Under the protocol signed between the two countries on the purchase of fresh fruit and vegetables, Turkey aims to export 8,000 tons of cherries to South Korea this year, according to officials.
Officials' remarks came during the visit of a South Korean delegation to Alaşehir, Manisa, to examine cherry orchards, processing, packaging and cold storage facilities.
Experts from South Korea's Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency examined cherry gardens accompanied by Neslihan Alper, the head of the Department of Border Inspection for Plant and Plant Products of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Serkan Soykan, a certified agricultural engineer at the Department of Border Inspection for Plant and Plant Products, teams from the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters' Association and the Manisa and Aleşehir Agriculture and Forestry Directorate.
The South Korean delegation received information from the authorities on packaging and storage of cherries during their examination of the sections of picking, transporting, cooling, storing, residual reports and packaging of cherries at the Tekfen Alanar facility, which exports fresh fruit and vegetables in Alaşehir. The delegation will prepare a report as a result of examinations under the protocol.
Tekfen Alanar Research and Development (R&D) Coordinator Salih Çalı expressed that they are delighted by the protocol signed with South Korea, saying, "We are very happy to export, as long as our state can provide us with opportunities." Indicating that they exported nearly 7,000 tons of cherries last year, Çalı noted that they aim to reach 8,000 tons this year. "In accordance with the protocol with South Korea, our export area will expand. We are ready, as long as our state provides logistical facilities. We will export cherries to South Korea with cargo planes first. It can also be done by sea cargo in accordance with demand," he added.
On the other hand, Alper emphasized that the government will provide all kinds of conveniences for exports, noting that experts will examine cherry orchards packaging facilities for a week, prepare reports accordingly and give feedback.
"So, we will start to export some of our products, which we are currently exporting to Europe or other countries, to the Far East from now on," she said.
Underlining that the South Korean delegation was satisfied and very impressed by the hygiene conditions and procedures at the facilities, Alper said: "I am sure that our cherry exports to the Far East will be followed by other products from us. We will guide the South Korean team around various cherry orchards, packaging facilities and fumigation units in Alaşehir, Afyon and Antalya."
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