Bugün sizleri bir yolculuğa davet etmek istiyorum. Bizim yolculuğumuza … Hem korkularımı hem de umutlarımı paylaştıgım bir yolculuğa. Bu yazıyı sizlere Osman Tekinarslan olarak Türkiye de Tarımsal Sertifikasyon alanın da en başarılı kuruluşlardan biri olan ECAS Uluslararası Sertifikasyon kuruluşunun kurucusu ve Dünyanın en büyük Sürdürülebilir Tarım Programı Rainforest Alliance Sürdurülebilirlik Programının eski Türkiye direktörü olarak bu yazıyı kaleme alıyorum, nerdeyse yaklaşık 30 yılımı tarım tedarik zincirinde daha sürdürülebilir bir tarım ve tedarik zinciri nasıl oluşturabiliriz sorusunun alanda uygulamalarıyla geçirdim. Çocuklarıma ve Torunlarıma nasıl bir dünya bırakıldığını umursuyor, endişeleniyorum. Bu endişelerle hem kişisel hem profesyonel hayatımı şekillendiriyorum.
Have you ever had a chance to think? What stages does an agricultural product go through until it reaches your table, and it turns into an incredible taste for you? This product can be a tomato, a chicken, a Pepper, a milk, a meat, a banana or a nut.
How many people are working to present this product to you until these products come to our table?
When we look at the Agricultural Supply chain, starting from the Farmer, Merchant, Packaging, Processing, Logistics, to what extent the Hypermarket chain will reach the consumer, many supply chain actors are involved in this process. Of course, Seed, Agricultural Plant Protection Products, Fertilizer, and When we add other supporting actors, the list goes on.
In fact, the first question that should come to our mind should be: Will the agricultural products I mentioned above and the supply chain actors that bring us these products still survive in the future? Will we be able to easily supply and consume these products in the future?
Currently, the world population is 7.7 billion, 9.7 billion in 2030 and it is said that the world population will exceed 11 billion in 2050.
Do we have a world agricultural output to feed this population?
The biggest risk in front of agricultural production in the world is the decrease in production and productivity, as well as the fact that farmers, workers and their families who make a living from agriculture do not have the income to feed themselves and they move away from agriculture.
This poses a great risk to the future availability of many agricultural products.
When we look at the risks affecting the Sustainability of the Agricultural Supply Chain in more detail, the following risks emerge.
- low yield
- Climate Change
- Quality Problems
- food safety
- Secure Supply
- Pollution of the soil and the environment
- Decreased farmer income
- Çocuk İşçiliği
- Rural Poverty
- Working conditions of workers in agriculture
- Forced Labor
- Toplumsal cinsel eşitliği
Compliance with the laws and regulations of the country where we make agricultural production.
An agricultural production company or supply chain actor, being aware of the above-mentioned risks, should adapt its production and operation to cover these issues.
So why are these issues so important?
In recent years, especially the increase in consumer awareness and the promises made by big brands and companies, which are the final buyers of the export sector and agricultural products, to their consumers, which are their final customers, make it inevitable for the producers and supplier companies, especially those engaged in agricultural production, to produce according to these rules and standards. What is important here is the necessity of proving to your buyer what agricultural standards you produce, as well as how much and what quality you produce.
While these obligations are still indispensable criteria such as food safety, Chemical Residues, and traceability, which started in the late 1990s, buyers have begun to question what work they do on sustainable agriculture from their suppliers.
What does Sustainable Agriculture and Sustainable supply chain mean?
Although sustainability, by definition, is the ability to perpetuate the life of humanity while ensuring the continuity of production and diversity,
The basics of sustainability in the agricultural field criteria ;
- Compliance with agricultural laws and regulations
- Self-financially profitable farm or production management
- An Environmentally Responsible Production Model (Climate Change, Biodiversity, Conservation of Soil, Water Management, Conservation of Forests)
- Development in Social Issues (Occupational Health and Safety, Child Labour, Gender Equality, Forced Labor)
When you comply with all the above criteria, you are doing Sustainable Agriculture, this requires continuous development and change.
For sustainable supply, you need to eliminate the risks we have listed in price stability, safe supply, quality and production.
In the near future, all supply chain actors engaged in agricultural production will need different standards in the supply chain, in addition to certificates such as Good Agricultural Practices, Globalgap, Organic agriculture, which create added value for the product, as well as in the issues related to Sustainability, which I tried to explain above.
While preparing your production for the demands of Sustainability, the most important activity you need to do here is to have a well-designed story that will tell your buyers about these criteria.
So, how ready are you for this journey about Sustainability?
We are working on the needs of the society by considering the environmental, social and economic dimensions of agriculture from different perspectives, in order not to cause the stakeholders we work with to experience these challenges that await us in the future.
In line with this goal, our main goals are to combat child labor in agriculture, especially with sustainable agricultural policies, to improve the living and working conditions of workers in the agricultural supply chain, and to increase our agricultural exports by improving agricultural production.
As an example of studies in the field;
- Production of different types of products in order to increase biodiversity in agricultural lands and to enable farmers to have additional income.
- Educating producers on good farming techniques
- Studies on soil loss and soil improvement
- Training of experts working in the agricultural sector
- To guide and lead the studies in the field on social issues
- Carrying out activities to develop civil society and public cooperation on agricultural problems
With the awareness of how important each actor is, we work for the reliability of the Supply Chain together with the manufacturers, the Brands, the States, and the Non-Governmental Organizations. We are hopeful that many companies, with this awareness, voluntarily focus their activities on sustainability studies and come together to produce collective solutions to the common problem of the world.
Come share my concerns with you and let's produce a solution together.
sustainable agriculture; By providing food security, support the production of plant and animal products with techniques that protect the environment, public health, communities and animal welfare, let's bring the Turkish agricultural supply chain to the place it deserves.
Support this journey so that we can see the agricultural problems that many of us will face in the future, take precautions and leave the tastes that they love to consume to our future generations.
Osman Yalcin Tekinarslan