The Turkish cherry season has started. Although there has been something of a delay for the main varieties, the early varieties are being harvested. According to one Turkish cherry exporter, the season will definitely be better than the 2019 season, despite all the challenges of Covid-19.
According to Talha Önal, sales and marketing manager for Turkish fruit exporter Cena, the season for the main cherry varieties has been delayed by a couple of weeks: “A few early variety cherries started in the last weeks. We’re a few weeks behind the 2020 season for the main varieties. We expect to begin packing export quality cherries around the third week of May. The first varieties are Burlat, Lory, and Turkish Napoleon, but there will be some overlap from districts as the season progresses. As long as there won’t be heavy rain or any unforeseen disaster, the cherry season will be better than the 2019 season, I’m 100 per cent sure on it.”
Near the end of May, the Turkish cherry season will evolve and the Turkish have big plans for it with aggressive pricing and heavy marketing: “We expect to begin volumes by the third and fourth week of May, once the Ziraat 900 and Turkish Napoleon variety starts, followed by extremely large volumes of big size cherries. Currently some supermarket shelves are empty, and there is a great demand from European consumers for Turkish grown cherries. We’re expecting a record crop this season, with better quality and sizes. Pricing will be aggressive in the very beginning and we will be looking to increase export volumes to Asia in particular. Our excellent social media presence and marketing plans are running very smoothly.” Önal explains.
After having invested in their machinery, Cena intends to focus on multiple Asian market for this season, Önal says. “Our focus this season has been improving retail customers mainly Germany, Russia, China, Malaysia and other South East Asia, by upgrading our packaging and employing expert Quality Control team. Our logistic teams are working on enhancing the cold-chain processes. We see a strong demand from our clients from Asia and Gulf Countries.”
Although a lot of exporters are experiencing trouble in logistics, working closely with large airlines has made sure Cena hasn’t experienced any problems transporting their produce: “Currently we do not face any issues with logistic, we are set to go and our forwarding agents are working very close with Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airlines to full fill our customers demand for up-coming season. Growers are now getting more knowledge on how to make their crop more valuable. Trends change so fast and the new upcoming cherry varieties are lovely, for sure. In the near future Turkey will be able to grow and exports a lot more cherry varieties,” Önal concludes.