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“Pasta sector in the world and Türkiye”

Aykut Göymen, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Turkish Pasta Industrialists’ Association (TMSD) said that pasta is a semi-prepared foodstuff obtained by mixing semolina obtained from durum wheat in Türkiye with water and giving desired shapes and drying; one of the factors affecting the quality of pasta is the quality of durum wheat from which semolina is produced.

Aykut Göymen

“Türkiye is the gene centre of durum wheat. According to TURKSTAT data, 3 million 150 thousand tonnes of durum wheat was produced in our country in 2021 and 3 million 750 thousand tonnes in 2022,” Göymen said.

Pasta sector has been the locomotive sector of the Turkish Food Industry since the first years of the Republic of Türkiye. The pasta sector started its activities with the establishment of the first pasta factory in 1922. With the establishment of this factory, industrial production of the product, which already existed as “noodles” in Anatolian and Turkish culture, was started for the first time in our country. These years, when production was carried out in small enterprises and at low capacities, were followed by the 10-year period between 1960-1970, when large enterprises were established and high-capacity pasta production started to be realised. During this period, the installed capacity of the Turkish pasta sector tripled. The 1990s was a period in which the sector made a serious attack, orientated more towards exports and with this, domestic demand was revitalised.

Pointing out that pasta factories in the country are geographically concentrated in Central Anatolia, Southeastern Anatolia and Western Anatolia where durum wheat is grown, Göymen explained, “Gaziantep province is an important production region and 51 percent of pasta production in Türkiye is made here. Today, under the leadership of the Turkish Pasta Industrialists’ Association (TMSD), which was established on 25 October 1993, the Turkish pasta sector has risen to the second place in world pasta production and exports. This is a great success story.”

Pasta sector, which is the locomotive of the Turkish Food Industry, has an important place among the foods produced from cereals. Türkiye has become the “brand country of pasta” in the world as a result of the 25 pasta factories in the country developing worldwide brands.

“Pasta sector has an important place in the agricultural sector of our country. Our sector, which directly and indirectly employs approximately 50 thousand people, has an economic value of 2 billion dollars when the domestic and foreign trade volume is evaluated together.

According to TURKSTAT data, our sector exported a total of 1 million 346 thousand tonnes of pasta to more than 160 countries between January-December 2023. In return for this export, a foreign currency inflow of 905 million dollars was provided to our country,” Göymen noted.

“The exports of our sector, which started with 13 tonnes in 1970, have reached nearly 1.5 million tonnes today. The continuity of our production and exports depends on the supply of homogenous and affordable raw materials of the desired quality, quantity and standard. Our country has the potential to meet our raw material needs for the domestic market and exports. Our sector has become able to make all of our exports with domestic wheat as well as the domestic market. Türkiye exported 1 million 330 thousand tonnes of durum wheat in 2023 for the first time in 20 years,” Göymen added.

Today, pasta ranks first among the industrial products made from wheat in terms of production amount and its importance in nutrition. Due to the fact that pasta is nutritious, satisfying, can be eaten as a single dish, ease of cooking, diversity, easy preparation, delicious, economical, long-term preservation, sustainable, plant-based foodstuff, the consumption of wheat in the form of pasta has been increasing continuously in the world in recent years. Pasta is the only food that contains macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein, fat) and all vitamins and minerals required for the body.

“With the rise in domestic consumption parallel to the rise in our exports over the years, Türkiyes per capita consumption, which was 4.3 kilograms in the early 1990s, soared to 8.5 kilograms as of 2021. With this amount; we rank 8th among the top 10 countries in per capita pasta consumption in the world. In this situation, both the works carried out by our association and the awareness of our people about healthy consumption have a great share. Undoubtedly, the most important factor is that the sector has changed its shell. In recent years, all pasta producers in our sector have renewed their investments and technologies and ramped up their capacities significantly. This has reflected on the quality and diversity of pasta. We have become more competitive in the world markets and we have become able to offer better and higher quality products to our people in domestic consumption.

With the great pride and happiness of celebrating the 100th anniversary of our Republic, we aim to continue to be one of the most stable food suppliers of the world in the “Turkish Century”, to continue to produce and create added value with our first day’s enthusiasm and to carry our success in world pasta exports to world export leadership,” Göymen concluded…

About İsmail Uğural

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