Varistor is engaged in building a transparent, sustainable value chain for Turkish hazelnuts. The goal of the Happy Hazelnut Project is to improve the working conditions of the migrant workers and prevent child labor.
The Happy Hazelnut Project was launched in 2013 together with our long-time partner Isik Organic Gida. The Happy Hazelnut certification and the “Happy House” in Pasalar are the cornerstones of this project
All 72 farmers participating in the project are certified according to the Happy Hazelnut standard which was developed for the specific context of hazelnut production in Turkey. The producers must comply with strict regulations such as providing well-equipped accommodation facilities for workers and not employing any children. They receive a price premium for complying with these standard requirements and undergo an audit by an external certification body every year.
During harvest season, many migrant workers live in temporary camps with poor living standards. Often, they take their children to work on the hazelnuts orchards. To improve their situation, the “Happy House” was constructed, providing accommodation for more than 40 workers and their families during harvest. While the parents work, a summer school is organized in the Happy House for all kids. Teachers, meals and transportation of children from surrounding villages are arranged and financed through the project.
The project has grown considerably since 2013 and already counts seven member companies, which pay a premium to the Happy Hazelnut Foundation for the purchased volume of hazelnuts. During the harvest season 2018, 350 workers were employed by the Happy Hazelnut farmers. Until today, the Happy Hazelnut project in Turkey sets the highest standards regarding working conditions and preventing child labor, while offering a concrete solution in the field.
Find out more about the Happy Hazelnut Project by visiting the project website or reading the Happy Hazelnut Flyer.