Antakya, Cradle of Civilizations

Founder of the Frea Naturalz brand, born in the lands of Hatay, Dr. Naz Demirkılıç gives details of the "Antakya with Hope for the Future" project, which they created with the aim of ensuring that the food supply and demand, which are under threat with the earthquake, can continue to progress in a balanced manner and the supply chain is not broken .

The disaster on February 6, which affected our eleven provinces, deeply saddened our entire nation. The indescribable tragedy, our losses and the lives turned upside down overnight... The earthquake, perhaps one of the biggest natural disasters of the last century, united everyone from seven to seventy to work hard to heal the wounds and support the people of the region. On the other hand, the process is difficult and long. There are many agendas to be addressed, many lives to be touched. For this reason, it is necessary to cooperate, prioritize the issues, ensure solidarity and take coordinated action. While rebuilding life in the region, we must work harder and produce more so that we can provide hope to those who are experiencing the process firsthand.

As a brand born in Hatay, the symbol of fertility and abundance, we feel responsible for the land we were born in. Hatay is one of the provinces that has fertile plains and first-class agricultural lands and has a high potential to come to the fore in terms of agricultural production in the future. According to 2018 data, 21% of citrus fruits, 12% of cotton, 11% of carrots and 8% of olives in the country are produced in Hatay province. Many people living in rural areas make their living from agriculture and animal husbandry. Providing long-term support to the people of the region is one of the most important and urgent needs for the sustainability of agricultural activities in these days when migration from rural areas is an important problem. Otherwise, there is a high risk of disruption of the food supply chain. This means that if precautions are not taken, access to food will be a serious problem in big cities. Therefore; We need to transform the sensitivity that occurs when the pain is fresh into concrete solutions that will not cause similar pain again. As Frea Naturalz, we have many producers, families, households and colleagues living in the rural areas of the region for whom we are responsible. Since the first day of the earthquake, we have been working on how to support them and what we can do to help them continue their production activities. Considering the regional conditions, we decided to project this work in order to make the support longer-term.

In this context, with our project called "Antakya with Hope for the Future", we make bulk purchases from our local producers whose production and supply chains were damaged in the earthquake, experienced workforce loss, whose warehouses were damaged, and who did not have the opportunity to do packaging, and we try to reuse local production in our supply chain. While we try to be a bridge between you and the producers who produce local products with great effort and make the local product diversity visible, we also cooperate with nutritionists, dietitians and chefs in order to position the valuable products that are a part of our culture into the nutritional routines of people living in big cities. In this way; While the residents of Kozkalesi District continue to produce salty yoghurt, a local delicacy, we supply zahter and olives from the residents of Altınözü district, pomegranate syrup from Karaağaç Village, olive oil from Narlıca District, jam varieties from Iskenderun and many other gourmet local delicacies.

We believe that sustaining agricultural activities will not only bring hope to the people of the region, but will also contribute to the disrupted food supply chain. If food supply and demand, which were threatened by the earthquake process, continue to operate in a balanced manner, we will have fulfilled our responsibility to some extent. Let's not forget that the issue is not just the issue of the earthquake region, but the issue of the whole of Turkey. We need to join hands together, in unity and solidarity, to stand up again in this beautiful land of our country.

We would like to share some of our suggestions with you for those wondering how they can support local producers in the earthquake zone:

Buy products from local producers: As the Frea Naturalz family, we are inspired by the fact that everything we consume has its own geography. For this reason, the flavors we carefully prepare come from nature to your table with their local aromas. In this sense, while producing with unadulterated, natural, fresh, healthy, 100% natural raw materials, you can support them by purchasing from local producers that we are inspired by. These products can include a variety of options such as agricultural products, handicrafts and food products.

Share on social media: You can promote the products of local producers in the earthquake zone by sharing them on your social media accounts. This way, you can help them reach a wider audience.

Participate in local markets: By participating in local markets where the products of local producers in the earthquake zone are sold, you can both buy their products and support them.

Volunteer: You can volunteer to help local producers in the earthquake zone with their workforce losses. For example; You can package their products or help them sell.

Dr. Naz Demirkılıç

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