Far Eastern countries are on the radar of the Turkish fresh fruit and vegetable sector due to their population density and increasing purchasing power, and they are trying to get a stronger position in this market.
Turkey's fresh fruit and vegetable sector, a leading sector for value-added exports, which set a target of $14 billion for 2023, initiated a promotion project covering four countries from Hong Kong, thus entering the Far Eastern market.
Hayrettin Uçak, the chairman of the Aegean Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Exporters Association, announced that they decided to participate in four food fairs in Hong Kong, Russia, France and China in the last period of 2018 and that they launched the promotion campaign with the Hong Kong Asia Fruit Logistica 2018 Fair.
Uçak said the Asia Fruit Logistica 2018 Fair in Hong Kong on Sept. 5-7 is the biggest fresh fruit and vegetable fair for the Asian market. Since they introduced fresh fruits exported locally, mainly cherries and black figs, and launched a project for the allocation of areas free of Mediterranean fruit flies for cherries, provided that they show there are no Mediterranean fruit flies in the regions where these projects are positioned, and remove the 16-day cold chain requirement for cherry exports to China, China will become a very important market for cherry exports. "By evaluating the advantages offered by Turkish Cargo to Turkish exporters in recent years, we aim to double our cherry exports, which is $161 million in 2018, with the opening of the Chinese market," Uçak said.
Cengiz Balık, the vice chairman of the Aegean Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Exporters Association who served as the chair of the delegation, said that Far Eastern countries are on the radar of the Turkish fresh fruit and vegetable sector due to their population density and increasing purchasing power and that they are trying to get a stronger position in this market.
Since they conducted the Fresh Grape and Cherry URGE Project for the Far East as the target market, Balık said new export connections were established after the Organization of Trade Delegation to the Far Eastern countries under the URGE Project.
"At the Asia Fruit Logistica 2018 fair, guests visiting our stand said they wanted, in particular, to import cherries and black figs. Considering that the majority of companies that want to purchase reside in the People's Republic of China, it is very important to accelerate the process of facilitating the protocol on cherry exports from our country to China and to initiate the permit process for other products," he continued. "We told all buyers who came to the fair that the 16-day cold treatment process in the agreement with the Chinese government must be abolished or reduced. We also asked for support from buyers on the Chinese side. In addition, we need to speed up projects that will define regions free of Mediterranean fruit flies in our country and pave the way for exports."
Aegean Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Exporters Association Board Member Vural Güleç indicated that 14 Turkish companies participated in the fair in addition to the association, noting that they offered fresh figs to visitors throughout the fair and received import requests in this regard. Güleç also added that the import requests would be reported and submitted to members of the Aegean Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Exporters Association.
Martin Sanford, another member of the association, said the fair is the first of four fairs that they will attend this year, adding that they prepared a schedule to participate in three more food fairs to be held in Russia, France and China, to promote Turkish fresh fruits and vegetables and to increase exports to these markets.