Turkey earned over $18 million from fresh fruit and vegetable exports made via Turkish Cargo, a subsidiary company of the national flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY), last year, a 71 percent rise in value compared to the previous year. According to Aegean Exporters' Association (EİB) data, Turkey's fresh fruit and vegetable exports amounted to some $2.33 billion in 2018. The rise in the export of fresh fruit and vegetables was mainly because of the agreement signed with Turkish Cargo on making special discounts and flying to new destinations in May 2017.
The agreement to expand the market share and ensure fast delivery of fresh produce to the consumer markets yielded positive impacts on exports.
After the agreement was signed, a total of 6,215 tons of fresh fruits and vegetables, amounting to $10.522 million, were exported via air cargo in the rest of 2017.
A total of 6,691 tons of fresh fruits and vegetables were exported via air cargo last year, bringing $18.058 million in revenue with a 71 percent rise in value basis compared to the previous year.
The largest amount of fresh fruits and vegetables, amounting to $3.202 million, was exported to Hong Kong via air cargo, followed by Norway at $2.229 million and Singapore at $1.344 million.
In terms of products, cherries ranked first in the export of fresh fruits and vegetables via air cargo at $6.502 million, followed by mushrooms at $4.328 million for 201,906 tons of various mushroom types such as morel and truffle, corresponding to about $21 per kilogram. Fig exports came in third with $2.387 million.
Aegean Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters Association Chairman Hayrettin Uçak was quoted by Anadolu Agency (AA) as saying that summer fruits have ripened late due to seasonal conditions this year. Indicating that they have started the season quickly with cherry exports, Uçak stated that they will continue to work with producers and exporters to contribute to Turkey's exports with the harvest of other fruits as well. Underlining that air cargo is an important opportunity for exporters aiming to release their products to the markets rapidly, he noted, "Our exporters are getting used to exports via air cargo." Pointing out that they aim to raise exports via air cargo to $20 million from $18 million currently, Uçak remarked that they aspire to carry out 10 percent of overall fresh fruits and vegetables exports via air cargo in the upcoming years.