The cherry season in Turkey is going well, with the Chinese market being especially interesting. For one Turkish exporter, it’s been a very special season, as their cherries have received an award from the International Taste Institute.
For Turkish exporter Alanar it is a great cherry season so far. According to Yigit Gokyigit, sales coordinator for Alanar, it’s been smooth sailing from start to finish: “We didn’t have many challenges when it came to the cherries, we’re having a great season. The quality is really good and the weather has been better than the last ten days. Basically all the conditions were just right to grow the good quality cherries in Turkey that we always aim for. The weather was perfect for cultivating cherries, not too hot or too cold. It didn’t rain that much either and the biggest threat, hail, was nowhere to be seen this season. Therefor basically none of our cherries got damaged due to the weather, which is exceptional.”
At Alanar, their intention was to increase their volumes this season and, according to Gokyigit, the company is right on track: “Our goal was a 15% increase this year compared to last year. It looks like we’ll not only reach that goal, but actually go a bit over it. This is good, as the demand from the Chinese market is incredible. The number of tons they are talking about is a different story for the Turkish cherry industry. Alanar is the leading cherry exporter of Turkey and one company in China is asking for our entire production, these are the amounts they are talking about. This has already affected the prices of the growers. We will see how big the impact of China will actually be on the cherry prices.”
The Turkish cherry is finding its way across the globe, which is exactly what Alanar was aiming for: “We expect to grow in leading supermarkets in Europe and Asia. We already started to export cherries to India this year. Our high quality cherries have been everywhere this year, we even competed with Canadian cherry in Canada!” says Gokyigit. “To keep the growth strong, we will also have a stand at Asia Fruit Logistica. We like to introduce our new projects to our customers and potential buyers in the region. We will provide our Toro Sentado variety South American figs as part of our 365-day-fig-project to leading super markets this year, Asia Fruit Logistica is a good opportunity to introduce the project to the market. We will also inform them about our new blueberry project that also takes place this year. We will be growing our blueberries in our orchards in Turkey.”
Tekfen Agri's general manager Emrah Ince
There was even more good news for Alanar, as their cherries took part in the 2019 taste evaluation and certification conducted by the Brussel-based International Taste Institute. Alanar’s cherries received two gold stars flavor certificates with a score of 87.9 per cent. The certification tests of the award ceremony held in Brussels on June 24th were performed by a blind tasting method.
Tekfen Agri’s general manager Emrah Ince, who made evaluations on the subject, reminded that the Institute has tested about 15000 products over the years. Ince emphasized that the products that are entitled to receive certificates are differentiated due to their quality and preference in similar kitchens in all world cuisines, İnce said that the Turkish cherry will also contribute to the export in the medium term with this new certificate. “The Turkish cherry was certified as one of the most delicious fruits by a jury of 200 people from all over the world, including Michelin Star Chefs. Our goal is to achieve similar success with different fruits.”