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OWA 2010: Support for Beti Minkin

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

The fact that we all live in one world inspired Joseph Wilhelm, German organic pioneer and Managing Director of Rapunzel, to establish this international award. With the IFOAM, the global umbrella organization of organic agriculture, the One World Award has found an ideal partner and patron. The coordinator of the OWA initiative is Bernward Geier (COLABORA – lets work together) who served as IFOAM Director for 18 years. The OWA honors people and their projects that make the world a better place; OWA laureates are dedicated people who give positive and innovative examples of globalization - people who make the future worth living. (Picture: Beti Minkin and Bernward Geier)

In 2006, Beti Minkin (picture) founded the Anatolia Foundation in the USA. The principle goals of the Foundation are to preserve and support the rich biological diversity of the rural Anatolian region of Turkey with sustainable village projects.

Born and raised in Turkey, Beti Minkin has spent most of her adult life in the USA, but always displayed a passion for her native land. Since the 1990s, she pioneered holistic sustainability projects in regions where biodiversity
is prolific but greatly endangered. Her vision and enthusiasm are truly inspirational.

Her “Tohum” (“Seed” in Turkish) ventures raised local awareness of the importance of heirloom seeds, traditional foods and natural lifestyles. The Tohum® Natural Foods brand she created still exports organic artisan foods from Anatolian villages to the benefi t of community health and economy.

Most recently, under the auspices of the Anatolia Foundation, Beti Minkin initiated an extensive agro-biodiversity sustainability program in the remote Kars Province of Eastern Turkey. The project links bio-conservation with organic food production and ecologically viable livelihood. It focuses on a full-scale organic certifi cation program with over 200 farmers and the revival of the ancient grain “Kavilca” (picture) or emmer (Triticum dicoccum), amongst other important traditional crops such as flaxseed and red wheat.

The project includes the full production cycle, from sowing seeds on organic farms to selling the products on global markets. The heirloom seeds rescued from the brink of extinction now provide raw materials to the local community for developing marketable organic products. In this context, a bakery in Kars (picture) will soon start marketing the traditional “pide bread” (flat bread) made with the project’s organic whole red wheat fl our. Whole grain emmer and barley products are also in the works.

The project also promotes traditional wildflower honey with new colonies of the endangered Caucasian queen bee. Other programs include a scientific survey of local medicinal plants and botanical product formulation workshops for village women.

The whole community is enthusiastically engaged, initiating village NGOs. Activities bring people of different skills together: from students cataloging wild flora and grandmothers sharing traditional recipes to young adults returning from big cities to farm organically on their native land. Women participate in all aspects and Beti Minkin has become an important role model for them.

The project positively impacts the ecological, social and economic conditions of the villages. Its success is a result of the holistic approach to development. This further adds value to behaviours that protect local ecology and promote social equity, in accordance with the three pillars of sustainability.

Organic-Market.Info asked Beti Minkin, what potentiel supporters could do to help. "Anatolia Foundation is looking for sponsors  for specific projects. The sponsors can either directly donate to Anatolia Foundation as described on the website, or "adopt a project" and market the resulting organic products" says Beti. These are
1. The Emmer Project: The project needs to build a small storage, processing and packaging unit and acquire specific Emmer processing equipment.

2. The Flaxseed Project : The project needs to acquire a flaxseed combine harvester thresher.

Direct contact to Beti Minkin: +(90) 531 575 1646





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