Izmir, a city located in western Turkey, is one of the major exporters of dried tomatoes in the country. The city exports dried tomatoes to 85 countries, mainly to Europe.
Tomatoes are planted in April every year and harvested in July. Then, they are left to dry on white sheets.
Tomatoes are sun-dried for a week with salt or sulfite depending on the customer's demand. Then they are transported to packaging facilities. The products are mostly exported in jars or in packages mainly to Europe and many other countries.
The export price of dried tomatoes is 3 Euro per kilo. While, they decorate breakfast tables, dried tomatoes are also used in sauce making, pasta and pizzas.
Turkish tomatoes for Italian pizzas
A company operating in Bergama, Izmir, BGC Agriculture and Food, announced that they want to improve dried tomatoes production in Bergama. The company's Sales & Marketing Officer Gonca Arman said that the demand is increasing from all around the world and continued: "This is a summer tomato, however we can offer this product to the consumer for 12 months. Dried tomatoes do not only enter wealthy countries' kitchens, such as American, European, Australian and Japanese, but also in developing countries' kitchens. Of course, accessibility and price are important factors. We aim to export this product to more countries."
Stating that Italy demands a lot of dried tomatoes from them, Arman said: "Italians ask for this product the most. Dried tomatoes are mostly known as an Italian product in the world. They were the first ones to introduce this to the world and they're very much used in Italian kitchens. In Italy, they use dried tomatoes in salads, pasta, pizzas and as a sauce in sandwiches."
"3 Euro per kilo - the target is 1200 tons"
Arman shared some sales figures from last year and the pricing of the product: "The average sales price of the product is around 3 Euro. Of course, this depends on the packaging and the way the product is marinated. Last year we sold 900 tons of dried tomatoes. This was due to our limited supply, it wasn't due to customer demands. This year, we aim to exceed 1000 tons and then reach 1200 tons of production."
Source: AA (Metin Aydemir)