In Turkey the harvest of pomegranates is almost coming to an end, with some companies having already finished the harvesting. For Turkish company Hatipoglu Tarim the season went very well, with larger quantities and great prices.
The pomegranate season looks quite different from other fruits and vegetables this year. The drought did not hurt the pomegranate in Turkey and the season is looking fantastic, according to agriculture department director Muhsin Riza: “Our harvesting season has just finished here and the season was very nice to say the least. Both farmers and exporters are happy with the outcome of this season. The quality is better than it has been for the past three years. On top of that our disease and insect management has improved significantly. Overall Hatipoglu Tarim is very satisfied with this season because we’re supplying our partners with pesticide-free, good quality and certificated pomegranates.”
The season isn’t just looking positive in terms of quality, when looking at the increase of volumes that is harvested this season it only gets better, Riza explains: “Volumes are unpredictably high this year. In some of the orchards we harvested lots of tons more compared to last year. And our total stock increased more than thousand tons higher (total 6000 tons) if we compare it with last year.“ For now Hatipoglu Tarim doesn’t process the pomegranates for arils, but that project is currently on the table. It means the pomegranate could start playing an even bigger role for the company in the future.
The Turkish pomegranate of choice is the Hicaz variety, about 85% to 90% of the Turkish pomegranates are Hicaz. It plays as a certain brand for the country, while it protects the country from any fierce competition: “Of course every pomegranate exporter country is a competitor for us, but our pomegranate variety is different. So much different that there one could speak of a separate demand when it comes to our variety. It’s unique and that’s the reason most people want to taste our Hicaz variety. We sell our pomegranates under the brand FİNİKE, which also helps in the recognition of our produce.” Riza continues.
The Hicaz pomegranates of Hatipoglu Tarim are exported all over Europe for the most part. Riza is looking to explore some new markets though: “Our biggest partners are in Germany and Netherlands. We also export pomegranates to a few more destinations using air cargo or sea shipment. Besides those markets, we are very interested in doing business with United Kingdom and those plans are growing fast.”