Turkish Hazelnut Delegation Visits Pacific Northwest

Representatives of the leading companies of the Turkish hazelnut industry visited the Washington and Oregon states of the United States of America between June 25, 2017 and July 29, 2017.

The organization was a jointly sponsored by the Turkish American Chamber of Commerce and Industry Northwest and the Sakarya Commodity Exchange.

On this highly productive and engaging visit, representatives of the Turkish hazelnut industry held meetings with e-commerce giant Amazon, Oregon Hazelnut Council officials and managers of companies that have an important place in the American hazelnut industry. The delegation also met with the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle and discussed B2B and joint investment issues.

The goals of this visit were as follows:

  • To inform and give direction to the Turkish companies active in the hazelnut sector about the legal regulations, competition environment, product positioning and marketing strategies required to be successful in the United States market,
  • Promotion of the Turkish hazelnut industry and its products in the United States,
  • To take steps to effectively market Turkish hazelnut products in the United States and to explore opportunities for partnerships,
  • Ensuring that Turkish hazelnut products are known worldwide through sales on e-commerce giant Amazon,
  • Developing strategies to identify specific Turkish hazelnut products suitable for the US market,
  • Researching the possibilities of business alliance with Amazon for the branding of Turkish hazelnut products that may be successful in the US market,
  • Developing commercial relations between Turkey and the United States, to increase the direct export of products from Turkey to the United States,
  • Supporting Turkey’s overall economy, and contributing to the production and promotion of the country.

Managed by TACCINW member company Global Trade & Communication, the agenda was as follows:

Day 1 – July 26, 2017

Meeting between TACCINW President Kurt Gokhan Olcer and the Turkish hazelnut delegation, followed by group lunch

Visiting the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle

Amazon campus visit, meeting with Amazon food category manager

Day 2 – July 27, 2017

Meeting with Oregon Hazelnut Council and group lunch

Visiting the Northwest Hazelnut Company factories

Visiting the ”Golden Tree Agriculture Farm

Day 3 – July 28, 2017

Visiting the Willamette Hazelnut Company factories

Visiting Oregon State University Hazelnut Research Center

Visiting Brooks Hazelnut Drying Facility


Turkish American Chamber of Commerce & Industry Northwest

Kurt Gokhan Olcer, President

Sakarya Commodity Exchange

Semih Kınalı, Secretary General

SRS Overseas

Seyfettin Boğazlı, Executive

Turkish Hazelnut Sector Representatives

Adem Sarı, Sarılar Foreign Trade

Avni Uçar, Onurcan Agriculture Products

Bertaç Cihan, Bereni Import Export

Lokman İçöz, İçözler Agriculture

Sedat Özbay, Özbay Foods

Hasan Saka, Sakalar Hazelnut Company

Enis Murat, Bereni Import Export

Ziyatdin Gürsu, Kayisoglu Agriculture

Fikri Koç, Akın Koc Companies

Alaattin Paşa Kaba, Akova Forage Products

Greater Seattle Trade Development Alliance

Samantha Paxton, Executive

Amazon, Inc.

Ashley Olcer, Executive

Kevin Hagerman, Executive

Daniel Fiore, Executive

Oregon Hazelnut Council

Polly Owen, President

Larry George, Director

Shaun George, Executive

Meredith Nagely, Executive

Oregon Hazelnut Sector Representatives

Rich and Nancy Birkemeier, Birkemeier Farms

Becky McCluskey, Senior Research Fellow, Oregon State University

Nik Wiman, Associate Professor, Oregon State University

Bruce Chapin, Chapin Dehydrating Company

Tim Newkirk, Willamette Hazelnut Company

Larry and Shaun George, Northwest Hazelnut Company


(TACCINW) is a private, not-for-profit membership organization based in Seattle, Washington. The primary goal of Turkish American Chamber of Commerce & Industry Northwest (TACCINW) is to promote interests, activities, services and products of our members, to foster and facilitate greater trade and investment activity and joint ventures between Turkey and the Northwest USA, and to promote commercial and economic relations between the two countries. 

TACCINW offers a wide range of services, educational programs, seminars, networking opportunities, and organizes major annual conferences and events to meet the needs of U.S. and Turkish businesses and to promote bilateral and regional trade and economic relations. We provide companies with guidance, information, and various tools and resources for accessing and advertising business opportunities and trade leads, reaching their potential customers and suppliers, and succeeding in their goals.

TACCINW represents members from 6 states in the Northwest region: Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana.


  • The Sakarya Commodity Exchange was established in 1957.
  • The most important items that are subject to stock market quotation are; Live Animals, Hazelnuts, Corn, Potato, Onion and Pumpkin.
  • The Sakarya Commodity Exchange Campus was established on 27 acres. Here, the administration building is 938 m2, the social facilities are 336 m2 and there is also a Food laboratory in the social facility building. The Sakarya Commodity Exchange has two auction rooms, a conference room and an assembly meeting hall.
  • The Sakarya Commodity Exchange is among the top 10 stock exchanges in Turkey based on transaction volume.


Oregon boasts an ideal climate for growing the world’s highest quality hazelnuts. About 800 grower families on farms nestled along the length of the Willamette Valley from Roseburg into the State of Washington make up the growing community. Ultimately, Oregon hazelnuts find there way into many countries in the world, with about 50% of the crop exported annually. The industry is in a growth mode, with new plantings every year.

The growers of hazelnuts have a history of being very long-term thinkers. The idea of an industry office that would house different entities with overarching goals goes back to 1949. The office is home to the Hazelnut Marketing Board, the Oregon Hazelnut Commission, the Nut Growers Society of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia and the Associated Oregon Hazelnut Industries. Each is responsible for different projects and each is funded by grower or processor dollars.