The FINANCIAL — The EBRD is boosting Turkey’s leading honey company, Altıparmak Gida Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S., with a 20 million Turkish lira loan (€4.4 million equivalent) to support the company’s advancement on the value chain.
The funds will allow Altıparmak Gida to enhance its natural honey and bee product range, which it packages under the brand name Balparmak. It will also finance the company’s development of new value-added apitherapy (a branch of alternative medicine based on honey bee products) supplements and functional bee products such as pollen, propolis and royal jelly, according to the EBRD.
The development of these new products will be based on the work of Altıparmak’s high-tech in-house research-and-development centre, which was licensed in 2016 and has become a driving force behind the company’s growth, particularly in foreign markets.
The EBRD credit will also refinance existing loans, enabling the company to focus on leading-edge innovation and its growth plans.
Arvid Tuerkner, EBRD Managing Director for Turkey, said: “Research and development is a tool of strategic growth and we are confident it will help Altıparmak Gida strengthen its brand and increase its sales in Turkey and abroad.”
Ozen Altıparmak, Chairman of Altıparmak Gida, said: “We are confident that our cooperation with the EBRD will support our dedication to provide consumers with natural honey and value-added bee products that will sustainably contribute to healthier lifestyles well into the future.”
The EBRD loan will also benefit industry stakeholders and local communities in Turkey. The company already offers training to beekeepers and is extending this to create employment opportunities, particularly for women and young people, in the distant mountainous areas of the Muğla region where the company has one of its two current facilities. The training programme will include distance learning with innovative online tools and mobile support teams on the ground.
Working with Turkish companies to promote greater economic integration of women, young people and people in remote areas is part of the EBRD’s effort to strengthen inclusion as a central plank of sustainable economic development and growth.
The EBRD is a major investor in Turkey. To date, the Bank has invested over €9.5 billion in various sectors of the country’s economy, with almost all investments in the private sector. In 2017 alone, the Bank has exceeded €1.5 billion in investments in Turkey making it again the EBRD’s largest country of operations by investment volume.