One of the largest poultry importers in the world with 600,000 tons annually, Japan will be importing 50,000 tons of chicken from Turkey next year.
Hastavuk, a Bursa-based company exporting chicken to many countries around the world, intends to raise its export volume to Japan eight-fold by the end of the year.
The biggest reason behind the interest in Turkish chicken is reported to be the inosinic acid found in the chicken, which benefits many things from regeneration of the brain and nerve cells to the improvement of sexual performance.
This substance is five times higher in Turkish chickens than those purchased from Brazil, the United States and Thailand. Moreover, this superiority has been proven by technical analyses conducted in Japanese laboratories.
Şahin Aydemir, general manager of Hastavuk, was quoted by İhlas News Agency (İHA) as saying that they are aiming to increase chicken exports to Japan from 6,000 tons to 50,000 tons in early 2019, adding that they have turned the quality difference in producing chicken with natural and vegetarian products into an advantage in overseas markets. Aydemir said Japan populates the highest number of people in the world over the age of 100, and that this is due to the fact that they consume plenty of chicken and fish as protein. Stressing that since the Japanese consume 55 kilograms of chicken per person per year, the chickens they produce remain insufficient, Aydemir noted that Japan is one of the largest poultry importers in the world with far superior standards. He said that they conduct studies all around the world in this context. "We are the only company that exports to Japan from our country. The Japanese are comparing the quality, laboratory and technical analyses of the product they have purchased. In our products, the amount of inosinic acid, also called the sixth taste, is about five times more than the chickens purchased from Brazil, the U.S. and Thailand," Aydemir continued. "According to the Japanese, inosinic acid is an extra additive in the regeneration of brain and nerve cells. They are going to share these test results with us next month. They are quite selective in product quality. We have a machine that separates drumstick from the bone. We are the only company using this machine in Turkey."
He said after deep-freezing 2.5-kilogram packages at minus 40 degrees Celsius, they ship them to Japan with special packages of minus 18 degrees Celsius. He underlined that the reason why the Japanese prefer products with cell renewal and aphrodisiac properties is quality, flavor and extra inosine acid.
Aydemir said this year they exported 6,000 tons of chicken, corresponding to about $12 million, to Japan, adding that they are proud to be the preferred brand in Japan.
"We export to 28 countries in the world. The reason why we are preferred in every country we export is not our price but our quality. Because our price is $200 higher than Brazil and $300 than the United States," Aydemir said. "However, we are by far the best in terms of quality. This is the achievement of our employees and technology. We started exporting to Japan this year. It is increasing day by day."
He noted that their production capacity stands at 104,000 tons as of 2018, and as for the coming years, the production capacity will increase.