The Turkish airlines have assisted some cherry growers help them recover some time that was lost due to less optimal road conditions. This made sure all the cargo reached the clients in time. A more difficult challenge to solve, though, is the increasing climate change in Turkey.
Overall, the cherry season has been very decent. According to Eser Arzen, managing director of Arzen Gida, the season did pose a couple of challenges for the exporter. “Transport and weather conditions gave us the most trouble. In order to minimize these issues, we have bought more cherries than we had on order, so that we were absolutely sure that all orders could and would be fulfilled on time. Transportation from the field to the packing house is challenging as well, as not all roads in Turkey are as good as we’d like them to be. If transportation is delayed, we’d have to use air freight to make up for the lost time, so as to not embarrass ourselves with our clients. It wasn’t always ideal, but we’ve made it work. We had some support from the Turkish airlines, which helped us both in pricing and punctuality during the season, thanks to them all our cargo reached its destination in time.”
Although Azen Food currently has its focus on the Middle East, X acknowledges that the Chinese market could be very important this year. “Our main export markets are in Dubai, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Germany. The demand in quality in these markets is at the highest level, so we’ve been building our brand in these regions,” Arzen explains. “However for the future, the Chinese market is important. In 2020, we plan to have products in China with our own brand as well. For the upcoming year, we have set an export target of 1500 tons of cherries.”
A more difficult problem to solve is climate change, which has had its effect on the cultivation of various fruits, including cherries. “The biggest problem is that the Anatolian region is very wide spread geographically, so we can experience all four seasons within the same month. The climate change disrupts the structure of air, water and soil. We ourselves have created this problem, and we ought to take a look at how people lived fifty years ago and adapt some of the ways of life back then into our current lifestyle.” Arzen concludes.