Birol Celep, Chairman of Aegean Dried Fruit and Products Exporters Associations, emphasizes geographic advantage of Turkey for dried food.
Chairman of Aegean Dried Fruit and Products Exporters Associations Birol Celep, states that Turkish products take a step forward when considered health wise. Celep, says that Turkey is the world leader for dried apricots, dried figs, dried seedless raisins production and export.
What can you say for Turkey dried food export performance for 2016 and first half of 2017?
Weather conditions have direct affect on dried food harvest quantity and quality so, export may differentiate each season. When considered the production amount of the most important 3 main products of dried fruit; dried apricots, dried figs, dried seedless raisin; 2016/17 seedless dried raisins quantity is 313 thousand tons, dried figs quantity is 72 thousand tons, dried apricots quantity is 103 thousand tons approximately. These 3 products make up 72% of our total export income and the other significant groups are pistachio, pine nut, roasted chick pea, almond and walnut. Dried Fruit has 0,8% share of total export for the first 3 months of 2017. Our export has increased by 1 % when compared to the same period of last year. We have put our 2023 vision as, “being ahead of the competitors by sustainable export growth”. The constraints for our sector are; problems to supply healthy and high-quality products, price fluctuations due to lack of organizations for market and stock regulation, instability for in and out markets, bureaucratic obstacles for export and in case of return by the buyers. Aegean Dried Fruit and Products Exporters Associations is working with the related ministries and organizations to solve these problems and every year dried fruit workshops are organized to bring prominent bureaucrats, exporter firms and all representatives of formal/private corporations and institution in the sector.
Where is Turkey in the global trend for, “healthy food” concept?
Turkish dried fruit has a great advantage with sun dried and no preservatives added products where demand for healthy and reliable food increases. It is very important to continue our marketing with the emphasis of healthy food to EU, USA, Japan, China, South Korea. As a result of increase of importance of reliability and traceability for the consumer and governments; there is more competitive pressure. Producing countries should pay attention to R&D and innovation investment for sustainable export. Aegean Dried Fruit and Products Exporters Associations works together with Ministry of Food Agriculture and Livestock and other stakeholders to supply healthy food. Starting from 2012 Food R&D Market organization is arranged by Aegean Exporters Associations for a sustainable and competitive food sector. International Food R&D Market organization brought together all stakeholders for food for the 5th time in May 25, 2017.
What are the reasons for preference of Turkish food products worldwide?
The reasons of preference of Turkish Died fruit may be stated as; advancing production technology, our world leadership for production and export of dried apricots, dried figs, dried seedless raisins, our short distance to demanding markets and our high quality products that are recognized by the buyers worldwide.
We are attending Summer Fancy fair with an increasing volume this year, what are your expectations?
USA imports approximately 130 billion dollars of food yearly. We want to have at least 2 billion dollars market share. Summer Fancy Food Fair is very important in this concept. Considering Turkey export of 755 million dollars to USA in 2016, it is a very important market for Turkish exporters. We became partners to Summer Fancy Food Fair, recognized worldwide, believing that it will bring new opportunities to our exporters and we will have publicity activities. Total of 40 companies will attend on 530 square meter area, will help for recognition of Turkish food products and as a result for export.