In 2022, the climate caused different cherry production regions in Turkey to overlap and shortened the campaign, but Alanar believes the good reputation of its brand and concerted effort on sustainability will ensure success
Unusual weather conditions hampered the Turkish cherry campaign in 2022, shortening the season compared with previous years and causing production in different regions to overlap.
“In general, it was not a good cherry season,” says Yigit Gökyigit, sales and marketing coordinator at exporter Alanar. “Turkey is a big country, with cherry production in various regions, which helps to extend the season. Normally, first cherry crop starts on the western coast of the country, moving east as the season progresses. However, this year saw different regions overlapping, so it was not possible to harvest region by region.”
Alanar also experienced rain in certain regions prior to harvesting, another sign that climate change is a growing issue in the country. Such issues are minimised by having the most advanced sorting machines available. “Our Cherry Vision 3 was produced by Unitec in Italy,” says Gökyigit. “This machine sorts cherries perfectly, based on defects and colouration. We are also planning new investments in alternative packaging options.”
Germany has long been Alanar’s main market, and the company’s cherries are well known across Europe, as well as in more distant markets like Canada and India. “Alanar’s cherries are also very well appreciated in Asia-Pacific,” says Gökyigit. “There is big demand for Alanar’s cherries in China, even if Turkey has been unable to export cherries to China for the past two years, as the protocol has not been activated.”
Rising costs are of course a major challenge, as they are for companies across the world, with airfreight costs affecting prices dramatically. “Alanar is a grower, packer and exporter, so we are experiencing increasing costs at various stages of the process,” says Gökyigit. “Airfreight costs are affecting the prices of our fruit dramatically comparing with previous years. On the other hand, Alanar is a recognised brand known for its high quality and top service all around the world. Therefore, we are still receiving good demand from markets we send to by air, even though it is very challenging at the moment.”
However, such challenges will not change the company’s overarching strategy, with sustainability remaining at the forefront. “Rising costs do not make it more difficult to invest in sustainability,” says Gökyigit. “Sustainability has always been very important for Alanar and our parent company Tekfen Holding, and we are continuing to progress with projects related to waste management and social responsibility.”