Caykur is the largest processor of tea in Turkey and its corporate memory is as old as tea itself in this country. Tea was first grown here 90 years ago. Now Turkey ranks number 1 in per capital tea consumption globally. Caykur has 50 factories – produce over 130,500 tons of dried tea every year, cultivated from 75,000 hectares of the most perfect tea growing terrain in the world, in Northern Turkey, on the edge of the Black Sea. Of all the tea being consumed around the world at this very moment, 4 percent of it is Caykur’s. Caykur has 55 percent market share in the tea sector in Turkey, and integral to its success is the relationships it has nurtured with more than 200,000 independent tea growers in Northern Turkey. They want to trade with Caykur and are a cherished part of its family. Caykur has a vision to convert all its tea growing terrain to organic, which will increase the competitiveness of Turkish tea in the global market. In the first stage, it declared 7,500 hectares of tea land as “organic” and actively transformed 3,000 hectares in the last couple of years. Using its deep-rooted knowledge of tea, one of the successes of Caykur was the launch of Didi, an iced tea product, in 2013. It sold more than 80 million cans in 6 months. To date, it’s sold 493 million units, and reached a market share of 35 percent. In just three years, iced tea consumption in Turkey has quadrupled. Caykur is honest enough to admit that Mother Nature is giving a helping hand and its tea comes from the northernmost tea-growing region of the world. In winter, snow covers the slopes and the bushes in a thick, white blanket, eliminating the need for chemicals and pesticides, at the same time as feeding the soil with the nutrients it needs. Caykur has achieved its success by sticking to what it does best, but also by having the courage to diversify and take risks. And so far it’s working.
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