Turkish blueberry growers tackle economic challenges to reach full potential

From Fresh Fruit Portal | 13 June 2024

Overview of blueberries from Turkey, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on June 12, 2024.

The blueberry industry in Turkey is expanding, with a significant increase in new plantations—reaching over 1,000 hectares in the last four years.

The profitability of the business has generated considerable interest among various growers and investors in the country. However, Turgut Aysan, Chairman of the Board at Turkish berry producer Safir Berry told FreshFruitPortal.com that growth is slow due to high inflation, high interest rates, and low exchange rates in the country.

“Unfortunately, due to low currency rates, Turkish growers and exporters are finding it difficult to offer competitive prices to customers abroad,” said Aysan.

The country’s industry projects a harvest of around 7,500 to 10,000 tons of blueberries this season. The main markets for Turkish blueberries are the Middle East, Gulf countries, Hong Kong, and Russia via air cargo.

undefined.undefined.undefined.03.Turkey Fresh Blueberry Export Volume by Partner Cultivated Conventional 1
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“While the local market is increasing rapidly, we need to find creative ways to be able to export Turkish blueberries abroad,” said Aysan. “Unfortunately due to low currency rates, Turkish growers and exporters are finding it difficult to offer the right price to customers abroad.”

He added that they also need government support to become one of the leading blueberry producers.

Local growers have begun planting both open and some Fall Creek varieties. However, they are now testing for advanced varieties from leading breeding programs.

undefined.undefined.undefined.12.Turkey Fresh Blueberry Import Volume by Partner Cultivated Conventional
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“Very soon Turkish growers will have access to the best varieties in the world,” Aysan assured. 

Their first hope is to resolve the economic issues in the country, which Aysan identifies as the current main challenges for the industry.

Regardless, they believe in the potential of Türkiye, saying “Our target is to reach 100,000 tonnes of production in the near future.”

Aysan asserted that they have great potential, given their strategic location amid major markets and expertise in the cultivation and logistics of fresh fruits and vegetables.

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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