Growers in Turkey say excellent conditions for fig production bode well for the new season, but remain cautious due to the unpredictability of the climate
The Turkish fig crop is looking good this year, according to Akin Söyleyen of Aksun, although he warns that the unpredictability of the climate in recent years will make accurate forecasting difficult.
“Everything looks good at the moment, and the conditions have been fantastic for fig production,” he says. “If the weather continues to be like this, we would expect the first harvest from the Bursa region to start around the same time as last year in mid-August. That being said, the weather has been unpredictable in the past few years and that poses a challenge to the whole industry. In light of this, we cannot talk about the future too soon.”
Söyleyen says that the quality of its figs over the past year has year been exceptional thanks to cooler nights than the previous season. “Supplies have been keeping up with demand throughout the season, keeping prices steady and quality at a high level,” he says. “If the weather is similar this year, we would expect the same result.”
In East Asia, Aksun has seen the fig market build up from nothing in Hong Kong and now hopes to develop other markets in the region.
“We have spent years building up customer knowledge for figs in the Hong Kong market,” says Söyleyen. “When we first started more than ten years ago, fresh figs were kind of a myth and we struggled to move a tonne in a week. Now we sell that amount every hour.”
However, each market in the region has its own dynamic, he says. “If a product is in demand in one country, that may not be the case in another,” he explains. We have to build up the knowledge of figs in other markets in order to expand further. I think some other markets will start picking up this year and next year since we have a good marketing campaign structure planned for the summer.”