In the Mengen district in Northwest Turkey, the first ever pork processing facility in the country has been given the go-ahead to begin operations.
Located near the city of Bolu, the plant will process around seven tonnes of pork daily to be sold on the domestic as well as foreign market.
Founder of the facility, Gencay Tunc, said “pork is a wealth unused in Turkey and unemployment is high. Farmers suffer badly from damage from boars to their crops. Hunted boars are either left to rot or thrown into local rivers to become a health risk”.
Tunc, an entrepreneur and hunter, came up with the idea for a processing facility during a hunting session when asked how to generate income from hunted boars.
Funding was sought from the World Bank. However, a debate ensued at home involving Tunc receiving death threats.
The facility will now provide employment for 25 people and exports of US$1m are targeted.
Government regulations in Turkey were changed in 2006 to comply with EU laws. Pigs are now included within the category of cattle stockbreeding. The country also earns around US$2.5m per year from exports of pig hair.