Hazelnut bushes have always grown in western Georgia. But the farming families often lack the necessary knowledge to sell their nuts profitably. For about 10 years, Pakka has been helping the farming families in this region to build a sustainable hazelnut value chain. In the meantime, the hazelnuts are certified organic and are processed locally in a modern nut processing plant and sold through fair trade in Switzerland and Europe.
Hazelnut cultivation in Georgia
Hazelnut cultivation has a long tradition in Georgia and is an important branch of Georgian agriculture. Hazelnut trees are spread all over the country. Four regions of Georgia are particularly important: Imereti, Samegrelo-Zemosvaneti, Guria and Kakheti. In these regions, the growing conditions for hazelnuts are particularly favourable due to the low risk of late frost. Hazelnuts are generally undemanding, but the flowers do not tolerate cold below -8 °C.
Building a sustainable value chain for hazelnuts
In cooperation with the aid agency HEKS and the Georgian NGO "Elkana", Pakka currently supports 700 farming families, each cultivating 1-2 hectares of land and producing 500 tonnes of organic hazelnuts (as of 2022). The farmers are trained in organic farming and receive support in marketing their hazelnuts. They are united in cooperatives and deliver their nuts to the processor "Pakka Georgia" for free drying and storage. Finally, "Pakka Georgia" buys the nuts from the farmers at fair prices and processes them further. Thanks to this cooperation, the quality of the nuts, the yields and the income of the farmer families have been continuously increased in recent years. By 2025, the yield is expected to grow further to 1000 tonnes of organic hazelnuts per year.
Modern nut processing plant
In 2018, a modern nut processing plant was built in Chitatskari in western Georgia. It was financed with the help of Pakka and other partners. Today, under the name "Pakka Georgia", the company employs around 35 full-time staff and 115 seasonal workers who take care of the entire processing chain, from drying, cracking, roasting and chopping to packaging. The hazelnuts are then sold via wholesalers and intermediaries in Switzerland and Europe. Pakka Georgia" thus creates valuable jobs outside agriculture and generates added value in Georgia, the country of origin of the raw materials.
Milestone Fairtrade certification
The upcoming Fairtrade certification (FLO) is an important step for the Georgian farming families, but also for "Pakka Georgia" as a processor and exporter. The Fairtrade premium will help to further improve the living conditions of the farming families and provide them with a more stable income. At the same time, "Pakka Georgia" becomes the world's first organic and Fairtrade certified hazelnut exporter and thus takes on a pioneering role in the industry.
Hazelnut cultivation in Georgia
Learn more about the modern processing facility of "Pakka Georgia" and the complex process our Pakka hazelnuts go through from cultivation to packaging...
Our hazelnut farmers
Find out who they are, where they live and what working with Pakka means to them.