Aliağa Biscuit Wheat met with Ülker products

Aliağa Biscuit Wheat, developed as a result of the work carried out by Ülker, Türkiye's leading food company, with the Bahri Dağdaş International Agricultural Research Institute since 2007, met with Ülker products. Ülker aims to secure its raw material supply for many years by continuing its efforts to develop new wheat seeds in the upcoming period.

A new phase has been entered in the "Aliağa Biscuit Wheat" project, which Ülker, Türkiye's leading food company, started in 2007 with the Bahri Dağdaş International Agricultural Research Institute in order to develop a wheat type suitable for biscuit flour production for the sustainable supply of raw materials.

The wheat that was planted last year on 80 thousand decares of land in ten cities, including Ankara, Konya, Çankırı, Kırıkkale, Kırşehir, Yozgat, Kayseri, Eskişehir, Tekirdağ and Çorum, was gathered in Ülker Ankara Flour Factory after the harvest this year. Wheats were prepared to be included in the recipes of Ülker's products such as Pötibör, Halley, Çizi, Çubuk Kraker, Dokuz Kat Tat, O'lala and Dankek. As of October for the first time, products containing Aliağa Biscuit Wheat began to take their place on the shelves.

Sustainable agricultural practices are very important

Pointing out that environmental problem such as climate change and the accompanying water stress put pressure on global food systems, Ülker CEO Mete Buyurgan said, “Therefore, it is of great importance to promote sustainable agriculture practices that are resistant to climate change.”

Buyurgan conveyed the following information about the Aliağa Biscuit Wheat Project, which is of great importance to support domestic production and sustainable raw material supply: “Wheat is one of our most important raw materials. We buy an average of 280 thousand tons of wheat annually. In order to develop the ideal wheat variety for sustainable raw material supply and high quality production, we continue our seed dissemination efforts in the Aliağa Biscuit Wheat project, which we realized in cooperation with the Bahri Dağdaş International Agricultural Research Institute in 2007 and whose first harvest was carried out in 2020. At the end of this year's harvest, we are experiencing the excitement and happiness of meeting our wheat with our products for the first time. In the new sowing period, which we are approaching the end of our wheat is planted on an area of approximately 120 thousand decares in Ankara, Konya, Çankırı, Kırıkkale, Yozgat, Çorum, Eskişehir, Kayseri and Kırşehir cities. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our colleagues, especially Ali Çelik, the former General Manager of Ülker Ankara Flour Factory, who took the first step in the realization of the project 15 years ago, and all of our colleagues who contributed to the project, the Director of Bahri Dağdaş International Agricultural Research Institute Fatih Özdemir and his team.”

Less water in production, higher yield in the product

Expressing that they are happy to bring high quality, productive, local and national Aliağa Biscuit Wheat to the sector, which is resistant to climate change, disease and drought, Buyurgan made the following assessment about the benefits of wheat:

“According to the existing wheat species, it provides a yield of 17-20% per decare in wetland and 35-40% in arid land, above the average. In this way, farmers are expected to experience a minimum 20% increase in income. Another advantage of Aliağa Biscuit Wheat being more productive than existing wheat varieties in arid lands is that it needs less water. Production will be secured with a biscuit wheat type at high quality standards. In addition, our farmers say that the productivity of Aliağa Biscuit Wheat makes them extremely happy. The high-quality straw of wheat can also be used in animal husbandry.”

Work continues to develop new wheat varieties

In addition, Buyurgan reminded that they implemented the "Biscuit Wheat Development Program" with the Institute in order to obtain new biscuit wheat varieties, “Thanks to the new varieties we will develop within the scope of this program, we will offer our farmers the opportunity to choose among productive and high quality seed varieties suitable for the climate and soil structure of the region they live in. Thus, the continuity of production of biscuit wheat in a wider geography with high efficiency and quality will be ensured.

Aliağa was chosen from among tens of thousands of different species.

Noting that the private sector-public cooperation is very important, Dr. Fatih Özdemir, Director of Bahri Dağdaş International Agricultural Research Institute, which is located under the General Directorate of Agricultural Research and Policies under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, stated that the results obtained in the Aliağa Biscuit Wheat project, which was implemented together with Ülker, are extremely promising for the future.

