Turkey is a premier country in rose cultivation. From the highlands of Isparta, 100 km north of the Turkish seaport city of Antalya, come the famous Damask roses, grown at an altitude of 1,000 meters. The farmers who work this sparse region also grow cherries, apples and walnuts, but rose gardens provide the primary source of income. The Taurus Project, not far from the impressive Taurus Mountains in Anatolia, supplies PRIMAVERA with a range of certified organic specialties including rose, myrtle and thyme.
Farm Partner since:1989

Certified Organic Agriculture

Specialities:switched to organic farming in 1993 with PRIMAVERA


Nuri Kalay founded the Taurus Project in 1990 in order to support organic cultivation operations that rely on traditional methods. He now manages fifty family farms in the region and works closely with the local master distiller Ibrahim.

Demand for organic rose is very high and often the harvest is sold out within a few months. This allows us to invite new farmers to join the cooperative every year, supporting our mission to continue helping conventional farms convert to organic practices.

Our Damask Roses grow in picturesque highlands, not far from Isparta in the south of Turkey. The closed blossoms are hand-picked in the very early morning from 5 o'clock on when the essential oil content is highest. Collected into air-permeable jute bags, the picked roses are then immediately taken to the local master distiller, who extracts the precious oil. It takes 30 fresh rose blossoms, in order to gain one single drop of the precious oil, 3 to 5 tons of roses to produce 1 liter to develop new projects together, strengthening the country’s economy and fostering a rich cultural exchange.


„During rose harvest the fog often still rests in the valley and the nightingales sing their song. Often the nightingales even nestle in the cozy protection of the rosebushes. At breakfast time, the farmers have already been busy and deliver their overflowing jute-bags to the rose scale. They then pour the fresh rose blossoms directly into the distillery, where after the distilling process immediately takes place on site. The distillation of roses is a true artform, that asks for continuous refinement.“

Nuri Kalay
Farm Partner in Turkey

Impressions of Turkey

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Plant Expert

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