Turkey's fresh fruit and vegetable exports by air cargo in the first half of the year saw an increase of 146 percent and reached 4,465 tons compared to the same period last year.
An agreement inked with Turkish Airlines subsidiary Turkish Cargo to expand the market share and ensure fast delivery of fresh produce to the consumer markets yielded positive impacts on exports.
According to the data obtained from the Aegean Exporters' Association, Turkey's fresh fruit and vegetable exports between January and June were recorded at $1.18 billion.
In May 2017, produce exporters signed a deal with Turkish Cargo for exclusive discounts and expansion into new destinations, resulting in a considerable boost in exports.
Last year, fresh produce exports by air cargo were recorded at $10.5 million.
Turkey exported around 4,465 tons of fruit and vegetables via air cargo between January and June this year, up 146 percent compared to the 1,812 tons exported in the same period last year.
Thus, the value of the fruit and vegetable products exported via air cargo in the first half of this year increased by 131 percent to $12.15 million from $5.25 million in the same period in 2017.
Cherries led the way among products in exports with around $5.94 million, followed by morel mushrooms with over $2.6 million and strawberries with $822,000.
On a country-by-country basis, the greatest amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables were exported to Norway. Exports of produce to the country via air cargo reached nearly $2 million in the first six months of this year, followed by Hong Kong with $1.2 million and France with $989,000.
Aegean Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters' Association Chairman Hayrettin Uçak said in a statement that they have exported fresh fruit and vegetables to 50 countries by air cargo so far. "The prices for air cargo are affordable, and we aim to sell Turkish produce to all global metropolises. Thanks to air cargo transport, I believe we will achieve our goal in the shortest amount of time," Uçak said.