The Travel Foundation’s “Taste of Fethiye” five-year project, which was officially handed over in 2016 to FETAV – Fethiye’s tourism, promotion, environment and cultural NGO, provides a replicable model for successfully connecting Fethiye’s local farming communities to the hoteliers and wholesalers in its thriving tourism sector.

Implemented in

  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Turkey

Sectors of activity
Agricultural and Fishery, Culture and recreation, Tourism

Type of initiative
Capacity Building & Implementation, Financial Instruments & Investments

Type of lead actor
Civil society

Objectives

The Travel Foundation’s Taste of Fethiye project aimed to integrate small, local producers into the larger, mainstream tourism supply chain. Its objective was to work with the existing tourism market with an initial focus on benefiting local farmers and safeguarding the environment.

Activities

As collected through the One Planet Reporting

No activities have yet been reported under this initiative

Impact and Results

(1) Extending benefits to the wider community: The Travel Foundation developed and disseminated food-themed, self-guided driving tours to encourage tourists to explore the rural area and spend locally. Together with the TUI Group, an agriculture excursion was developed, taking more than a thousand TUI customers to visit a Taste of Fethiye farm in 2015, providing the farmers with additional revenue. The combination of better farming practices and improved market linkages created economic benefits for the farmers. They increased their income both by reducing their input costs and increasing yield per acre by, on average, 30% each. Between 2012 and 2014, farmers taking part in the project increased their revenue by approximately 24%. Total revenue from Taste of Fethiye sales now exceeds USD1 million.

(2) Local market linkages: This project successfully proved that it is commercially viable for local small-scale farmers to supply high quality and competitively priced fresh fruit and vegetables to the tourism sector. As an example, 16 hotels in 2015 sourced on average between 70% and 85% of their entire fresh fruit and vegetable requirements from Taste of Fethiye. In a survey conducted by the Travel Foundation among all the farmers involved in the project, 71% attested that Taste of Fethiye branding helped them achieve better sales and profits. In a related survey of 125 hotel customers conducted by the TUI Group in 2013, 62% of those surveyed felt more positive towards their hotel knowing it purchased locally grown, sustainable products. Approximately 200,000 tourists enjoyed Taste of Fethiye produce across the five years of the project.

(3) Environmental resource protection: In terms of food transportation, buying local generally reduced food miles and associated CO2 emissions, and helped some hotels to meet sustainability certification requirements. Yet the main environmental impact of the project came from working with 40 farmers of four villages in Fethiye to improve their agricultural practices, in particular, by dramatically reducing the levels of pesticides and artificial fertilizers used. 93% of farmers stated they were more aware of the environmental hazards that pesticide and fertilizer waste container could cause, and had thereby made changes in how they disposed of waste chemical containers in order to decrease pollution levels.