Tomato, the leading product of fresh fruit and vegetable exports, faces a quota barrier in the Russian Federation, the prominent export market. The quota of 200 thousand tons in tomato exports to Russia has been reached. Russia’s gate is closed for Turkish tomato exporters. The Chairpersons of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters’ Associations demand the quota for tomato exports to Russia to be lifted.
In a written statement by Turkey Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters’ Associations Chairman of the Sector Council Ali Kavak, Mediterranean Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters’ Chairman Nejdat Sin, Eastern Black Sea Exporters’ Association Chairman Saffet Kalyoncu, Aegean Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters’ Association Chairman Hayrettin Uçak, Istanbul Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters’ Association Chairwoman Melisa Tokgöz Mutlu, Uludağ Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters’ Association Chairman Cafer Aşkar and the Western Mediterranean Exporters’ Associations, all parties demand the quota for tomato exports to Russia to be lifted and to be returned to pre-2015.
Russia had decided to put an embargo on Turkish tomato in the wake of a political crisis experienced in November of 2015. In November 2017, Turkish tomatoes faced a quota again while getting an export visa to Russia.
When Turkish exporters met the quota in a short time which was first determined as 100 thousand tonnes on November 1, 2017, with the initiatives of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Trade Ruhsar Pekcan and Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Bekir Pakdemirli, it had been heightened to 150 thousand tonnes and then to 200 thousand tonnes on March 7, 2020.
However Turkish exporters filled the 200 thousand quota at the end of November.
As a consequence of tomato exports has come to a halt, the Chairpersons of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters’ Associations across Turkey made a joint statement and they demanded the quota for tomato exports to the Russian Federation to be lifted and to return to the period before November 2015.
Sharing the information that Turkey’s tomato exports in 11 month period of 2020, reached to 286 million dollars with an increase of 6 percent, Chairpersons said, “We aim to exceed 300 million dollars of exports at the end of 2020, yet we need to lift the quotas to Russia.”
Reminding that there was no quota for tomato exports to Russia before 2015, the Chairpersons explained, “While the relations between the two countries were normalized at the summit between our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2017 and the goal of a trade volume of 100 billion dollars has been set between two countries, in addition to that Russia has not applied quotas to other countries, it is not possible to understand there is still a quota of Turkish tomatoes. Those who demand the abolition of the quota are not only Turkish exporters but Russian importers also have such a demand.”
Turkey ranks 4th across the world in production of fresh tomatoes with 9 million tonnes in the field and 4 million tons of under cover production, 13 million tonnes in total.
While Turkey, in January – November period, exported 484 thousand tonnes of fresh tomatoes, 286.5 million dollars obtained in return when exporting tomatoes, 61 thousand 781 tonnes tomatoes sold to Russian Federation and 56 million dollars foreign exchange revenue was provided. Russia ranks first in the export of fresh tomatoes.