Turkey: Trade Fair for Organic Products and the Environment
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
The 8th edition of Ekoloji Istanbul Fuari, the 8th Trade Fair for Organic Products and the Environment, took place in Istanbul from Jan 15 to 18, 2009. This organic trade show is the only one of its kind in Turkey, and small in comparison with the counterparts abroad. About 70 exhibitors showed off their products, mostly organic food, to the visitors. In 2008, about 7,500 came to see the event 2008. A large booth set up by the Black Sea province of Samsun featuring live chickens and ducks was the highlight of the fair, reports TreeHugger.
Many exhibitors seemed to be small-business owners like Arda Burhan Orhan of Natural Ahþap Oyuncak - Natural Wooden Toys - based in the Mediterranean province of Muðla. Previously working in the tourism and restaurant business, Mr Orhan taught himself woodworking and has been making and selling mobiles, pull toys, and other children's products for the past couple of years. The toys are coloured with an eco-friendly paint from a German company. Mr Orhan's market is small with mostly foreign tourists buying his toys. A representative from Flora Organic, a clothing company, explained that generally women, especially those who are pregnant or active in sports, showed interest in the products. The Ökotek natural cosmetics booth was mainly frequented by people who have allergies, pregnant women, and other people particularly concerned about their health.
Booths for university programs, organic certifiers, and both international (Greenpeace, Slow Food, WWF) and local (Buðday, Doða Derneði, EKODER) NGOs were present as well as one non-Turkish company - Newman's Own Organics. Knowledge about the benefits of natural products is slowly growing in Turkey. Though organic foods have been produced in Turkey for around a decade, they are mostly exported and other types of organic products are still relatively unknown.
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