“There is still a huge interest towards the berry business in Turkey”

From Fresh Plaza | 5 June 2024

Overview of blueberries from Turkey, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on May 31, 2024.

The weather conditions for Turkish blueberries have been favorable, as there were no late frosts or hail in the southern regions, says Turgut Aysan, Chairman of the Board of the Turkish berry exporter Safir Berry: “Our blueberry season starts mainly in March in the Southern regions, like Antalya, in tunnels with limited amounts. The season then lasts until August in the Northern regions and at higher altitudes, such as Bursa. The season is still ongoing, as the conditions this year were quite favorable. No late frosts and no hail in the Southern parts, so we were able to start an early open harvest in April.”

undefined.undefined.undefined.13.Turkey Fresh Blueberry Import Volume by Partner Cultivated Conventional
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Despite the Turkish blueberry industry growing fast and steady over the past years, this year the increase in production isn’t as high as Aysan had hoped for. “The blueberry acreage is not growing as fast as we hoped for, due to economic conditions such as high inflation, high interest rates and so on. Investors are rather cautious towards making huge investments in times like these and would like to have a better vision of the future, before committing to an investment. However, there is still a huge interest towards the berry business in Türkiye. As Safir Berry, we’re improving our varieties and production facilities and as Safir Berry nursery, we made the agreements to offer better and advanced varieties to fellow growers as well.”

The export of the Turkish blueberries hasn’t been as easy this year, which means a lot of growers turned to the domestic market, Aysan explains: “The demand for blueberries in the local market increased very rapidly. Almost all the local supermarkets started to offer blueberries to their customers. However, due to low currency rates and increasing costs, such as general production and labour costs, exporters are finding it difficult to offer blueberries for the right price to the customers abroad. Instead, this has been a season to expand the local market, combined with limited exports. I hope the prices will not decline, so that growers will at least achieve their revenue goals and keep investing in the soft fruit business.”

undefined.undefined.undefined.03.Turkey Fresh Blueberry Export Volume by Partner Cultivated Conventional
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To make sure the Turkish blueberries remain an attractive option for buyers, Safir Berry remains committed to their production goals. “As I mentioned earlier, we’re improving our production facilities as well as our nursery, to be able to keep up with the requirements of our customers. As a country, we’re gaining more experience in terms of production, harvest and marketing every passing year to reach our goal of growing 100,000 tons of blueberries. The main challenges are the increasing production and mainly the labour costs and economic conditions which are created by the upscale of production. As growers, we need government support to expand the scale of berry business in Turkey, in return we’ll be able to bring a huge export revenue back to our country,” Aysan concludes.

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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