Özdemir conveyed the following information: “The great effort and time in the long development process of Aliağa Biscuit Wheat has contributed to the formation of our country's domestic and national biscuit wheat today. The fact that this wheat is a type developed completely for biscuits and improved in terms of breeding, for the first time, is a major system change in Türkiye in industrial terms. Aliağa wheat was developed by selecting from tens of thousands of candidates with thousands of observations and analyzes. In 2014, it was presented to the Seed Registration and Certification Center within the body of our Ministry. It was approved by independent tests and registered under the name Aliağa in 2017. Aliağa Biscuit Wheat stands out with its high yield, resistance to drought and diseases, and biscuit-specific quality. Between 2017 and 2019, seed production activities were carried out in the planting areas of our Institute for the spread of wheat. Since 2019, the process continues with Ülker's seed production efforts."


Sustainability efforts at Ülker do not slow down

  • It continues its sustainability efforts uninterruptedly with its waste-free company model.
  • We produce projects on many subjects from water and energy saving to sustainable raw material supply, from human resources to production quality. 
  • The United Nations' 2030 Sustainable Development Goals are based on so that these efforts can be monitored and audited around a clear strategy.
  • Since 2014, growth continues without an increase in carbon emissions.
  • Raw materials, materials and services are purchased from local suppliers at the maximum level. Thus, while supporting local development, carbon emissions originating from logistics are reduced.
  • The 30 percent water reduction target per unit production set for 2024 was achieved in 2018.  
  • In 2021, the water reduction rate per unit of production was 38.4 percent. In the last 5 years, approximately 400 thousand cubic meters of water has been used, and a saving equivalent to the daily water need of a city with a population of 1.8 million has been achieved.
  • Approximately 2.6 million TL of energy efficiency investment was made in 2021.
  • Approximately 37.5 percent of our electrical energy consumption was supplied from renewable sources.
  • 93.4% of waste was recycled.
  • The rate of converting 99 percent of raw materials into finished products has been achieved.
  • In 2021, the use of plastic in packaging was reduced by 268 tons and the use of paper by 1,194 tons.
  • Based on the importance of recognizing that sustainability is a long journey and raising awareness, video contents were prepared with the title of “Ülker My Beautiful Country - Nature is Entrusted to Us”. In these videos, the subjects of protecting natural resources, water saving, energy efficiency, waste management, reducing carbon footprint and preventing food waste were covered. With this research, Ülker's activities within the scope of sustainability researches were shared in detail. Tips on what can be done at home and in daily life were given to prevent waste of resources. A total of six videos were watched 59.6 million times on Ülker's Facebook and Instagram accounts and 14.5 million times on Youtube.
  • Planting saplings all over Türkiye continues under the name of “Ülker My Beautiful Country Forest”. The number of saplings, which is 90,500, will reach 151,500 with the 50 thousand saplings we donated for the fires to be planted this year and the 11 thousand saplings we will plant on the occasion of the National Afforestation Day, and 50 thousand saplings waiting to meet the soil.
  • Ülker became the main sponsor of SKD Türkiye's “Water Risks Project”, which aims to analyze the impact of climate change on water resources and to develop efficient irrigation strategies in agriculture. With the project, it is aimed to make a significant contribution to sustainability in agriculture and the efficient use of water resources and to obtain useful data.

Ülker in Numbers 

  • 2022 year-end net sales forecast is 23.5 billion TL.
  • According to 2022 six-month data, the share of Türkiye operations in turnover was 60 percent, while the share of exports and overseas operations was 40 percent.
  • 36% market share in the Turkish snack market
  • Positions were strengthened in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Aya markets, in addition to Türkiye. Market leadership in biscuits in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and third in chocolate in Kazakhstan.
  • Transportation to 190 thousand points throughout Türkiye every week.
  • More than 9000 employments.
  • More than 150 new products in the last two years.
  • Türkiye production base.
  • Export to over 100 countries around the world.
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