Overseas Technical Study Visits were Held in the Agriculture and Livestock Sector

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Within the scope of the "Analysis Project of Cooperation Processes in Red Meat Production and Processing", carried out in cooperation with TÜSSİDE and the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, "Overseas Technical Study Visits" were held in the Netherlands and Germany on 18-25 October 2017 to see good practice examples on site. The cooperatives, sectoral food clusters, research institutions and universities, producer associations, technology and research centers of the Netherlands and Germany, which are the prominent countries in terms of cooperation within the livestock and livestock ecosystem, were seen on site. The applicability of the collaborative ecosystems established by the relevant structures in Erzurum province and its hinterland was evaluated. The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock project team, TÜSSİDE project team and technical committee members consisting of sector experts attended the visit.

On the first day of the program, the cooperative company Royal Flora Holland in Honselersdijk was visited in the morning, the stock exchange structure within the institution was examined and views were exchanged on the issues that should be taken into consideration in the formation of the Stock Exchange. Within the framework of the mission of making the Netherlands a leading country in the agricultural field and floriculture sector, this structure, which brings producers and buyers together under the same roof in order to ensure marketing, branding and commercialization, was examined and information about cooperation was collected, stock exchange strategies and cooperation processes between members were observed.

In the afternoon, KI SAMEN, an integrated farm producing milk, meat and semen, was visited. By visiting the family business, their production processes were determined, how their branding strategies and marketing activities were carried out, and what kind of support models they used were investigated.

On the second day of the program, before noon, an exchange of views was held with the Agriterra company, which provides consultancy services on the organization of farmers. Information was obtained about the work of this company around the world, and how they organized the establishment and management of cooperatives/unions in underdeveloped and newly developing countries was examined. Additionally, the applicability of institutionalization models specific to cooperatives was evaluated.

In the afternoon, Bezoek Agriport, an initiative of the Barendse family that they started in 2007 and turned into the world's largest orange pepper greenhouse using modern, sustainable and environmentally friendly methods in less than 10 years, was visited. During the visit, it was discussed how innovation can create a synergy between entrepreneurs in the same sector, through the process of creating a joint brand with other greenhouses and agricultural enterprises operating in Agriport7 with the clustering approach and joint marketing of the excess electricity obtained from the greenhouses to the nearby Microsoft Data Center. Information was received about the contribution of added value and innovation ecosystem to the quality of life in the region.

On the third day of the program, before noon, information was received about the lobbying activities carried out by LTO, the umbrella organization of Dutch farmers, and the problems experienced by farmers in the sector and the solution suggestions developed for them, as well as how quality standards were established, were examined on-site.

In the afternoon, the Consulate General and Trade Attaché in Rotterdam were visited to get information about the investment environment in the Netherlands, regional and national supports for SMEs, services offered to domestic and foreign companies and regional clusters. Information was received on how the diversity of marketing channels for producers in the Netherlands was ensured and how the development differences between rural and urban areas were eliminated.

On the 4th day of the program, Gouda was visited and cheese production processes were observed on site. Information was received about the branding strategies of the family business and cooperation activities between producers in the Gouda region.

On the next day of the program, we went to Germany for visits and the food cluster called Food Processing Initiative in Bielefeld was visited. Information was obtained about the activities carried out by the food cluster, its membership system, governance structure and establishment stage. Information was received on issues such as how cluster members act together in innovation, how motivation was provided during the establishment phase, what kind of difficulties were encountered and how they were overcome.

In the continuation of the program, Ostwestfalen-Lippe University, located in Lemgo and considered among the important universities of Germany in animal husbandry and agricultural sector research, and the research center at this university; The German Institute of Food Technologies (DIL) was visited. Information was received about the projects carried out by the university and the research center at the international level, and the transformation of research results into commercial value and the functioning of value creation processes were examined on-site. In addition, the programs supporting entrepreneurship and innovation for students, start-ups, SMEs, large agricultural companies and Information was given about what kind of activities were carried out regarding the connections. The services offered by DIL were examined in detail; Information was received about how the relations between the university, the incubation center and accelerator, the companies in the park, the clusters and the technology center are managed, and the international cooperation processes. Finally, an informational presentation was made about the activities, workshops and research projects initiated by the Lower Saxony Food Industry Competence Center (Nieke), which is carried out in cooperation with DIL and Vechta University.

On the last day of the program, the food cluster called FoodRegio was visited and information was collected about the possible food cluster organization that could be established in Erzurum province and its hinterland. Cluster strategies and cooperation processes between members were examined and views were exchanged on the issues that should be taken into consideration in cluster formation.

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