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Cultivation, processing and export in the hands of small peasant farmers

The Malatya region, the center of the Turkish apricot industry, is located in Eastern Anatolia at an altitude of approximately 1,000 m. The cold and dry high plateau is ideal for the cultivation of sweet apricots. The trees that produce extraordinary fruity apricots are grown in organic and biodynamic cultivation on a total acreage of about 450 hectares.

Apricots (Prunus armeniaca L.) are stone fruits. The aromatic, sweet pulp as well as the pits can be used for human consumption. Originally, the apricot tree came from the Orient. Today, apricots can be found throughout the Mediterranean region. Apricot trees can reach maximum heights of about 5 meters. In springtime they enchant with an abundance of large, light pink flowers with an exquisite scent.   
Until the month of July, the organic apricots ripen under the Turkish sun. Then, Rapunzel contract farmers from the region of Malatya in Eastern Anatolia start to harvest the fruits. The farmers shake the apricots from the trees and pick them off the ground. The fresh fruits are immediately put on tarps for drying. After three days the pits are removed and the pitted fruit are dried for another 3-4 days in the sun.

Upon arrival in Ören, the sweet apricot fruits are washed, sorted and snap frozen in order to eliminate any pest contamination. Rapunzel apricots are guaranteed sulphur dioxide free. This way they keep their natural orange brown color and their full flavor. After drying, the apricots are pasteurized with steam keeping them soft and fruity. 
Apricots are used in many pastries thanks to their fresh, tarty flavor and their natural sweetness. They can also be added to muesli, desserts and fruit sauces. Eaten by themselves they are a mineral-rich energy food with high concentrations of potassium, iron and different vitamins.

The apricot project farmers receive regular training and technical advice from Rapunzel agricultural engineers. For permanent cultures such as apricots biological pest management is very important. Rapunzel agricultural engineers supply the organic farmers with suitable biological agents and teach the farmers the correct application mode.

Fair trade and organic farming are central for Rapunzel

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