The Turkish grape season has had a rough run so far. Although volumes are similar, demand for grapes in general has been lacking in certain markets. One exporter hopes to take advantage of the situation, by proving to its customers how dedicated they are, even when the season is more difficult.
It’s busy times for the Turkish grape season, but not as busy as Eren Tarim would’ve liked to see. According to Coskun Eren, the marketing manager of the exporter, demand for grapes in general has declined this year: “The volumes in the field are looking to be the same with some minor decrease from last year. I would say it didn't affect much of anything. Demand is slower compared to last year. I believe it isn't about the Turkish grapes, but rather about all grapes. People simply don't eat as many grapes as they did last year. There are some high points in the demand scale of course. Demand is still high in countries like Germany, Russia, Belarus and Poland. The protests in Belarus did slow the demand temporarily, but once these protests ended the orders started coming in again.”
Although the prices are higher at the farmers, the prices for potential clients aren’t affected as much. This is due to foreign currencies currently being strong. “Prices in the field are around 25 per cent higher than last year, but that is surely to be expected. Everything is around 25 per cent more expensive this year. Covid-19 has increased the costs of pretty much everything, there’s less workforce, yet the same expenses, so this combo tends to increase prices. Foreign currency has also increased a little bit, so from the customer's point of view the prices stayed relatively similar compared to last year.” Eren explains.
Despite it being a challenging season, Eren is determined to make the most of it. He feels a company shows its true colors during more difficult times, and the company has set out to show its clients the dedication of the company: “Currently, we are still harvesting, putting grapes in cold rooms and shipping simultaneously. This year I am somewhat disappointed due to the lack of demand. When the demand is low you need the perfect product if you want to stay in the market. This caused us to triple check each product before harvesting, packing, and shipping. That's why it is harder to find export grade grapes this year. The biggest positive of it all is the chance to improve ourselves. The harder the season, the more apparent the differences between you and your competitors become. This season was and still is harder than usual. Low demand, high prices and the need for top quality from every single customer has had our team on their feet all season long. But i believe this will prove our skill and dedication to our customers.”
“The season for the grapes can be split in two; the field grapes and the cold room grapes. The product can last up to 90 days in the cold room with almost no issues, so the season can be extended quite some time. Currently, we have Sultanas Seedless, Red Globe, Rezaki and a variety of Black Grapes that we are harvesting. The field grapes will end towards the end of October, but we are already starting to put the good product in the cold room to sell in November and December. So the season will last until December. Pre-orders or indications of programs are always appreciated, as it helps us how much to store. Normally, we store about 500 tons of grapes in the cold room every year.” Eren concludes.