Displaced earthquake victims move into new container house village

Global ingredients company ofi and its customers fund vital housing project for families left homeless


Last week, displaced victims of Turkey and Syria’s earthquake disaster in February moved into new container houses in “Sakarya Fraternity City'', a temporary village established in Hatay, a district in Iskenderun, Turkey.


A global leader in food & beverage ingredients, ofi, and five of its customers have funded 15 of the container houses for earthquake survivor families who lost their homes. Each of the 21sqm houses is equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, and living space and can accommodate up to four people. The project, led by the Sakarya Metropolitan Municipality, has also established a free food pantry within the village, with ofi and its customers contributing to it. 


Sakarya Fraternity City forms part of a wider relief package from ofi, its employees and customers. ofi Tarım Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. employs 672 employees in its hazelnut factories, located in the Turkish provinces of Sakarya, Ordu and Giresun, none of which were directly affected. The group had earlier donated aid via the Red Cross and local governorships for immediate emergency relief efforts including hygiene & clothing supplies, as well as food packages, logistics and transportation to aid the overall relief effort.

Kadir Erhal, Head of Hazelnuts Procurement at ofi Tarım Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. Turkey, said: “This project is a real testament to what can be achieved when we work together with our customers and local municipalities to tackle urgent problems on the ground. It’s in line with our purpose to ‘Be the change for good food and a healthy future’. It’s a small step in the huge recovery effort from the earthquake but we hope it will give some relief and security to some of the worst affected families.


ofi’s hazelnut business in Turkey has run sourcing and processing operations here for over a decade and in that time with customers and other partners, have contributed significantly to the education and protection of farmers and farm workers and to the empowerment of women in farming communities. Our country team will draw on this experience to explore how we can help mitigate any knock-on effects on the rights and working conditions of seasonal workers in the hazelnut industry, many of whom travel from the affected regions in the south to work in the harvest in the north.”      


Beyond relief efforts and as part of its 2030 sustainability goals, ofi team in Turkey is collaborating on impactful, long-term improvements for seasonal workers in Turkey, where 60% of the world’s hazelnuts are grown. Hazelnuts are enjoyed in a huge variety of popular foods and beverages - from traditional trail mixes and indulgent gianduja spreads to plant-based milk and praline. As a company linking Turkey’s hazelnuts to the international market, ofi Tarım Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş is working with customers, farmers and other partners to improve farmer yields, and tackle poor working conditions and child labor issues in the seasonal worker community.


By training farmers on good social practices, educating female seasonal workers on health, nutrition and their labour rights and investing in summer schools for their children, the company is helping to improve conditions for these workers. Its Olam Farmer Information System captures important information about the company’s workforce and communities, with over 9,000 hazelnut farmers registered. ofi’s Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation System and unannounced farm inspections helps to quickly identify and address child labor.


In 2021 the company launched the ‘Hazelnut Trail as a new strategy to support ofi’s ambition of finding more creative, productive and sustainable ways of supplying ingredients. It set ambitious targets and metrics around this strategy which are tracked on and reported through sustainability insights platform AtSource, in order to steer the strategy and give customers visibility of its performance through the supply chain.   

About ofi

ofi (olam food ingredients) is a new operating group born out of Olam. ofi offers sustainable, natural, value-added food products and ingredients so that consumers can enjoy the healthy and indulgent products they love. It consists of industry-leading businesses of cocoa, coffee, dairy, nuts, and spices. ofi has built a unique global value chain presence including its own farming operations, farm-gate origination, and manufacturing facilities. ofi partners with customers, leveraging its complementary and differentiated portfolio of ‘on-trend’ food products, to co-create solutions that anticipate and meet changing consumer preferences as demand increases for healthier food that’s traceable and sustainable. To subscribe to the ofi newsroom, please visit News & Events (privacy statement here). If you do not wish to receive information from ofi please contact media@ofi.com.


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About Olam Group

Olam Group is a leading food and agri-business supplying food, ingredients, feed and fibre to 20,900 customers worldwide. Its value chain spans over 60 countries and includes farming, processing and distribution operations, as well as a global network of farmers. By re-imagining global agriculture and food systems, Olam Group aims to address the many challenges involved in meeting the needs of a growing global population, while achieving positive impact for farming communities, our planet and all our stakeholders. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, Olam Group currently ranks among the top 30 largest primary listed companies in terms of market capitalisation on SGX-ST. Since June 2020, Olam Group has been included in the FTSE4Good Index Series, a global sustainable investment index series developed by FTSE Russell, following a rigorous assessment of Olam’s supply chain activities, impact on the environment and governance transparency. The FTSE4Good Index Series identifies companies that demonstrate strong Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices and is used by a variety of market participants to create and assess responsible investment funds. More information on Olam can be found at www.olamgroup.com. Follow @olam.


Nikki Barber

Global Head of Communications, ofi


+44 7568 108555


Zoe Maddison

Sustainability communications manager, ofi


+ 44 7825 904234