USAID/EPI brought a consultant who is a hazelnut marketing expert to Georgia on a two-week visit. The consultant’s deliverables were to observe and analyze which if any improvements needed to be made to the hazelnut value chain. In order to market hazelnuts to the most profitable markets, and in order to ensure that hazelnuts are of the best quality that they can be, this Georgian hazelnut assessment was conducted.
Currently, in Georgia, most hazelnut production takes place in small farms and gathering conditions in two major regions of the country: east and west. The hazelnut key value chain players were met with and discussions were held. Harvested hazelnuts are handled by collectors who speculate on the market and deliver product to packers. Packers select product for two distinctive channels: inshell and shelled hazelnuts and do some further processing, including roasting, blanching, slicing, dicing and paste production. The value chain was investigated and improvements to the hazelnut value chain in Georgia were recommended.