farmers

Best practice now common practice for 15 Fethiye hotels

taste of Fethiye logo300After five years support, we’re almost ready to stand back from the Taste of Fethiye project in Turkey. The project is now on the verge of being handed over to local organisations. FETAV (Fethiye Tourism, Education, Environment and Culture Promotion) have already taken over organisation of the Taste of Fethiye Craft Fairs, and we’re busy working on agreeing responsibilities that will be handed over to local organisations who will continue to run the Taste of Fethiye brand in future.

LD6H2217The wholesalers that were involved in the project from the beginning are still working with almost all the Taste of Fethiye farmers, which is hugely important to ensure future success. We also had a great increase in involvement from hotels last year, which had a great influence on production and sales.

 

Fifteen hotels are still purchasing Taste of Fethiye produce, which tells us after all these years of hard work, purchasing local fresh fruit and vegetables from Taste of Fethiye has become a part of their day-to-day business practice.

 

So, it seems that it IS possible to integrate small, local suppliers into the mainstream tourism supply chain. Myself and Vicky are currently working on an impact assessment report for the project, and I look forward to sharing all that stats with you soon.

SemsiProfileWritten by Semsi Toprak, Programme Co-ordinator, Fethiye (Turkey)

Read more about the Taste of Fethiye project.

Florida sustainability conference gets a Taste of Fethiye

Taste of Fethiye Project coordinator Semsi Toprak Semsi Toprakrecently held a break-out session in the Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference North America (ESTCNA), the first major sustainable tourism conference following the adoption of the United Nations Sustainability Goals and the outcomes of COP 21 Climate Change negotiations.

The conference was organised by The International Ecotourism Society and hosted by the University of South Florida Patel College of Global Sustainability. The theme for this year’s conference was ‘Transforming Our World Through Sustainable Solutions’.

I can’t tell you how good it was to be able to speak about the project that far from home. Seeing the interest – and even surprise – on people’s faces was worth the trip.

Semsi’s session took place within the ‘Sustainable Food’ theme and was well attended by an international group consisting of tourism professionals, travel writers, private companies and academics.

It was amazing to see the audience’s interest. One question followed another, until at last we got a nod from the moderator to end the session. Once again I was very proud to be part of this unique project, which presents an ideal example for the tourism industry.

– Semsi Toprak, Project Coordinator

> Find out more about Taste of Fethiye

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Salad Days

Travel Foundation team visits The Severn Project

The team get a look at some of the packaged produce

The team get a look at some of the packaged produce

During the first week of September all the Travel Foundation’s destination programmes coordinators convened at our Bristol HQ – it’s always lovely to see them! One afternoon we took time out from our busy schedule to be inspired by the work of The Severn Project – a ‘Bristol born and bred’ social enterprise and Community Interest Company.

The organisation’s organic urban farm grows salad leaves on around 8.5 acres – giving a new purpose to previously disused land, and providing employment opportunities for local people recovering from drug and alcohol misuse, and those with a history of offending or poor mental health.

The result is fresh, fresh salad leaves which are supplied to local restaurants, alongside real social benefits for employees and the wider community.

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The TF team with Severn Project founder, Steve Glover (2nd from right)

With so many of our overseas programmes focusing on local supply chain and linking the tourism and agricultural industries, our extended team found the visit (and especially the chance to quiz founder Steve Glover) deeply insightful and inspiring. No doubt they’ll be taking some tips back to their respective corners of the globe to implement in existing and future programmes.

Founded in 2010, The Severn Project now supplies 80 customers in Bristol on a weekly basis and is currently in discussions with some well-known UK retailers – so watch out for their produce in a chiller cabinet near you soon!

Cyprus breakfast at the King Jason

Following recent news that the Cyprus Breakfast is to be rolled out across the island, hotels are making this authentic start to the day ever more appealing to holidaymakers.

One of the most representative hotels is the Louis King Jason hotel in Paphos, who have set out a well-decorated display with a wide variety of local foods and a very enthusiastic guide, Maria, explaining to customers about the dishes on display.

Cyprus Breakfast Cyprus BreakfastCyprus Breakfast Cyprus Breakfast Cyprus Breakfast  Cyprus Breakfast

The Cyprus breakfast includes cheeses (halloumi and anari), carob/carob products, grapes, herbs, honey, spoon sweets, yoghurt, fresh fruit and vegetables, cured meats, breads and cakes.

Local businesses can now benefit directly from tourism, with hotels supporting local artisan food producers.

