Mediterranean Aqua and Animal Products Exporters' Association (AKİB) Chairman Ali Can Yamanyılmaz said Friday that the way was paved for Turkey to export poultry to Japan. He also said export-related procedures will be completed next month, indicating they will export to Japan for the first time.
"The Japanese market means that now world markets are opening up for us. There is a $3 billion market there and we want to get 10 percent of it," Yamanyılmaz said.
Food, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Ahmet Eşref Fakıbaba said Turkey has removed all obstacles for poultry exports to Japan.
In a written statement, Fakıbaba said detailed information was made on the health of animals raised in Turkey within the scope of studies on poultry exports to Japan, launched in 2013, and conducted in collaboration with the Economy Ministry.
Moreover, Fakıbaba said a delegation of officials from Japan's Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry visited Turkey, and all the information and documents requested were forwarded to the Japanese authorities.
"Japan's Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry accepted a health certificate to be used for poultry imports and granted permission to the exporting companies," Fakıbaba said.
Fakıbaba pointed out that Turkey is at an advanced level in the world in the production of poultry in terms of animal health and food safety, adding that due to this credibility, Turkey exports products to 57 countries, including Iraq, Georgia, Russian Federation and EU customs union countries.
Yamanyılmaz told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the Japanese market would pave the way for new markets in other countries, which will bring more production and investment, adding that they reached this stage after a rigorous 10-year study of poultry exports to Japan and that export figures rose to a pleasing level compared to the previous year.
Yamanyılmaz said exports of aqua and animal products increased by 24 percent in September compared to the same month last year and that exports by AKİB members increased by 37 percent.
Noting that the Mediterranean region reached $29 million in exports in September, Yamanyılmaz said they expect to exceed $280 million by the end of the year.
He said Adana ranked first in exports with a 30 percent share, followed by Mersin with 26 percent, while poultry led the way in exported products, followed by fish and fish filet, eggs and milk powder.
Yamanyılmaz said that one of every three fish sold in Europe is Turkish. "In addition, we can send our products to almost every part of the world via Turkish Airlines (THY) air cargo," he added.
Yamanyılmaz said around 2 million tons of poultry, 18 billion eggs and 600,000 tons of fish are produced in Turkey per year, stressing that 55 percent of the fish is culture fish and that this rate increases every year.
Noting that out of 2 million tons of poultry, 400,000 tons are for export, which corresponds to a figure over 20 percent, Yamanyılmaz said exports of aqua and animal products on a sectoral basis increased by 24 percent in Turkey and 37 percent in AKİB in September compared to the same period last year, adding that this increase came through exports to Iraq and Qatar.