Ferrero has held talks with the government of Azerbaijan that could lead the Italian food giant supporting the cultivation of hazelnuts in the country.

The company is a major user of hazelnuts in products such as Ferrero Rocher, Nutella and Kinder Bueno. It already owns the world’s largest hazelnut producer, Turkey’s Oltan Group.

Turkey is by far the world’s largest producer of hazelnuts with a market share of around 75%. Azerbaijan has a market share of only around 4% but has ambitions to grow.

To this end, the country’s Agriculture Minister, Heydar Asadov, has received Daniel Dellapacha, the coordinator for agricultural business at Ferrero, for talks.

Azerbaijan is attempting to increase hazelnut production through a package of incentives that include state grants and preferential loans to hazelnut producers and the distribution of hazelnut seeds to farmers free of charge.

Ferrero has a dedicated subsidiary focusing on the cultivation of hazelnuts. It comprises agri-focused units across six countries and eight plants across three, including in Turkey.