Ferrero has over 1,000 employees in Turkey and has been buying up hazelnuts in the region around the Black Sea for over 30 years. But the company is accused by local growers of paying poorly and then reselling at significantly higher prices.
“A preliminary investigation has been launched concerning the company’s actions at all levels, from production to procurement, scaling and export,” writes Hilmi Guler, mayor of the province of Ordu whose economy is largely based on hazelnuts, on Twitter.
Ferroro has previously spoken out about the growers’ views, saying the company “produces the hazelnuts it needs for its products, respecting the rules of the free market and based on market forces”.
Turkey accounts for 70 percent of the world’s production of hazelnuts.