The Story of the Company
Elite Naturel was founded in 1998 as a small-scale family company. The company was then engaged only in the domestic market with six employees and three products, in total. However, the potential of the organic market was discovered when the company owner made some researches in the US. The issues with the Turkish agricultural industry were already clear. These led the path to take a move in this sense. Nevertheless, there were two significant obstacles to deal with.
One was that people did not know the significance and the benefits of “organic” products. In time, they started to learn what the meaning of organic was and to buy organic products in their daily lives. We can claim that, as Elite Naturel, we played a significant role during this process. The other issue was the difficulty of getting access to organic fruits. Therefore, the Elite Organic Projects (EOPs) were designed.
Before the EOPs, the farmers did not know about the concept and the benefits of organic agriculture although it was profitable for them. Besides, their yield did not suffice to cultivate their land. Particularly after the 1980s, this inadequacy culminated in the migration of villagers from their lands and farms to towns. However, town means chemicals, additives, colouring materials and sweeteners, all in all, artificiality. As Elite Naturel, we were always after naturality and purity.
“Transform the farmer and change the world” principle was our code as we started to implement the EOPs. In this sense, we attended separately to each and every farmer. In collaboration with Kiwa BCS Öko-Garantie GmbH, an organic inspection and certification agency based in Germany, we offered expertise and know-how to these farmers. We visited village after village and gave free trainings on organic products. In the end, we taught everything about organic agriculture from A to Z. Then we provided seeds, fertilizers and all the necessary materials. This also supported the local producers. We also offered financial assistance and gave interest-free capital. Where we were unable to make a visit, we put ads on domestic newspapers and invited farmers to take part in our programme. We also promoted the EOPs programme to the government which didn’t only ensure incentives, but also provided the licenses necessary for the use of public lands as agricultural areas. In consequence, we achieved to get a certificate of organic agriculture for the agricultural areas that covered more than four million sqm. That is, we added value to the products of our farmers and touched their lives if nothing else. In the regard, we reduced the rate of migration in the project areas since the farmers became financially relieved. Having started as a small-scale company, we became a big family in 10 cities with 18 projects, more than 8000 farmers and more than 60 thousand tons of organic fruits harvested from organic agriculture areas that covered more than four million sqm.
The secret to our success was the support from land to bottle. We manage all the process from the planting phase to the bottling of juices. The agricultural engineers frequently visit the lands, make investigations and run tests. Kiwa BCS Öko Garantie also visits the projects regularly for inspection. We are required to get certificates for the farms on the lands, each and every tree and fruit that grow there, for the juice obtained from these fruits and all the bottled end products. This means we are audited for each and every step we take. Therefore, we have complete trust in our products and are able to self-confidently offer them all around the world.
There are four constituents that helped us become a leading producer:
- The presence of the projects designed by us and of the contracted farmers ensures sustainabilityin terms of raw materials.
- All the farms, fruits and bottled products are certificated. Looking at the lot number on the cap of an end product, we can find out where the fruits in the product were cultivated. This ensures traceability.
- We implement this system in various parts of Turkey and ensure variety which also brings flexibility.
- Since we manage all the process from the land to bottle, we are able to ensure competitive prices.
The R&D department attempt continuously to develop new products. Our chemical and food engineers follow the trends in the world and discover new products. They always make a new invention and achieve to add value to the fruits. After all, our success is derived from our desire for innovation. We ensure perfection in our products by always trying, failing and trying again. We endeavour to produce everything one can imagine about fruits.
We struggle to improve our market domination and engage in new markets. Currently, we export to more than 30 countries around the world which gradually increases every year. Our target group is people who run an active life in cities and who take care to live a healthy and quality life as members of middle and high social classes. Owing to the economic development, the number of people from middle and high social classes tends to increase rapidly. Unfortunately, this economic development also requires people to pay great attention to their health. That is, our target group is growing every day.
We place a particular emphasis on social responsibility projects. As part of the Fair Trade programme, we created a relief fund in order to support the children’s education in the EOP areas. We offer support by building new classrooms, laboratories and sports and culture centres.
We also initiated the “Save Plant, Save Earth” programme with the children, so that they may be as sensitive towards the nature as us when they grow up. We plant trees with the children with their names mounted on them and follow their growth on their way to become big plants. Thus the children both gain awareness of responsibility and comprehend that a tree doesn’t grow easily.
If we liken the website of a holding to a man and a recipe website to a man who dresses casually, then we wear smart casual. We are dynamic, creative and also take our job seriously.