Piloting the USDA Guidelines in the Hazelnut Supply Chain in Turkey

Project Duration
November 2015
June 2018
Funding and Year

The Problem

In Turkey, the labor-intensive task of harvesting hazelnuts is primarily performed by mobile seasonal agricultural workers, with the extensive involvement of children. Due to poverty, work-related family migration, and inadequate housing facilities children participating in the hazelnut harvest are often unable to access quality education and healthcare. Weak labor law enforcement and a lack of alternative income sources for children’s families leave children especially vulnerable to labor exploitation in the hazelnut harvest. 

Our Strategy

Address child labor in the hazelnut supply chain in Turkey through the following objectives:

  • Establish and pilot a sustainable program to prevent child labor in the hazelnut supply chain in Turkey through implementation of the USDA’s Guidelines
  • Undertake research, evaluation, and collection of reliable data on child labor, in order to measure the impact of the program on child labor in the Turkish hazelnut supply chain
  • Document lessons learned and make recommendations for future application of the USDA guidelines. 

The project is designed to reach these objectives through the following activities:

  • Map the hazelnut supply chains of OlamProgida and Balsu; assess risks present in the supply chain; and develop a list of project intervention areas, in consultation with the implementing partners.  
  • Conduct a child labor assessment in the selected intervention areas, in order to establish a baseline for the project.
  • Convene stakeholder consultations to discuss the results of the standards benchmarking, supply chain mapping, risk assessment, and child labor assessment; review the USDA Guidelines and set standards for the project; and define a remediation strategy for identified child labor cases.
  • Establish a community-level Child Labor Monitoring System (CLMS) based on the USDA Guidelines, and provide training to local stakeholders on how to participate in the CLMS.
  • Identify best practices currently in existence to combat child labor in the hazelnut sector in Turkey and identify linkages with this project.
  • Create community action plans in cooperation with community stakeholders based on the findings of project activities.
  • Select and train independent third party monitors to verify working conditions in selected hazelnut gardens.
  • Advocate for the adoption of a 5-year National Action Plan against child labor in hazelnut farming. 


The project will focus interventions in approximately 1000 hazelnut gardens in the Ordu and Sakaray regions. Additional interventions will be implemented in the Urfa region, the source of most seasonal migrant labor in Turkey.



Fair Labor Association

Implementing Partners:

Balsu, Nestlé, Olam-Progida

Contact Information: (202) 693-4843 / Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking (OCFT)