“We Should Set the Targets of Dry Grape and Table Grape Growing at the Beginning of the Season”
“The day we learn to say NEIN (No) our raisins will pay off”
Two-thirds of the 2022/23 season has been left behind in seedless raisins, where Türkiye is the world leader in production and export. Türkiye’s raisin export was 171 thousand tonnes with a flat course compared to the same period of the 2021/22 season, while the foreign exchange yield was 290 million dollars with a loss of 6 percent.
Expressing that Sultani Seedless Grape is grown on an area of 1 million 100 thousand decares in the provinces Manisa-İzmir-Denizli triangle, Aegean Dried Fruits and Products Exporters’ Association (EKMİB) Chairperson Mehmet Ali Işık said that the day the Turkish grape industry learns to say no, the way for value-added exports of raisins will be opened. “The day we learn to say NEIN (no) like the Germans, our seedless raisins will regain their value,” Işık said.
Together, we can export Turkish grapes at value…
Arguing that the seedless raisins produced by Türkiye are the best quality grapes in the world, Işık emphasized the importance of marketing that stresses quality rather than lowering prices while marketing Turkish grapes to the world. Işık also stated that quality was compromised when price reductions were made and in this case, the image of a country, not a company, was negatively affected; “We need to bring our Turkish grapes to their true value together. In this way, we will increase the total quality. We expect efforts from all our exporters for this.”
The Board Meeting on Raisins, from which the country earns an average of 450-500 million dollars in foreign exchange income, was held in Manisa, the capital of seedless raisin production.
Speaking at the Raisin Board, EKMİB Chair Mehmet Ali Işık stated that they have spent a lot of time in the last 1 year to enhance the quality of seedless raisins and to solve the problem of detecting multiple pesticides in some production regions, which is the biggest problem in export markets and they entered the season with the target of 280 thousand tonnes of export.
However, he noted that they fell behind the targets due to the rainfall in the production period in some regions and the harvest period in some regions and the recession in the world economy.
Underlining the need to take steps to boost product quality instead of price competition, Işık explained, “If we can improve the drying areas, the quality will rise even more and we can prevent foreign matter contamination. If we cannot separate the table and the sun-drying (grapes), we will not be able to get rid of the food safety problem. Problems arise in products that start out as fresh grapes and switch to drying.”
“We can create pilot zones in grapes as in apricots. In addition to producing quality products, we also need to do our marketing correctly. Because Germans can say nein (no), they export their products with more added value. We will win the day we can say no,” Işık added…