Ebru Baybara Demir
“ World-renowned chief Ebru Baybara Demir talked about her projects about food sustainability at “Transformation of the society with gastronomy” organized by Spain-based Basque Culinary Center. “
The event called “Transformation of the society with gastronomy” was held in San Sebastian, Spain. The food supply chain was the main topic of this years’ event which is organized by the Basque Culinary Center’s event. Ebru Baybara Demir, a Turkish chief from Mardin talked on sustainable food. Baybara Demir introduced their project to train farmers for low-cost farming activities and how this project helps sustainable future for food. Here is a brief script of her speech:
The world is going to face a difficult period after the coronavirus pandemic and we should continue production to mitigate the risks. We have to realize new ideas and projects without giving in to pessimism. Now we are well aware that agriculture is more important than petroleum. So we have to focus on sustainable agriculture and we have to support local farming to be self-sufficient.
I am a chief but I never constraint myself with the plate. I have always worked hard to develop projects on land, food, and the future as a social responsibility. The coronavirus pandemic showed the significance of our efforts. Economic sustainability is always important for people living in this region. In this scope, we realized a valuable project called “From field to fork” in Mardin, Turkey. The main income source for this historical city, which is located in south-eastern Turkey, is tourism but agriculture was also an important means of living. Unfortunately, the new generation is abstaining from farming and some farmers have stopped agricultural production in the last 10 years. Our sustainable agriculture project started with a handful of seeds 3 years ago with 70 women. This year 360 women worked on a farmland of 1400 acreages. They expect to harvest 800 tons of wheat this season. Of course, they are working according to social distancing rules because of coronavirus.
A NEW ERA IS AWAITING THE WORLD
The coronavirus pandemic reminded us of the importance of self-sufficiency in terms of agriculture and food supply for each country. Returning to agriculture and localizing agriculture will help to decrease food costs and to use natural sources more efficiently. I also own a restaurant and I know that we have to develop a new service approach for the new normal after the coronavirus pandemic. We will have to host fewer customers in the restaurant. On the other hand, incentives should be given for good food. We will live and see what the future brings to us.
We also started to create a new way for local and refugee women. We cooperated with the United Nations Agriculture and Food Organization with the leadership of AK Party Izmir Deputy Ceyda Bolunmez Cankiri 2 years ago for a project to produce Aleppo Soap for Syrian refugee women. After training sessions and workshops, 74 more women are included in the project. We re-planned production and sales processes for Aleppo Soap in this coronavirus pandemic. Now we are receiving a huge demand for the product. This is a product that fits with the need of society and we create an income source for women in this period.