> Find out more on the Cyprus breakfast website

Music, food and craft in Fethiye

kaya3Our Taste of Fethiye project brings hotels and producers together to ensure tourists can enjoy fresh local food while benefiting the region’s agricultural industry. In May the project saw its largest celebration to date, with the popular biannual craft fair turning into a music festival, bringing culture and gastronomy together.

“Taste of Fethiye craft fair has become one of the most looked for attractions in Kaya Village both by the locals and visitors,”

Says Semsi Topak, from our overseas team.

“We’ve cooperated with Fethiye Promotion and Introduction Foundation (FETAV) to organize the craft fair as an event that would be also a part of 8th Fethiye Festival. Musicians including Los Vegabundos, Scott Jeffers and Ahmet Erarslan cleared the rust in the audience’s ears.”

“This year Fethiye Mayor Behcet Saatci visited the craft fair with his deputy Mete Atay. They were very happy with the ongoing overall success of the Taste of Fethiye project and called for a meeting to talk about the future and sustainability of the project in more detail.”

His colleague Vicky Erdogan added:

“The weather was stunning, blue skies and warm but not too hot and the stallholders enjoyed the day and made good sales. We had the most stalls booked to date… 100 tables selling a range of handmade items from wood carvings, felt hats, jewelry, painted pebbles, ceramics to local food such as stuffed vine leaves and pastries.

Many stall holders asked ‘why can’t we do this every month?’.

Working in partnership with the Fethiye Festival was a good opportunity for the craft fair and I also believe added an extra dimension to the festival too… hopefully this partnership can continue each May.”

Fethiye farmers step closer to a sustainable future

taste of Fethiye logo300Since 2010, our Taste of Fethiye project in Turkey has been working to increase the benefits farmers in gain from tourism, and encourage good farming practise.

Having successfully increased produce yields, the project looked to assist farmers with the sale of produce to hoteliers, and other businesses, through a wholesaler under the ‘Taste of Fethiye’ brand. Now in it’s final year of Travel Foundation funding, project stakeholders have significantly begun to step-up activities in preparation for ownership after 2015.

Having seen the value in fresh, local produce, the wholesaler (through which the ToF produce is sold) has produced its own marketing materials for ToF branded fruit and vegetables. This includes printed materials such as letterheads and purchase agreements, and new van livery that includes the ToF logo. This is a really positive step towards self-sufficiency.

Senay Coskun, owner of the wholesaler in Fethiye

Senay Coskun, owner of the wholesaler in Fethiye

Below we hear from Senay Coskun, owner of the wholesaler…

“We have been working with the Taste of Fethiye project for 4 years and we are very happy with the progress. After all these years we feel ourselves as a big family with farmers, project manager and hoteliers. We are receiving quality products from the farmers and delivering them to hotels as fresh as possible.

We see the increasing interest from the hoteliers too. Every year we are increasing our sales with new hotel agreements. As the company owner I always thought that we are very much lacking in marketing and communication.  With the help of Taste of Fethiye project we feel that we’ve improved our communication and marketing skills. With the story behind and successful improvements through the years, this project gives us the tremendous opportunity to communicate more with our customers.

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Becoming a runner up in UWTO Ulysses Awards was fascinating and we were very proud to play a part in that. We wanted to promote the Taste of Fethiye brand more because the interest towards the project is increasing very rapidly we wanted to stress our involvement. After all as a service provider, working with this unique project is helping us to grow our business.”

The ToF project has been working with 29 farmers throughout 6 villages, who are now supplying produce (via the wholesaler) to hotels and businesses throughout the Fethiye region. To read more on this project, click here.

In search of the perfect tomato

Tomatos in 'Taste of Fethiye'Finding the most suitable varieties of produce for farmers to grow for our “Taste of Fethiye” project is really important. It’s not just about the tastiest, juiciest or best looking (although that’s all important!). We also want to increase yields for farmers and reduce the need for pesticides and soil improvers.

There are hundreds of varieties of tomato, which we narrow down to about 3-5 for each individual farmer to try out. In total we trial about 40 varieties every year with our farmers to find the perfect seedlings for their growing conditions.

himmet and hasan uysalThis year we think we’ve come to end of that exploration for Hasan Uysal from Arpacik village. Hasan says:

“Following the trials of the past three years we have found the most suitable tomato variety for our greenhouse.  This is the first time that anyone has ever planted this variety in our village, my neighbours are also coming to see the progress and we are very impressed with the yield.”