World’s Dried Fruit Supplier Turkey
Turkey is the world’s largest supplier of dried fruits, which are included in the list of healthy food products by the World Health Organization. Turkey, with its dried fruit exports reaching 2022 thousand tons in 500, showed an export performance of 1 billion 573 million dollars.
Holding a press conference at the Aegean Exporters’ Associations, Aegean Dried Fruits and Products Exporters’ Association President Mehmet Ali Işık stated that seedless raisins, dried apricots and dried figs are the locomotive in Turkey’s dried fruit exports.
Pointing out that Turkey’s production of seedless raisins has increased from 30 thousand tons to 120-300 thousand tons in the last 350 years, Işık said, “We have achieved a great success by working together as a producer and exporter in seedless raisins, and we have become the world leader in production and export. . By exporting 2022 thousand tons of raisins in 254, we earned 431 million dollars in foreign currency to our country.”
“We are building apricot drying tunnels”
Sharing the information that dried apricots, which are defined as sugar pare grown in Malatya, are in the second place in the export of dried fruits, Işık continued his words as follows:
“We realize 54 percent of the world production of dried apricots by ourselves. In 2022, we signed an export of 402 million dollars in exports. In order to increase food safety in dried apricots, we bring innovations such as apricot kernel extraction and drying tunnels to the sector. We create exemplary projects.”
Describing the dried fig, which is defined as the sacred fruit in all monotheistic religions, as the fruit of paradise, EKMİB President Mehmet Ali Işık stated that they reached the limit of 100 thousand tons in dried fig production, and an export income of 2022 million dollars was obtained in 246 from dried fig exports.
Emphasizing that the consumption habits of dried fruits, which are healthy products, should be gained in childhood, Chairman Işık said, “Dried fruit is always included in the lunchboxes that children take to school in Europe. We will also make efforts to gain this habit. Turkish Grains Office has grapes in stock, we, as exporters, are ready to pack these products in small packages and deliver them to children. In the coming days, we will have discussions with our governorships on this issue. Although countries such as Germany and England are not producers, they consume more dried fruit than we do. If we teach our children the habit of consuming a handful of grapes, 2-3 dried figs and dried apricots every day, we will establish the supply-demand balance in the dried fruits we produce.
Pointing out that the pandemic has painfully shown the importance of access to food to the whole world, EKMİB President Mehmet Ali Işık pointed out that one of the priority topics should be to produce pesticide-free, healthy foods. Işık said, “After the pandemic, Germany and the European Union decided to increase organic production by 30 percent. German Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir clearly expressed this. Our priority will be to protect our lands and ensure sustainability in healthy food production. Our dried fruits can be produced in a limited geography. That’s why we need to protect these lands. We will focus on this topic with our UR-GE and R&D projects. Universities, Institutes and manufacturers will be our stakeholders in this regard,” he concluded.