Turkish produce is held in high regard around the world and Alanar plans to remain at the forefront of supply
Yigit Gokyigit, sales and marketing coordinator at Alanar in Turkey, tells FPJ about the latest season, upcoming developments and how the Turkish sector is overcoming the current production challenges facing the sector.
What products does the company specialise in?
We specialise in growing cherries, apricots, figs, plums, pomegranates and chestnuts.
How is this season looking from a production point of view?
In general, it is proving a hard year for the whole sector. For various fruits, it is likely to mean shorter seasons as a result of climate change.
How are you coping with the particular production challenges facing all growers right now, such as input and fuel cost rises and the impact of the war in Ukraine?
Costs are definitely higher than last year, though I assume this is not just a problem for people in Turkey. The current inflation rates in western Europe are affecting how consumers prioritise what they buy. Europeans are therefore consuming less fruit this year compared to before, which is a significant challenge that growers are facing.
Have you got any new varieties you’re trialling?
Alanar made a huge investment in plantings after the company was acquired in 2018 by Tekfen Holding. One of the largest conglomerates in the country, Tekfen is active primarily in contracting, agriculture and real estate development. Operating as a subsidiary of Tekfen Agri, Alanar does not only pack and export but also grows cherries, figs, apricots, plums and blueberries in its own orchards. Alanar has grown over 1,200 tonnes of apricots this year and expects to harvest over 2,000t of cherries, 2,000t of figs and 2,000t of apricot annually in next couple of years when its orchards reach the full volume capacity.
Tell me about your figs in particular. What varieties do you grow and do you see this as a market for potential growth?
Turkish figs are very well known around the world as the best-quality and tastiest fig in the market. The most popular variety is the Black Fig, which is grown in the Bursa region. Alanar is also a Black Fig grower. I note that consumption of Turkish figs is increasing every year, especially in western Europe.
Do you supply the UK, and with what products? Do you see further opportunities for supplying the UK going forward?
Alanar provides its fresh cherries, figs and pomegranates to the UK. Turkish fruits are very well known in the UK market and there is always big demand for that.
Is this a time of opportunity for Turkish growers generally on the global market?
Summer fruits from Turkey are very appreciated in the global market. The Turkish fig season also started in August.