Turkey Frozen Food Industry Association President Murat Bayizit said that the sector, which has made a significant progress in production with the development of organic agriculture, has opened up to new markets, especially in South America and the Far East.
Bayizit, who is also the Chairman of the Bursa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BTSO) Foreign Trade Council, stated to the AA correspondent that Turkey has become a very popular agricultural country during the period of the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. Stating that there was a constructive period in terms of agriculture, Bayizit said, “Countries such as Italy, Poland and Germany, which are prominent in agriculture in the European region, experienced serious difficulties in their production as the pandemic coincided with the harvest period. Subsequently, Turkey took a good position and spent this period with fewer losses. There was no food shortage or stock problem in our markets.”
Pointing out the importance of frozen food, Bayizit said that the freezing process provides a very serious added value to the product. Explaining this with an example, Bayizit said, “You can bring ₺5 per kilogram strawberries to the factory, clean and freeze them, and then turn them into a product of €1.5-2. When you freeze and dry this product, it becomes a product of $30 per kilogram.”
Bayizit expressed that it is very pleasing that food freezing and drying technology is present and developed in Turkey. Pointing out that the field size of the raw material should be well organized and sustainable, Bayizit said, “Contractual agriculture method, continuous, planned production with economy of scale and productivity per acre, production using agricultural techniques without forgetting the traditional is important.”
20% INCREASE IN EXPORTS TO THE USA
Murat Bayizit said that there was a very serious demand for frozen food from the USA in 2020 and that Turkey’s exports to this country increased by 20% compared to the previous year.
Stating that Turkey has made progress in terms of organic production of frozen food, Bayizit continued his words as follows:
“When we increase organic production, new markets have joined us. South America is one of them. Chile buys a significant amount of frozen strawberries from us. The USA has started to attract products such as organic cherries, cauliflower and broccoli, especially organic strawberries. Russia, which has been affected by the European Union (EU) embargo for 2-3 years, started to receive very serious demands regarding frozen food. Very serious frozen broccoli and cauliflower are exported there. We found new markets in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Asia-Pacific. High-quality products are sold there as well, frozen pomegranates, oranges, lemons, peaches have become products that are sold in large quantities to these countries. There has also been a serious demand for the frozen black figs of Bursa. “
Stating that the EU market takes the first place in frozen food, Bayizit stated that 60% of Turkey’s exports are made to these countries.
Bayizit said, “The USA has started to get a large amount of shares in recent years. A few companies from Turkey, which opened their own warehouses and increased their exports there, came to the fore. America is our second-largest market after Europe, especially with South America. Russia comes next. We started doing small businesses in Asia-Pacific countries, Malaysia, Singapore.”
2023 TARGET IN FROZEN FOOD IS EXPORT OF $500 MILLION
Stating that sales to the USA and Canada should be increased qualitatively, Bayizit stated that to China, which is one of the largest markets in frozen food, they can not do exports as per the rules in this country.
Emphasizing that if this obstacle is overcome with diplomacy, Turkish industrialists may receive high demand from China.
“The target for frozen food is the American market. Turkey has an export target of $500 billion for 2023. $40 billion of this is the export target of agriculture. We are currently at $20.5 billion. The share of frozen food in this is $150-200 million. Our export target for 2023 in frozen food is $500 million. With the development of new markets and existing markets, this target can then be raised to the $1 billion limit. 120 thousand tons of export made in frozen food last year increased to 150 thousand tons this year. These numbers are very low and need to be increased. The way to increase exports is through well-organized raw material side. The frozen food industry uses 20-25% of contracted agriculture. This should be 70-80%. The cooperatives and producer unions need to work more actively and result-oriented in this business.”
Emphasizing that the sector should progress in a disciplined and organized manner, Bayizit stated that they are doing important studies to increase trade and export by establishing a cluster within the scope of the “International Competitiveness Development Project of the Producers of Frozen Food, Fresh Vegetable, Fruit and Dairy Products” at the BTSO.
Source: Hurriyet / Translated by Irem Yildiz