The Western Mediterranean Exporters' Association announced the export figures of 2019. According to this, the association exported 500 million USD worth of fresh fruits and vegetables. The most heavily exported product was tomatoes.
The association's vice president Ergin Civan said: "We exported 117 million USD worth of tomatoes last year. Antalya is a leading city in greenhouse tomato production. It is also a leading city in agriculture, as well as it is in tourism."
Reminding us that Russia is the most important export market in tomatoes, Civan mentioned that the region exports to most countries in Europe and to the Middle East. Cocktail, big, small, classic and pink tomatoes are among the many varieties that are produced in the area, said Civan and he added that they are working towards further increasing tomato varieties.
Civan emphasised that the producers shape the production in parallel to the needs of the market and added: "Our producers no longer follow a "one-size-fits-all" approach. They research the needs of the consumer. They evaluate the demands in every country and try to produce according to their needs. This brings in an added value because in this way the prices increase. From the seeds company to the consumer, the supply chain model works in a coordinated way."
Tomato's competitor is pepper
Civan pointed out to the increased pepper exports over the last few years and said that pepper exports exceeded 90 million USD.
Pepper exports increased by 10% compared to the year before, Civan said and explained: "We produce a wide variety of peppers. Our export products vary from the Balkans to Germany, from Germany to Russia. There has been an important increase in pepper exports compared to tomatoes. In this product as well, Antalya may become a leading producer in Turkey. We also produce peppers according to the needs of the market. Agriculture now makes use of scientific methods."