Reducing the use of pesticides has been a recurring topic for Turkish fruit and vegetable exporters. According to Sefik Can, account manager for Canlar Fruit, the company has made serious efforts to adhere to the European standards over the past years: “Our company policy is to process products in modern facilities under hygienic conditions and deliver them to the final consumer at the most affordable price. Controlled production, especially in the case of pomegranates, is crucial for us, and we work closely with our producers, adhering to recommended pest control programs at every stage of production. We put great effort into ensuring the healthy product concept through specialized analyses conducted both domestically and internationally. With the challenges posed by global warming, obtaining pesticide-free products becomes increasingly difficult each year. We are aware that other Turkish exporters, particularly those exporting to European Union countries, also exert considerable effort in this regard.”
Can feels they’ve been punished over the past three years for faults within the Bulgarian analysis laboratory: “Despite our efforts to overcome these difficulties, we’ve been facing certain issues at the Bulgarian border, especially in the last three years. The inadequacy of the analysis laboratory in Bulgaria, incorrect pesticide readings, extended waiting times at customs, inappropriate conditions in plant health control and rising analysis fees are making our business even more challenging. Authorities and export associations are working on the issue, but we have not yet achieved a resolution. Turkey plays a crucial role in supplying fresh fruits and vegetables to the European Union. If this issue remains unresolved, the associated challenges will inevitably reflect on our costs, resulting in higher prices for the end consumer. This matter has become the most critical issue for both importers in Europe and Turkish exporters.”
According to the Turkish exporter, something needs to be done to prevent increasing costs for the consumers: “I would like to once again call on the relevant authorities to take action to resolve this issue. Failure to address this matter may lead to disruptions in the supply chain from Turkey, more products going to waste in a time when food production is challenging, European consumers facing higher prices for food, and increased economic losses for both parties. Next to all of these issues, I must mention that the Turkish pomegranate season has been challenging. However, as a company we have expanded to new markets within the EU. This year, in addition to our existing markets, we have exported to countries such as Croatia, Serbia, Romania and a few others. For the upcoming season, we are also exploring options for supply through both ship and air transportation,” Can concluded.