The Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Shopkeepers and Artisans created the map of processed food and handicraft products produced in different regions in Northern Cyprus, within the scope of the clustering activities and cooperative project sponsored by EU that was implemented in 2012. The project, in which institutions and organizations such as KOBI-GEM, European Union, Ministry of Agriculture, TRNC Development Bank, Chamber of Turkish Cypriot Agricultural Engineers, Food Engineers and EMU Techno-Park are also stakeholders, aims to achieve economy of scale and development by uniting micro-scale producers.
In this context, Büyükkonuk (Komi Kebir) and the surrounding villages were selected for olive and olive products production, while Mehmetçik (Galatia) and surrounding villages were selected for grape and grape products as pilot regions. While Büyükkonuk Olive Producers Agricultural Cooperative in was established in 2017, Grape Coop was reactivated in the same year. A shopkeeper, Artisans and Producers Marketing Cooperative was also established as an umbrella cooperative consisting of the Chamber and producer cooperatives representatives. The objectives of this cooperative include accessing the finance production cooperatives need, organizing training, raising and supervising standards, storing and marketing the products. The main goal of these efforts is to create local and international brands in the agricultural industry.
As a result of intensive efforts with the Büyükkonuk Olive Producers Agricultural Cooperative, we have succeeded in bringing our olive oil to consumers under the name of Taş Değirmen The Taş Değirmen brand, which succeeded in exporting to Australia and England, is the first official export to Europe made with Turkish Cypriot official documents after 1994.
We have also introduced Taş Değirmen olive oil soap to the market in November 2020. In addition to olive oil, green olives and black table olives will be introduced to the public under the brand of Taş Değirmen in the near future. In addition, as a result of the activities carried out with KASKOOP (Grape Coop), the introduction of the niche product Zivania (local alcoholic drink similar to aqua vitta in Italy) to the market was accomplished in November 2020. Our zivania product named Alaf will continue its journey as a separate brand.
As of today, our Büyükkonuk Olive Producers Agricultural Cooperative has reached 158 members while KASKOOP (Grape Coop) has reached around 150 members.
The distribution of roles in the Shopkeepers, Artisans and Producers Marketing Cooperative Board of Directors is as follows:
Chairman - Hürrem Tulga
Vice President - Nermin Başdoğrultmacı Kandili
Secretary General - Ersun Aytaç
Active Member - Hasan Karlıtaş
Active member - Mustafa Haset
Active Member - Mustafa Kemal Kanbur
Active member - Mehmet Ziya Tolgan
The distribution of the roles of Büyükkonuk Olive Producers Agricultural Cooperative Board of Directors is as follows:
Chairman - Mustafa Haset
Vice President - Alirıza Arıoğlu
Secretary General - Adnan Kaçakoğlu
Active Member - Özdemir Demirli
Active member - Mehmet Kovancı