Rose and attar of roses are agricultural products that are known and used in each and every part of the world. In addition, attar of roses is one of the most important raw materials that is used in perfume and cosmetics industry. Rose damascane, which is one of the most significant types of rose in relation to the production of attar of roses, is cultivated in only a few number of countries worldwide and Turkey is one of them. Rose Damascane type of rose is mostly cultivated in Isparta and its environs.

Rose damascene cultivators’ cooperatives are started to be established in Isparta around 1953. In 1954, 9 rose cultivators’ cooperatives came together to establish Gülbirlik. Today, Gülbirlik is a union of cooperatives consisting of 6 cooperatives and 8000 members. It has 4 facilities for the production of attar of roses with daily capacity to process 320 tones of rose. Attar of rose and products have high market value.

Today 1 kg of attar of rose is derived from 3,500-4,000kgs of rose. 1 kg of attar of rose from 2012 onwards is around 7,000-€. 1 kg of rose conrete is on average 800-€. 1 kg of rose concrete is derived from 350 kgs of rose. Rose water is a byproduct of attar of roses production.

Turkey produces 60% of world’s attar of roses need and around 40% of this export activity is performed by Gülbirlik. Gülbirlik is the world’s biggest producer – exporter establishment which produces attar of roses, rose concrete and 100% natural rose water in line with worldwide standards. Gülbirlik’s annual export revenue is 3 million euros.

Gülbirlik processes the products of its members and at the same time via another company that Gülbirlik established, it supplies cosmetic products with rosense brand name to national and international markets. As a result, products of rose cultivators which have high value added are used in a best way.

Gülbirlik generates the source of income of 8000 families through rose cultivation by family agriculture. Via procument from outside this number exceeds 10,000 families which cultivate rose. Cultivation of rose damascane is mostly caaried out by women. Women play great role in each step of the cultivation process including harvest. In this regard, rose cultivation is one of the most important sources of income and employment tool for women and the other members of family.

Being one of the oldest cooperatives of Turkey, Gülbirlik gives direction to the production of attar of roses in Turkey. Gülbirlik aims to provide services to women cultivators and their families from cultivation step to the last step of market, to increase cultivators’ welfare and to improve cooperative system. Gülbirlik gives particular importance to enhance cooperation and cohesiveness between cooperatives in order to improve cooperative system through out the world.