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"Our cherry production has increased by 60 per cent"

One Turkish cherry exporter is significantly increasing its cherry production, says Aysel Oguz, commercial manager for Turkish fresh produce grower and exporter Anadolu Etap: "As we're approaching the cherry season, it's still a bit early to confirm the expected harvest as weather conditions could still change the situation. However, as Anadolu Etap, we can state that our production has increased by 60 per cent thanks to our farms located in the Kiralan and Denizli areas on the south side of Turkey . These production areas will allow us to maximize our volume by five times towards 2030."

Anadolu Etap has multiple early cherry varieties coming up, most of which will be sent to the Asian market, Oguz explains. "We have different varieties of cherry that start early in the season and have good quality specifications, such as crunchiness, taste and shelf life. These cherries are considered as premium cherries, because of the size as well. The main export markets for our cherries are still the Asian and Gulf countries, plus India, where the fruit is flown by air, as well as by road to the European continent."

According to Oguz, the climate change is making cherry production more difficult, as the cherries need low temperatures during winter: "Global climate changes, especially warmer winters, are causing serious problems in fruit production. The chilling requirement of fruit trees is the need for exposure to low temperatures during winter months, and this directly affects both the flowering and the fruit yield. Insufficient chilling leads to irregularities in flowering and fruit set, as well as fluctuations in yield."

As such the company is actively trying to work around these changes in the climate, Oguz says. "We're taking proactive measures against the decrease in chilling hours due to climate changes, as it's expected to lead to yield losses, especially in species like cherries and apricots. Considering that the climate changes also cause difficulties in pollination and variations in fruit set, we carefully select varieties that can adapt to these changes in new planting areas. We are particularly transitioning to varieties that require less chilling. These adaptation strategies aim to minimize the potential yield losses."

It's not just cherries that Anadolu Etap is preparing for. Oguz states that there are other stone fruits on the schedule, which will start in just a few weeks: "Before the expected cherry season starts, we are now getting prepared for the other stone fruits. The small volumes started coming in and the flat peaches, or donut peaches, will start around the beginning of May. This variety is very well received by our customers in Asia, where our main focus is. Due to different climatic zones in our country we can start from South of Turkey in May and continue till October from the North area, without any gaps in the supply."

"Since 2010, we've been operating on 25,000 acres of land, with eight farms and 3.5 million trees. We focus on different types of fruits, apply precision agriculture techniques and conduct innovative research in our Research & Development center. While aiming to meet the demand for high-quality fruit, we integrate technology and sustainability principles into our business processes, guided by the mission of 'healthy fruits for healthy generations", Oguz concludes.

For more information:
Aysel Oguz
Anadolu Etap
Tel: +90 535 366 3983
Email: [email protected]