Where some companies try to innovate constantly to beat the competition, others might be a bit more conservative, sticking to what has worked for them for years. For Aksun, it’s a mix of both. While investing in new machinery, they don’t feel like they need to reinvent the wheel every season. It’s worked out, as they’ve now reached the status of 4th largest fig exporter in Turkey.
Esra Soyleyen, managing partner for Turkish fresh produce exporter Aksun, has enjoyed a solid year for the company. When asked what were the biggest challenges, she had to admit there haven’t been any. “Honestly, we’re not making any changes on our strategy. Therefore, we can’t say that we’ve made mistakes and then learned from then. We’ve been sending produce exclusively to retailers in Europe and overseas for over 25 years now. I’d say not making any changes to our strategy had been the key of our success.”
That success made itself visible with yet another product for Aksun, as they’ve taken major steps in the export of figs. “We’ve reached the 4th position in terms of largest fix exporters, by exporting over 1,100 tons of figs. Reaching this position is the first time in Aksun’s history. When we check our sales results, we see that we are doubling our fig sales every year! Now we have a larger share when it comes to retailers, we’re doing more seasonal programs and because of our quality & logistic service, by using advantage of our own trucks, we are getting stronger every year. We also see this trend with our pomegranates, as sales are growing approximately 23 per cent compared to the previous season, with higher customer satisfaction. That latter number is more important to us than the volumes that we’ve shipped, so it’s great news.” Soyleyen said.
Soyleyen credits their success to their focus on quality and on-time service, rather than competitive prices. “Our customers do not focus on price first. They prioritize good quality, food safety and full traceability of the fruit, and only then they check competitive prices. So we ensure food safety and quality first and then work on our prices, which are not the cheapest prices in the industry. We have customers that have been working with us for over 30 years now. We did not change our brand or quality in that time. They know that we’re always here for them if they need us. And they feel very comfortable when making their future plans with us. We’ve built trust together with our partners.”
Having established its presence in European markets, Aksun has now set its sights on North America. “The great potential for Turkish fruit in the US and Canada is the reason why we attended the PMA for the first time this year,” said Soyleyen. “Our quality improved a lot, as well as our capacity. We started to harvest more fruits before heavy rains or frost, so our availability is much more better now. We’re able to make longer terms planning with makes us stronger. On top of that we’re investing in new machines to get even better results, like new machinery for pomegranates and our figs.”
Aksun will be exhibiting during Fruit Logistica. You can find their stand in Hall 1.2, booth B13.