Turkish cherries awarded international flavor star certificate

Published 29.06.2019 00:08

Turkish cherries produced by Alanar Fruit, which operates under Tekfen Agriculture, received two gold star flavor certificates with a high score of 87.9 percent, according to the 2019 Taste Assessment and Certification results released by the Brussels-based International Taste Institute.

According to the statement issued by Tekfen Agriculture, the process, where only products with a performance of over 70 percent are rated and certified by Michelin star chefs and by the jury consisting of world-renowned sommeliers, includes the assessment of thousands of food and beverage products from all over the world.

Tekfen Agriculture General Manager Emrah İnce recalled that the institute has tested nearly 15,000 products over the years, emphasizing that the products that are entitled to receive certification are distinguished from their equivalents in world cuisines due to their quality and reason for preference.

İnce highlighted that the Turkish cherry, which is appreciated by the entire world due to its flavor, will contribute to exports in the medium term thanks to this new certificate: "The Turkish cherry has been certified as one of the most delicious fruits by a jury of 200 people from all over the world, including Michelin star chefs. Our goal is to achieve similar success with other fruit as well."

U.S.-China trade war might

benefit Turkish cherries

The elimination of "the condition that the product should wait 16 days in cold weather," one of the biggest obstacles to Turkey's export of cherries to China, has been welcomed by cherry exporters as the market will grow.

Uludağ Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters' Association Vice Chairman Senih Yazgan told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the Chinese market is of great importance for Turkey.

Stating that, "The condition that the product should wait 16 days in cold weather," one of the biggest obstacles to Turkey's export of cherries to China, has been lifted through a protocol signed with the country, Yazgan said that the agreement will give rise to a significant increase in cherry exports to China. "The fact that Turkish products have an advantage in the face of U.S. cherry taxes in the Chinese market will significantly accelerate our cherries entering the Far East market as of this year and next year. As a result of our talks there, we saw that Turkish cherries could create an opportunity in the market," he said. Emphasizing that this will positively reflect on producers, Yazgan said they have maintained contact not only in China but also many other countries in the Far East. "A South Korean delegation came to our country and appreciated the production facilities. We have been carrying out certain protocols with them. Similarly, our contact with Taiwan and Japan continue," he said. Yazgan further noted that Turkish cherries opening up to Far East markets will greatly contribute to exports.

Yazgan said Far Eastern people identify their interest in a product with a story, continuing that the story about the Turkish cherry there has created a great interest in it based on the fact that Turkey is the motherland of this fruit. According to Yazgan, Far Easterners think that a product should come from its original place of production. "The fact that Turkey is the motherland where the cherry grows is of special importance for us to market our cherries to these countries. It is highly appreciated due to its quality, taste, color and hardness. When they examined the samples they took from here, they said it was a cherry that is really competitive," he underlined. Yazgan also said the best method for exporting cherries is air cargo.

Meanwhile, the Çay district of the eastern Aegean province of Afyonkarahisar sent this season's first cherry exports to China on Thursday. Beijing's envoy to Ankara Deng Li said, "I hope more agriculture products will enter the Chinese market after the Afyonkarahisar cherries."

Agriculture and Forestry Ministry General Director of Food and Control Neslihan Alper also underscored the importance of cherry exports to China and noted that the negotiation process began in 2015.

"In the previous protocol we had with China, there were only 17 cherry orchards and eight cold storage units. Today, we have expanded to include 39 cherry orchards and 15 cold storage units. China will only import the cherries from the listed orchards and cold storage units," Alper explained.

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