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FOOD & AGRICULTURE, INTERVIEWS

Turkey is one step ahead in food sector

Agean Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Exporters Association Chairman Rıza Seyyar states that food products produced in Turkey make a difference with healthy and good quality production process and natural geographic advantage.

Agean Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Exporters Association Chairman Rıza Seyyar also states that Turkey is ahead of its competitors as a result of its geography, climate, modern techniques in agriculture, knowledge accumulation. Seyyar also stated that, Agean region, one of the important producing areas in Turkey is expected to have 5 billion dollars of export in 2017, ‘Turkey produces healthy and good quality food. Turkey is ahead of its competitors. With its geography and microclimate comes excellence, taste, size, caliber and other parameters.”

You represent one of the most colorful regions of Turkey for food and agriculture, Agean Region exporters. How was its export performance in year 2016?

When we consider 2016 we see some decline for export of fresh fruit and vegetables. However for Agean Region we see an increase of 14% in the average. There is an increase from 610 million dollar to 693 million dollar. 530 million dollar was fruits and vegetable products and 160 million dollars was fresh fruit and vegetables.In Turkey, Fresh fruit and vegetables export was 2 billion dollars. Products export was 1,4 billion dollars. In total we have 3,5 billion dollars of fresh fruit, vegetables and products. These figures make one third of Agean Region, which is very significant.

What are your expectations for 2017?

As Agean Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Exporters Association we expect to end 2017 with more than 750 million dollars export. Totally 2017 seems to end with 2,5 billion dollars for fresh fruit and vegetables and ,1,4 billion dollars for products.

In accordance with the estimates what do you see in the first quarter of 2017?

When we consider the effects of political developments we see the difficulties of problems with Russia to continue to affect first quarter of 2017. We see this situation for tomato, cucumber and pepper but it’s over for citrus fruits. So, Russia is still a large market for Turkey. There is ratio increase. However our efforts rely on regional piece, welfare and international relations. The truth is that we are comfortable with this line of business. In one year or two there is always financial crisis and food export may decrease but never stops. We fill in the short term losses and continue. So, it is true that we are powerful for sense of security.

What are the main features that make a difference for Turkey food products from its competitors?

There is petrol for Arabian Peninsula; there is autarchy for natural gas starting from Azerbaijan to Russia; Turkey has its relative superiorities. What are these? One; we have geography and microclimate. Fields from 0 to 1500 altitude for agriculture. Two; we have young and productive population. Three; most important of all we use modern techniques and we have accumulation of knowledge for production. As a result we have more chance to produce with high standards and quality when compared to our competitors. Turkish products are accepted in Europe, America, Middle East, and Far East. We export most of the products to Europe. We export to Japan which is one of the most difficult markets. America is nowadays an easy market for Turkey. In summary; Turkey produces healthy and good quality food. Turkey is ahead of its competitors. With its geography and microclimate come excellence, taste, size, caliber and other parameters. We need more improvement where we are already superior and this means more production and more export.

How did you prepare for Summer Fancy Fair?

Summer Fancy, is attended by al lot of Turkish food producers for so many years. Exporters that join this fair always come with successful results. Especially for America it is a very important activity. Participants who wish to work in America come back with more volume of business, commercial relations, and a different view of world. So, it is an activity full of opportunities for the area and the fair.

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