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ANATOLiVAR – Strengthening Olive Producing Communities in Anatolia



Project Coordinator: Proje Evi Cooperative

Project Partners: National Olive and Olive Oil Council, Slow Food

Project Funder: The Delegation of the European Union to Türkiye



 

 

Although Turkey is within the main producers of olives in the Mediterranean Basin, even in the World and olive cultivation is a source of livelihood for hundreds of thousands of families, the contribution of the sector to the economic development of the country is not at the level it deserves. However, Turkey's diverse geography, climate and soil conditions have led to the emergence of a wide variety of local olive varieties, each with unique characteristics in terms of taste, aroma and nutritional value. However, large olive groves and producer communities are becoming increasingly vulnerable due to the increasing impacts of climate change such as extreme weather events, sudden temperature changes, water stress and severe development of diseases.


The European Green Deal is a set of interconnected targets covering nearly all the elements of society aimed at achieving a sustainable, carbon-neutral, and resource-efficient economy for the European Union. One of the key focus areas of the European Green Deal is “sustainable agriculture” which plays a crucial role in supporting the environment and communities. With its long history in olive production and its important role in olive-related value chains, Turkey has a unique opportunity to overcome climate-related challenges in the sector by taking steps towards harmonisation with the European Green Deal.


However, to achieve this, it is necessary to strengthen the capacities of civil society organizations (CSOs) in Türkiye, including food activists, food cooperatives, associations, consumers, and prosumers, to develop and promote sustainable olive production practices in line with the Green Deal.

 

Overall Objective

The overall objective of ANATOLiVAR project with full name “Strengthening Civil Society Capacities to Support Olive Producer Communities in Türkiye towards Achieving the Goals of the European Green Deal” and supported by the Delegation of the European Union to Türkiye is to  strengthen the capacity of civil society actors involved in the production and consumption of olives and olive oil through adopting sustainable agricultural practices, promoting sustainable policies in the sector related to the Green Deal targets and raising awareness of related CSOs on these issues.

 

Specific Objectives

·       Increasing the awareness and knowledge of CSOs on the environmental, social and economic challenges faced by the olive sector in Türkiye and the importance of sustainable and climate adapted agricultural practices in achieving the goals of the European Green Deal.

·        Strengthening the capacity of relevant CSOs to support small-scale olive producers by providing technical assistance, training and resources for transitioning to sustainable agricultural practices, market access and livelihood improvement

·       Strengthening partnerships and networks between CSOs, olive producers and relevant public institutions to promote sustainable agro-pastoral olive and olive oil production practices, protect olive grove ecosystems and thereby support small-scale olive producers.



Target Groups

·        Olive and olive oil producer sector CSOs and their producer network

·        CSOs active in the food sector, such as associations, food consumer or producer communities, Slow Food communities, local consumer cooperatives.

·        Small and medium scale olive and olive oil producers

·        Active citizens, food activists and prosumers who are actively engaged in promoting sustainable agriculture and supporting olive producer communities

·        Related public institutions such as Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, of Environment, Urbanism and Climate Change, regional development agencies, governorships, local governments and local chambers of commerce and industry

 

In addition, other olive and olive oil producing communities including family producers, small and medium-sized enterprises outside the project area, Slow Olive communities in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, consumers, culinary professionals will benefit from the outputs of the project in the medium and long term.    

 

Expected Outputs

As a result of many activities and events to be carried out during the project which will be completed in 3 years, it is expected that the olive and olive oil production sector will increase knowledge and awareness about the objectives of the Green Deal, especially "sustainable agriculture", "sustainable production and consumption" and "climate action", and that practices towards these objectives will start within the sector. Producers will be encouraged to make good practices in this field. In addition, within the scope of the project, a database linking olive varieties and small and medium-sized olive and olive oil producers will be created and this information will also be published into a guide book,  so an important step will be taken in the promotion of the sector. On the other hand, it will be ensured to raise awareness among consumers on sustainable agriculture and food systems, and Green Deal in the olive and olive oil sector through campaigns and other various communication activities. 



Activities

Determining the current situation

A baseline analyse will be carried out to reveal the current situation regarding the perception of the Green Deal by the target groups in the project region and a report will be prepared.


Data collection and inventory creation

Firstly, clear and comprehensive criteria will be established for the selection of olive producers and olive varieties to be included in the inventory, taking into account factors such as climate resilience, sustainability and socio-economic considerations. Afterwards, face-to-face interviews and olive grove visits will be carried out in Marmara, North Aegean, Central Aegean, South Aegean, Eastern Mediterranean and Southeast regions which constitute the 6 main olive production basins. These visits will provide the necessary data to establish a comprehensive and representative inventory of olive producers and climate-resilient olive varieties. In addition local olive varieties and olive groves will be mapped and an online geospatially enabled database will be created with the collected data. This data will also be published into a guidebook.


Capacity building activities for related CSOs

Training materials for target groups that will cover different aspects of the European Green Deal relevant to the olive sector such as climate, environment, and agriculture, will be prepared in close collaboration with project partners and experts. Afterwards, in-person trainings, workshops, webinars will be organised in 6 major olive producing basins using these training materials. Awareness raising materials such as brochures, infographics and videos will be developed and shared with relevant CSOs and other institutions. Technical assistance and trainings will be provided to producer CSOs and small-scale olive producers in their networks to utilise sustainable agricultural practices and improve their livelihoods.


Networking

The project will facilitate networking and partnership building among relevant stakeholders such as CSOs, olive producers, government agencies, research institutions, SMEs and international organizations, to promote sustainable practices and support small-scale olive producers through various activities. All 6 trainings carried out, will also be used as an internal networking workshops as well. The workshops will be conducted in a gathering manner, having joint groups moderated by experts to bring out current knowledge and learn about climate change, resilience, biodiversity, olive diversity, threats to sustainable olive growing. In Turkey, 2 Slow Food events will be organised to which approximately 50 CSO representatives, relevant public institutions, olive producers, consumers, culinary experts, famous chefs, local cooks and influencers will be invited. In addition, the project achievements will be shared with the participants by participating in the Terra Madre event organised by the project partner Slow Food in Italy in 2026.


Advocacy

A series of advocacy activities will be carried out in order to ensure that the objectives of the Green Deal are realised within the sector, sustainable agro-pastoral olive and olive oil production practices become widespread, olive grove ecosystems are protected and thus small-scale olive producers are supported. In this way, it will also support the strengthening of ties between olive producers and relevant public authorities. In this context, visits to relevant public institutions, chambers of commerce, agricultural unions in Ankara and in the project provinces will be organised regularly. Besides 2 half-day summits will be organised in Ankara.


Communication activities

An online awareness campaign highlighting the objectives of the European Green Deal related to olive production will be developed and implemented.


The campaign will raise awareness on environmental issues such as sustainable use of natural resources in olive and olive oil production, sustainable soil management, soil degradation and erosion in olive groves, olive varieties resistant to extreme climatic conditions such as drought, water management and biodiversity conservation in olive groves, genetic diversity of olives, waste reduction in olive oil production, farm to fork strategy, as well as social issues such as just transition and economic issues such as circular economy, creating new markets for sustainable olive producers. At the same time, the campaign will emphasise the importance of sustainable practices in achieving the European Green Deal targets.


A documentary film, various short videos, infographics and a comprehensive olive guidebook will be produced as part of the communication activities.


Social impact analysis

A social impact analysis and assessment will be conducted throughout the project with the aim of maximizing the impact created by the project. For this purpose, from the very beginning of the project, a social impact management system will be developed and implemented.



This document was funded by the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Proje Evi Cooperative and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union



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