Turkish Food and Export Opportunities to China

Stretching across Asia and Europe, located in the junction of the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea, Turkey, the Sea Empire, with its unique geographical conditions and climates, grows a lot of fruits and crops of rich tastes. About 40% of Turkey’s land can be cultivated, which brings about rich products, including cereals, legumes, oilseeds, fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, poultry, milk and dairy products, fish, honey and tobacco. Farming, breeding, and fisheries / forestry account for 67%, 26% and 7% of total agricultural production respectively. The production and export of many of Turkey’s agricultural products play a leading role in the world, including hazelnut, dried apricots, Sultan grapes and dried figs.

In addition, the food industry in Turkey is much more developed than that in the neighboring countries / regions. With these advantages, Turkey has become one of the largest agricultural exporters in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (EMEA) region, with a large trade surplus. With 25,000 enterprises, nearly 500 thousand employees and $ 200 billion of output value, Turkey’s food market is the fourth largest in Europe. In the financial crisis-swept 2009, Turkey’s food and beverage industry grew by 3%, the fastest developing industry in Europe. Accounting for 13.4% of Europe’s manufacturing sector, it is one of the few industries in Turkey where exports are greater than imports.

Turkey attaches great importance to agriculture and food trade with China, and the volume of trade between the two countries has being increasing year by year. Turkey’s main exports of food to China include jams, dried fruits and nuts (such as walnuts, hazelnuts, dried apricots, figs and raisins), cocoa products, olive oil, sweet biscuits, candies and chocolates, pastas and waffles. In order to strengthen the agricultural product trade between the two countries, Turkey and China have signed some agreements, such as the “Tobacco Plant Quarantine Requirement Protocol”, and the memorandum of understanding on food safety and the specific import risk analyses and protocols of milk products, poultries, figs, fruits, etc. between Food, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Department of Turkey and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China.

Fruits & Juices

Because of the unique geographical location, climatic conditions and ecological structure, Turkey is suitable for cultivation of fruits and vegetables. It is one of the world’s major fresh fruit producers. In recent years, Turkey has begun to export high quality organic fresh fruits and vegetables. Turkey’s exports of fresh fruits and vegetables, based on customer health and environment considerations, meet the legal requirements and the market needs. With food safety and environmental awareness, Turkey exporters have successfully adopted the general trade requirements for fresh fruits and vegetables, such as ISO 9001, ISO 22000, HACCP, GAP and GLOBALGAP quality requirements. Fruit juice is a very important product in Turkey, which was produced in as early as the late 1960s. The annual production of fresh fruits in Turkey exceeds 18 million tons, accounting for an important part of the world output. The quality of Turkey’s fresh fruit juice is globally recognized. The main export products are concentrated apple, citrus (mainly orange) and pomegranate juice.

Dried Fruits & Nuts

Across the Eurasia, Turkey has complex and diverse landform and climate, suitable for growth of a variety of fruits. The dried fruits are made of fresh fruits full of sugar coming from the enough sunlight, which make them very sweet and delicious. Malatya, a province of Turkey, is known as the “World Capital of Apricot”. The yellow fig in Aydin area is perfect to make dried fig. Dry and hot summer in Izmir and Manisa provinces makes the Sultana raisins there sweet and delicious. Today, Turkey’ dried fruits are highly popular and famous for their excellent quality. 23% of the world’s dried fruit exports come from Turkey. Based on favorable climate conditions in the Mediterranean region, Turkey has the advantage of producing nuts, and as domestic and international demand increases, the production of nuts is increasing, especially the hazelnut. Turkey is the world’s most important hazelnut producing and exporting country. Over the past five years, the average annual production was about 598,000 tons. Turkey produce nearly 70- 75% of the world’s hazelnut crops and 80% of the world’s hazelnuts are from Turkey. After hazelnut, other nuts that Turkey has considerable potential for producing and exporting are pistachios, walnuts, chestnuts, peanuts, pine nuts and almonds.

Candies & Biscuits

Turkey’s confectionery industry is developed from traditional confectionery products such as Turkish delights and crunchy candies. With the development of times, the traditional product categories have been challenged by other candy products, especially chocolates. Today, chocolate confectionery industry is one of the most dynamic industries in Turkey. Turkey is a net exporter of confectionery products. Now, various kinds of candy products in Turkey are exported to 165 countries all over the world, and the number of countries that import Turkey candy products increases year by year. Like candy, biscuit is also an important product for export in Turkey. With the rapid development of modernization in the last 20 years, the biscuit industry has realized the diversification of products, and the scientific and hygienic processes using modern technology have also attracted more attention. Today, Turkey has many companies producing all kinds of biscuits, competing with European companies with high quality. Turkey’s biscuits are mainly exported to the Middle East, Africa and European countries.

(Source: Guangzhou Food2China Network Technology )

Photo by Bodie Pyndus on Unsplash