For the past couple of years, Turkish apple production has developed and is getting better. You can see professional apple orchards all around the country. Muhsin Riza, export director for Turkish fresh produce exporter Ideal Tarim states that they have more options for export these days: “Turkish growers are still investing in new varieties, and the list of potential markets to export the Turkish apples to is increasing. For red varieties, the main markets are India and Russia. Other varieties are also popular in these markets, as well as in the Far East. Price increases that take place all over the world also affected Turkey. This means we’re expecting higher costs for the harvest. However, we’re also expecting a 20 per cent increase in the total apple yield in Turkey, which could mean early shipments will get going faster.”
Riza says that up until now, the weather has been perfect for the cultivation of apples. “Let’s hope the current weather conditions will continue until the actual harvest. Because most of the damage for apples occur during the harvest stage. If weather changes to high or low temperature while we’re at the harvest stage, apples will get damaged. Last year we had a problem like this. Red varieties matured really fast because of the temperature and as a result we had to harvest very quickly. And for some of the shipments on the arrival problems did occur. You can’t see the damage in CA rooms, but on the arrival, it was apparent that some orchards had serious problems. So, we will be more careful at harvest this season.”
When looking at the upcoming season, Ideal Tarim has aimed it sights on a stable season that satisfies their clients: “Our main goal for the upcoming season is just to supply good quality apples. The main challenge is that customers sometimes want exact sizing and an exact variety. This pressure causes the packing houses to work longer and at a high cost. And when people push into specific sizing and shape, there can be mistakes while packing. What I am advising to our customers is try to order homogeneous sizing. Right now, the red apple varieties are at the coloring stage and we can’t wait for the new season.” Riza concludes.