One of the actions resulting from TE’s 2016 Organic Cotton Round Table (OCRT) meeting in Hamburg was to create a regional strategy for Turkey and the surrounding region, and there was keen interest to build on the success of the workshop TE hosted during the EKOLOJİ IZMIR Organic Products Fair in 2016. With the OCRT having evolved to become THE shared space for the organic cotton community to gather and collaborate, and with EKOLOJİ IZMIR wanting to strengthen its focus on organic cotton, it seemed only logical to apply the framework of the OCRT – and so, in collaboration with İZFAŞ and EKOLOJİ IZMIR, the Regional-OCRT Izmir was born!
Thank you to all of the participants, speakers, sponsors and partners of this event for your support and valuable contributions on the day. You can read a re-cap on the day’s agenda and speakers in the program, or download the Highlights Of The Day Report for an overview of the key themes, outcomes and next steps.
We were honoured to be joined on the day of the Regional OCRT by Istanbul-based news channel TRT World, who featured a section on the event in their recent documentary “Made in Turkey”, which you can watch here.
As part of the collaboration with IZFAS, Textile Exchange worked with Change Agency to conduct a Market Opportunity Scoping Project (MOSP) in Turkey, Egypt, Central Asia and the wider European region. The MOSP involved a series of interviews with companies and organizations representing each section of the region’s value network to explore the market opportunities and identify blockages or mis-perceptions that need to be dealt with.
The findings of the MOSP framed the initial discussions at the 2017 Izmir Regional OCRT, which generated a number of initiatives and work-streams to take forward. The Research & Discussion Report resulting from the MOSP is available to download below. It includes detailed findings of the research and identifies the common emerging themes.
The EKOLOJİ IZMIR Organic Products Fair, hosted by IZFAS, is the leading trade fair for the organic sector in Turkey. The fair takes place annually at Fuarizmir, Turkey’s largest fair center, and is growing each year. Seeing the growth of interest in organic textiles, EKOLOJİ IZMIR is strengthening its focus in this area and, in April 2016, invited TE to deliver a workshop. The workshop was highly successful and attracted key players and leading experts from across the industry, as well as over 70 representatives from both Turkish and international textile companies. Following strong signals during the 2016 OCRT in Hamburg that there was sufficient demand for the continuation of such workshops, EKOLOJİ IZMIR and TE formed a collaboration to develop this into an annual event, applying the framework of the well-established Organic Cotton Round Table. The inaugural R-OCRT was held in Izmir in April 2017.
Through bringing together the strengths and capabilities of EKOLOJİ IZMIR and TE, the aim is to support the development of the organic textiles sector in Turkey and surrounding regions and to maximize the reach and impact of these efforts. The Regional-OCRT will offer an international audience the chance to learn more about the unique benefits of sourcing from this region, with its strong history in organic agriculture and high quality, vertically integrated production.