Cherries, grapes and pomegranates are important export products for Turkey and recently exporters of these products came together in "The Development of International Competitiveness" project. The goal of the project is to increase the total exports value of these three products from 387 million USD (352,6 million Euro) to 750 million USD (683,4 million Euro).
"The Development of International Competitiveness" (URGE) project will be coordinated by the Aegean Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Exporters Association. The project will allow cherry, grape and pomegranate exporter companies to build a corporate identity and conduct marketing activities for the targeted markets under one roof.
Turkey earned 387 million USD from cherry, grape and pomegranate exports in 2018, said Aegean Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Exporters' Association's chairman Hayrettin Ucak. He announced that the aim of the project is to exceed 750 million USD in the export of these three products within the next three years.
Ucak emphasized that the Aegean Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Exporters' Association conducted the URGE project in 2016-2019 as well and that they achieved a great success.
"Turkish cherry and grape exporters focused on the Far Eastern market. The cherry exports started to China and South Korea. Air freight became very popular among Turkish exporters. We will join forces in the new URGE project with the participation of more member companies. We will introduce Aegean products to more people in the world." said Ucak.
Ucak asked for state support in order to increase the varieties of pomegranates and therefore increase its exports. Then he continued: "Besides, we need to increase the big, seedless, white and black varieties of table grapes that could be preferred by the consumers in the Far East market. When it comes to cherries, we widely produce Ziraat 900 in Turkey. If we produce early varieties of cherries such as Early Burlat, Early Lory, Prime Giant, we can increase our chances to compete with our adversaries like the USA in the Chinese and South Korean markets."
According to the 2018 figures, Turkey is a global leader in cherry production with a yield of 640 thousand tons. Pomegranate production was 538 thousand tons, which makes Turkey as the third biggest pomegranate producer in the world. The country ranks fifth in grape production. Last year the grape yields were 1 million 930 thousand tons.
Turkish Ministry of Trade will provide support for the companies participating in the project. While, the ministry will pay 75% of the project costs, the rest will be paid by the companies.
Cherry exports will reach 200 million USD
In 2019, Turkish cherry exports exceeded 183 million USD (166,7 million Euro). Compared to 2018, cherry exports increased by 14%. 87 million USD (79,2 million Euro) worth of cherries were destined to Germany. This was followed by Russia with 42 million USD (38,2 million Euro) and the Netherlands with 10 million USD (9,1 million Euro). Turkey exported cherries to China for the first time this year and on the first export season, 3,3 million USD (3 million Euro) worth of cherries were exported to China.
Turkey exported 122 million USD (111,1 million Euro) worth of table grapes in 2018. Russia was the biggest importer of Turkish table grapes with a demand of 66 million USD (60,1 million Euro) worth of table grapes. Turkey exported 115 million USD (104,8 million Euro) worth of pomegranates and again most of these were destined to Russia with an export value of 33 million USD (30 million Euro).