Some information about the Board of Turkish Sector of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
The agricultural sector is not only important for the foreign currency inflow it supplies to our country. It is also an important sector as it holds a strategic place in the economy of our country by contribution to the employment in the related sectors as production, packing and logistics, beginning from the stage of production with farming workers to the stage of packing and transportation with the workers in the packing houses. And if we consider the sector of fresh fruit and vegetables, we can say that it is one of the main subsectors of our agriculture. Turkey is one of the rare countries where the prosperous, fertile and large agricultural areas with different regional ecological conditions allow the production of fruit and vegetables of quality in optimum conditions.
If we take a look to the history of exportation in the sector of fresh fruit and vegetables, it became possible in 1980, with the liberalization of seeds and saplings importation, to produce international varieties in Turkey, by adapting the time of planting of the seeds and extending the production period to the climate conditions of Turkey. These last years, last technological advances are used in harvest and post-harvest storage and conservation (cooling, controlled atmosphere cold storage, modern packing houses) as well as in the packing techniques and the transportation to the markets is made in appropriate conditions with suitable vehicles.
Many national and multinational companies, working in export sector, have begun to import saplings to grown up fruit (cherries, apples, grapes, citrus fruit) on large areas, handling the fruit obtained in their own packing houses and selling it on national and international markets. Some other companies are producing vegetables according to the consumers’ demands, by contract farming system. All types of quality systems are used to make ready the products to be exported from the groves or fields on, ensuring the product safety. These quality systems are meticulously controlled by the Turkish representatives of European auditing firms, providing them the company with the related certification (HACCP, EUROPGAP, ISO etc.).
The main market of Turkish Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Sector, which prioritizes the quality factor, is Russian Federation.
Nowadays considering the final situation, where an excessive international competition in the sector of fresh fruit and vegetable must be taken into account, the Management Board of Turkey Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Sector is currently formed by 4 Unions of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables throughout Turkey : Mediterranean, West Mediterranean, Eastern Black sea and Uludağ Unions. Their objective is to work so that to give benefit to the economy of the country by protecting Turkey’s share in markets already found and by finding out new markets and in this framework, to ensure better conditions to exporter companies in the sector in order to compete with the other competing countries.