Who we are
Hazelnut Processors and Exporters association (HEPA) was established with the support of USAID-funded Economic Prosperity Initiative (EPI) in December 31, 2013. The Association unites 29 companies of the hazelnut processing sector.
Hazelnut is one of the major agricultural products of the country and Georgia is in the top five world hazelnut exporters. Georgia supplies 3-4% of the whole hazelnut demand of the total world market. According to the National Statistics Office of Georgia hazelnut was on the third position in commodity groups by exports and exported product reached 167 mln. USD in 2013. Consequently, a lot of people are employed in this business. Their business mainly includes procurement and sale of hazelnuts, 99% of processed product (nutshells, kernel of the seeds) is exported abroad. Georgia exports hazelnuts to most of the countries of Europe and Asia, e.g. Ukraine, Czech Republic, Russian Federation, Italy, France, Spain, Iraq and etc.
The hazelnut sector is one of the major and promising sectors for agriculture and economics of the country. This factor stipulated the need for establishment of the association. The mission of HEPA is to promote the hazelnut sector on the local as well as on international level, to assist association members in identifying and solving tax, financial and legal issues, offering special trainings to increase competitiveness and to support members in marketing and sales issues. Besides said, HEPA informs and educates exporters regarding market information and closely work with governmental agencies, donors and financial institutions to ensure effective operation and implementation of its responsibilities.