ofi Paves the Way for Sustainable Hazelnuts

Beginning in 2018, the Hazelnut Sustainability Team has taken an early journey to investigate the environmental impact for our hazelnut business. We have used AtSource, which is our sustainability offering for sustainable products and supply chains created to drive change for farmers, communities, ecosystems, and customers. The AtSource insights platform demonstrates social and environmental performance​ by providing a comprehensive view on sustainability data and metrics across supply chains.

AtSource has been helpful  to navigate us while we took our first steps to understand where our environmental impact comes from. AtSource’s Digital Footprint Calculator (DFC) is an online calculator used to estimate the environmental footprint of agricultural products that ofi trades around the world, based on agricultural activity data. The tool calculates the environmental impact in three key impact categories for agriculture: Climate Change, Water Use and Land Use. The footprint calculation is highly based on the principles of agricultural life cycle assessment (LCA) modeling as described in the World Food LCA Database Guidelines (WFLDB guidelines).

Thanks to our internal data management system, we have been collecting farmers’ data on many aspects, such as their use of fertilizers, irrigation, and types and amounts of fertilizer used. By entering this data into the AtSource platform, we can conduct a Life Cycle Assessment. We consider the impact of three parts of the supply chain: at the hazelnut farm, processing, and transportation.

  1. Agriculture: Here, we take all parameters that describe hazelnut production on an annual basis, from preparation of soil to tree plantation, as well as all the way to harvesting and post-harvesting activities to prepare the product before processing.
  2. Processing: This section describes the processing of the harvested (raw) product. The production process ends when the finished product leaves the processing plant (finished product).
  3. Transport: The transport module describes the transport of finished products to the final customers of ofi.

Hazelnut footprint

Through our system, we can see the average carbon footprint of each finished hazelnut product: natural, diced, paste, or roasted. Currently, most of the emissions come from agriculture. In which the main carbon emission comes from fertilizer production, fertilizer use and land use change. AtSource can show both the absolute carbon emissions and emission intensity for the selected farmer. The selection can be made by the user.

Fertilizer is responsible for more than half of the agricultural emissions. Under this category, we calculate the emissions from both fertilizer production and application (direct emissions). Many of the hazelnut farmers use chemical fertilizers. In most cases, they apply too much fertilizer without knowing the needs of the soil. Chemical fertilizers result in negative impacts on the soil when unnecessarily or wrongly applied. Every year, we provide Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) training for our farmers to inform them on the correct fertilizer application. Additionally, through the analysis with soil machines, ofi agronomists inform the farmers about the exact needs of the soil. Given their recommendations, we aim farmers to apply the right amount at the right time, hence reduce the emissions related to fertilizer use. With our platform, we track the yearly changes in fertilizer-related emissions.

 

Improvement points

We are currently working on improving our footprint by calculating the crop residues left in the farm. As the farmers typically burn the pruned branches in the field, we consider the emissions that are a result of this practice. Our goal is to develop programs to turn this residue into compost to create a positive addition to soil, instead of an emission to the air!

 

The comprehensive way forward for hazelnuts

ofi set its sustainability targets for 2030 across its supply chain in Turkey, where 70% of the world’s hazelnuts come from. Following ofi’s sustainability impact and commitment, we have developed Hazelnut Trail. Our vision is to create a collaborative trail to sustainable hazelnuts by addressing the most pressing issues facing hazelnut farmers, their communities, and migrant workers.

Starting with safe and decent work, Hazelnut Trail consists of commitments around education, diversity, and climate action. By setting these targets, defining metrics, and reporting on progress through our AtSource platform, we are offering our customers and partners transparency across the supply chain.