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Farmers In Turkey To Benefit From New Project

Sustainable Tourism Turkey

Sustainable Tourism Turkey

A new Travel Foundation project to help local farmers benefit from tourism in Turkey has attracted support from three leading travel companies – TUI UK & Ireland, Thomas Cook and the Co-operative Travel.
The project aims to help farmers in the Fethiye region to benefit from the tourism sector by supplying hotels in the area.  By increasing the amount of locally-grown produce they purchase, hotels involved will benefit from being able to demonstrate a greener ethos and communicate to their customers the provenance of the fresh, locally-grown fruit and vegetables they are enjoying.

Sue Hurdle from the Travel Foundation said:  “It is thanks to the commitment from our partners to work together on this project that we are able to run this initiative.  This is an ambitious, long-term project that may take several years to come to fruition, but it is a vitally important part of our work to find new solutions to enable local supply to tourism businesses.  It is by enhancing these opportunities that tourism has perhaps its greatest capacity to deliver sustainable local benefits.”

A series of training workshops for local producers began in May. These aim to foster collaboration between producers, give guidance on marketing and sustainable agriculture, and to increase understanding of requirements for quantities, quality, and seasonality so that farmers are able to plan production and reduce wastage.  A ‘Grown in Fethiye’ brand is also being developed to help producers access the hotel market and to ensure that local goods are traceable.  The project has already attracted support from nine hotels.

Ruth Holroyd, Group Head of Sustainability for Thomas Cook said “As a result of this project hotels will have a better understanding of how to identify, purchase and promote locally-grown produce.  This in turn will help local farmers to earn from the tourism sector and help the hotels themselves to achieve ‘green’ certification, such as TraveLife, the preferred scheme used by Thomas Cook.”

Mike Greenacre, Managing Director of The Co-operative Travel, said: “We remain committed to supporting The Travel Foundation, as sustainable and responsible travel will unquestionably play a more significant role in developing the future of tourism.  As more and more resorts achieve ‘green’ certification – such as the Travelife properties – so this will become the norm and be expected by tourists rather than it being the exception. Having visited the Fethiye region last year to establish our ideas as to the credibility of this project I’m really pleased that together we are now moving the project ahead.”

Jane Ashton, Director of Group Sustainability at TUI Travel PLC, commented “We’re delighted to be supporting this important project in one of our customers’ favourite destinations. The Travel Foundation has established an excellent project team in Fethiye, who have ensured the involvement and representation of stakeholders throughout the supply chain. We believe this initiative could not only improve the livelihoods of local farmers, but also minimise environmental impacts and improve the holiday experience of our customers”.

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