The cherry season is about to start in Turkey. This season is an exciting time, as the cherry is a sensitive fruit that could get damaged with fair ease. This is why planning ahead and keeping an eye on what the weather will do is very important for the Turkish exporters.
For Turkish fruit and vegetable exporter Hatipoglu Tarim the cherry season is a very important one. It is the one fruit that comes with the hardest challenges, says Muhsin Riza, agronomist for the exporting company: “The cherry seasons is the single most hardest season for us. We need to approach it really carefully. Cherries are very sensitive and get damaged very quickly. We are expecting to harvest around 1800 tons. This may not seem like the largest harvest you’ve heard about, but our company isn’t interested in increasing volumes. We want to focus on the premium fruit, with special packaging.”
One of the biggest challenges for the cherry season is dealing with the weather: “Up until now, the weather has been fine for cherries. But we’re getting some cold wind out there now and I have to say we’re worried about it. On top of that we’re going to have the harvest the cherries with a very quick pace, as we could get rain at any time as well. If the rain does show up, we’re looking at major damage to the cherries. So we have to be on top of things to ensure the quality and safety of the cherries.” Riza explains.
Riza is looking forward to sending his cherries towards their destination: “We cultivate Napoleon cherries, which are exported all over Europe. Demand seems pretty good right now, so we shouldn't have any problems selling the produce. When talking about our competition though, I would have to say our biggest competitor is Spain. They produce high quality cherries, but I feel ours are up for the challenge.”
Cherries isn’t the only thing Hatipoglu Tarim will be exporting in the upcoming months though, says Riza: “Next to the cherries, the seasons for apricots and grapes are also about to get going. We’ve already started to harvest the early apricot varieties. Our best variety is the honey apricot called Sekerpare. Demand for these apricots are huge and we export big volumes of it every year. I’m very excited for the grape season as well. This year we’ll add vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, zucchinis and eggplants to our BRC and Global Gap certificates. We expect these certifications to be ready next month.”