the benefits inland, enabling small businesses to tap into the tourism supply chain.

Adding Value

olives in jars

Muğla is a predominantly rural area, and small-scale growers struggle to maintain farming as a sustainable livelihood. Most produce is sold directly to local markets, traders and wholesalers at a fairly low price.

The farmers and village communities cannot always create opportunities to process the raw ingredients to add value to them, for example by turning olives into (more expensive) olive oil, or table olives, with suitable packaging and branding.

Local producers are also not well placed to supply businesses in the tourism sector, which instead typically use large-scale wholesalers and distributors that source goods from much further afield (including importing).



Activities and Approach

By creating new or improved products, and selling to new buyers, farmers and producers in Muğla province (known as the “Turquoise Coast”) will have more secure, sustainable livelihoods. And, of course, customers visiting Muğla can enjoy locally made artisanal foods.

To do this, we are giving local producers training and support to help them develop products that are suitable for the tourism sector. This includes:

  • Working with village cooperatives and small enterprises to identify opportunities for new products and to improve existing processes, for instance by ensuring best environmental practices are followed
  • Holding producer fairs, and “brokering” buying agreements between producers and tourism businesses.
  • Working with businesses to help them change their procurement practices and make it easier for them to buy from small local suppliers.
  • Supporting hotels to hold events for customers to find out more about the products, how they are produced and, of course, to taste the results!

Customers will also have opportunities to go on excursions that visit some of the producers involved in the project.

Achievements to date

  • 22 Village cooperatives and small enterprises have committed to participate in the project, representing an estimated 200 producers. So far nine of these (representing 95 farmers) have sold products to tourism businesses.
  • 22 tourism businesses (including 16 hotels) purchased value added products
  • £60,667 has been generated in sales of value added products through the project
  • Approximately 105,000 tourists have sampled and purchased local produce

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