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Yavuz Taner, CEO, Alanar - Turkey
Growing demand for figs and cherries
Turkey is known in every corner of the world for its agricultural products. It exports millions of tons of fruits and vegetables on an annual basis. In the realm of figs, Turkey is still the worldwide leader. But local companies aren’t satisfied with just figs, as they constantly look for opportunities to take the driver’s seat for other fruit categories.
Alanar, a growing local Turkish company, is the largest producer and exporter of figs in the country. According to Yavuz Taner, CEO, Alanar, “We attribute our growth to the growing interest in figs and the fact that there isn’t a lot of competition in the fig industry. People, who usually try figs for the first time, will almost automatically like them. We’ve also seen new ways of using figs in new dishes.”
“There are 600 different varieties of figs and 300 of them are available in Turkey. We usually sell the long black fig variety, which is known to be very tasty. A majority of figs come from the region of Bursa and are grown during the months of June to August. For us, September is usually the peak season for sales of this seasonal product. For five years now, our company has been trying to re-engineer fig varieties to make them grow for a longer period of time and improve their quality. We believe this development of ours will help us to better serve the worldwide demand for figs”, Taner added.
Alanar doesn’t just export figs, it also exports cherries. Taner says, “There is a big business opportunity in cherries. We’ve seen our sales increase by five to six times in the past few years. A majority of our market is in Europe, the UK and Russia, which we still continue to increase our business in. The Far East is increasing, especially in Hong Kong. It is becoming a "trendy fruit" in the Far East. As we continue to push our product, we’ve been picking up interest from large supermarket chains.”
In most parts of the world figs and cherries are not considered as staple or normal fruits. They are exotic fruits with exotic tastes, which is what apparently the market is looking for these days.
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