Pinar Tekinsen, her husband Gurkan and their two children will soon take the plunge: from the suburbs of Istanbul, in Turkey, they will settle as a family on their Norman farm in Torigni-sur-Vire, to start a unit of production of organic eggs.
You have to imagine the challenge: you are over 45, worked very hard and succeeded in your professional careers. You have two children, one of whom is about to enter university, the other in high school. All this near Istanbul. And there, a 180° turn: you decide to buy a Normandy farm to produce organic eggs. Accustomed to heavy workloads, the members of this Turkish family had “a lot more time than usual to talk, to dream too, during the Covid19 pandemic”, explains Pinar Tekinsen.
Pinar Tekinsen: “we are working hard to reduce the risks of our installation”
“I did all my studies in French, my children are French-speaking and we love France. We are with my husband halfway through, we have experience, we now know what we no longer want. And we don’t want artificial relationships anymore. We want to live in the countryside, work with animals, and have professional relationships with real people, normal people, real exchanges.
The couple buys remotely, still in the midst of a pandemic, a farm on a 3ha plot, with the help of a friend on site. And apply for the Hectar Campus “Springboard” training, intended to test and consolidate the leaders of an agricultural project.
“We had started with beef production, but we realized that our area will be much too small, even if 3ha is very big in Turkey! With our mentor, we redirected our choices towards organic egg production. We re-examined the factors of production, the business plan, the workloads, the risks, the market. We also established contacts with farmers who invited us to visit their farms. This is very reassuring, and we are working hard to reduce the risks of our installation.”
Pinar will also continue to work as a regional director for her employer, an American multinational software company. It is her husband who will ensure operational production. The couple plans to operate on their own funds for three years. Pinar also continued to fulfill his professional commitments during the training. “It was hard. But you have to be ready to have this type of work intensity if you want to go through with the project”, she underlines.
Pinar and Gurkan Tekinsen have capital in their luggage, but also honed skills in sales, marketing and strong working capacities. They already know that the recruitment of labor is a major stumbling block for the majority of French farms, as they themselves are considering hiring a few years after their installation.
Pinar has already spotted the local cuma. Once the course is over, she would like to develop other productions on the remaining 2ha. And it has understood the interest of pooling the costs of mechanization. So from a distance, yes, this installation may seem extravagant. But on examination, the project has strong assets.