Strengthening Civil Society Capacities to Support Olive Producer Communities in Türkiye towards Achieving the Goals of the European Green Deal

In the heart of Turkey’s rich olive groves lies a story of resilience and opportunity, where the olive trees whisper tales of tradition and promise.

Yet, amidst the beauty, there’s a silent struggle echoing within the country’s civil society, where NGOs, despite their fervent dedication, find themselves battling against the odds. But within this narrative of challenge lies a beacon of hope – a project fueled by passion and commitment, ready to rewrite the script for Turkey’s olive sector.

  • The Context

    The project operates in the dynamic realm of Turkey’s civil society, where NGOs have been pivotal in the country’s democratization and development over the past two decades. Despite their crucial role, limited resources and inadequate dialogue with decision-making bodies have hindered their impact. Efforts to engage in EU harmonization programs face ongoing challenges, emphasizing the need for more effective collaboration between CSOs and governmental institutions.

    Guided by the „Guidelines for EU Support to Civil Society in the Enlargement Countries,“ NGOs advocate for greater transparency, accountability, and effectiveness in various aspects, including infrastructure, legislation, and cooperation with public authorities. The European Green Deal program recognizes civil society’s crucial role in its comprehensive economic transformation goals. The project aligns with these principles, seeking to bridge the gap between CSOs and decision-making bodies in Türkiye.

    Within this context, Türkiye’s significant olive production history positions it as a key player in the European Green Deal. With over 180 million olive trees and substantial employment in rural communities, the sector plays a vital role. However, sustainability challenges such as soil degradation, water scarcity, and social justice issues threaten its viability. Unsustainable practices, including excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides, require urgent attention. Small-scale farmers encounter obstacles and inadequate government support, impacting both productivity and profitability.

  • Main Goals

    The project addresses various challenges by empowering CSOs and olive producers. Sustainable agriculture practices, aligned with the European Green Deal objectives, are essential for the sector’s resilience. The project focuses on six main olive production regions in Turkey, seeking to make production processes more sustainable and climate-friendly. The key emphasis is on supporting small-scale olive producers, disseminating knowledge effectively, and advocating for policy changes within the olive sector. Among the main goals:

    • Empowering Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)

    The primary objective of the project is to empower CSOs involved in the production and consumption of olives and olive oil in Türkiye by enhancing their organizational and technical capacities. As highlighted in the „Guidelines for EU Support to Civil Society,“ the project aims to bridge the gap between CSOs and decision-making bodies, fostering greater transparency and collaboration. By providing tailored training modules and facilitating networking opportunities, the project seeks to elevate CSOs‘ roles in the democratization and development processes.

    • Sustainable Transformation in the Olive Sector

    Aligned with the comprehensive economic transformation goals of the European Green Deal, the project focuses on the olive sector. Through targeted interventions, the project aims to promote sustainable agricultural practices. Small-scale olive producers, vital to Türkiye’s agricultural landscape, will receive support to adopt environmentally friendly methods, thus contributing to the broader goals of the Green Deal.

    The project targets CSOs in the olive and olive oil sector, olive producers, active citizens, and public institutions. It aims to boost CSO capacity, raise awareness about environmental challenges, and foster partnerships for sustainable practices through tailored training, technical assistance, and networking. The initiative acknowledges the interdependence of these groups in achieving European Green Deal goals.

    Outputs include training modules, advocacy campaigns, and improved networking opportunities. Anticipated outcomes involve heightened CSO capacity, increased awareness of environmental challenges in the olive sector, and strengthened partnerships supporting sustainability. The project aims to significantly contribute to the European Green Deal’s ambitious targets, ensuring a more sustainable future for Türkiye’s olive sector. In conclusion, it strategically responds to Türkiye’s evolving civil society dynamics, promoting collaboration, capacity building, and awareness aligned with the European Green Deal principles.

  • The Partnership

    Proje Evi Cooperative

    National Olive and Olive Oil Council

    Slow Food

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