The Turkish citrus season will be a longer one this year, and exporters won’t be able to sit still to rest. Okan Eryilmaz, owner of Turkish fruit exporter Tekasya, states their packhouses have been going at full speed for months now: “We’ve had a very fruitful start of the citrus season. Demand has been very positive, our packing houses have been operating non-stop since mid-September. We export to about 35 countries, mainly in Europe, Russia, the Middle East and the Far East. However, this year we’ve also started export to England and Canada. They were very happy with the trial shipments last year and have opted to buy from us again.”
For Tekasya, it’s no surprise demand from Europe has increased. Eryilmaz states they’ve made a complete effort to remove the use of pesticides from their growers’ farms and have been successful. “This year, we’d like to focus fully on exporting to European supermarkets, as our growers have solved the problems with pesticides. Every farm now has an engineer and the growers are conscious about the European requirements in terms of pesticides and MRL-levels. As such, they now cultivate the citrus without the use of pesticides, which means our citrus has the quality that European supermarkets are looking for.”
The Turkish weather has been good for the citrus fruits and their availability, Eryilmaz says. “Looking at overall citrus volumes, we’re expecting an increase in production of about 30 per cent. After the flowering period, the Turkish weather has been very good, which means there both more as well as better fruit available. Apart from the weather, new farms have also contributed to the higher volumes this season.”
Although it’s not a direct problem for Tekasya, Eryilmaz did notice labor issues on a national scale: “There’s been a problem with labor this season, on a national Turkish level. This is a new problem that we’ve not encountered before. Thankfully, for Tekasya, this hasn’t been much of an issue, as we require labor year-round and as such always have enough people in place for the harvest of citrus. Once that season is done, the same workers will work for us on the stone fruit season. However it could affect the citrus availability on a national scale.”
Overall, the Turkish citrus season will be extended, Eryilmaz feels. “Looking ahead, we expect the larger volumes to result in a longer lasting season. For lemons, the newer farms will contribute with Lamas lemons soon and when looking at mandarins, the W. Murcott season isn’t expected to start until December the 20th. That season will also last a lot longer, as volumes for this mandarin variety will be very high.”
Tekasya has recently finished their solar panel project, allowing them to generate their own energy: "At our company, we have made an investment in solar energy panels on our packing houses as part of our commitment to reducing the global carbon footprint. This initiative reflects our dedication to sustainable energy solutions and environmentally responsible business practices. By harnessing solar power, we aim to minimize our environmental impact and contribute to a more sustainable future for the planet," Eryilmaz concludes.