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A Turkish competent Authority has launched an investigation into a chocolate company in Italy.

A competent Authority in Turkey is investigating Ferrero, alleging they are monopolizing the hazelnut market.

The authorities found evidence serious enough to open an investigation into Ferrero, a multinational headquartered in Luxembourg and the world’s second-largest chocolate producer.

Ferrero employs more than 1,000 people across Turkey, where it began sourcing hazelnuts over three decades ago. In total, the company sources its Europe division from an area of land half the size of Portugal, in which hazelnut orchards cover large swaths of farmland.

Ferrero, the Italian chocolate, and hazelnut giant that produces Nutella have angered Turkish farmers, who claim that they have been paid exceptionally low wages for hazelnuts sold at a higher price by Ferrero.

Hilmi Güler, mayor of the Black Sea province of Ordu, tweeted that his city started legal proceedings with the competent authority in September against Ferrero for trying to monopolize the hazelnut industry.

The company has been subject to an investigation at all levels, from production to purchasing, shelling, and export.

Turkey produces 70% of the world’s hazelnuts and exports them to 122 countries. In 2021 alone, they exported 344,379 tons of hazelnut products to business partners around the world.

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