As one of the most important source countries for fruit and vegetables, Turkey, is also confronted with considerable cost increases in the areas of production and fruit logistics. "A certain reluctance to buy is being felt, which is simply having an impact on the volume purchased by our customers - whether in wholesale or food retail. In the fruit segment, we are about 20 percent behind last year's sales volumes in terms of volume," reports Yeter Güner, managing director of Focus Fresh Ltd, a specialized import agency based in Düsseldorf.
Pomegranates on the rise, low demand for vine tomatoes
In addition to pointed peppers, which are imported and distributed year-round, Turkish pomegranates and vine tomatoes now make up the company's core assortment. "Pomegranates are increasing somewhat, while demand for vine tomatoes is slightly lower than in previous years due to volume increases in Morocco and Spain," Güner said.
In the case of pomegranates, there was a pleasing harvest last year. "What also helps us in particular is that we have been both organic and IFS broker-certified since last year, which is why we can now also market organic pomegranates from Turkey. We are finding that organics are gaining ground in Turkey."
Turkish mandarins take market share
The agency, established in 2019, also markets mandarins and lemons of Turkish origin. Says Güner, "The season is relatively short, lasting from November to March, but nonetheless we are currently able to distribute about 50-60 tons of W.Murcott variety mandarins. This fruit in particular is becoming increasingly important, as it is an interesting alternative to Spanish clementines in terms of quality, shelf life and availability. The W.Murcott also performs particularly well in terms of price."
Deveci's private label Süd Früchte pears.
Target markets in North America and Asia
About 70 percent of Focus Fresh Ltd's sales are to German wholesalers as well as food retailers. The company also serves customers in the Netherlands, Austria, Spain, Italy and Sweden. "We are also keen to gain a foothold overseas in the future. In the U.S., for example, we see opportunities for perishables such as cherries and figs, which we would transport by air. In Canada, we are already holding talks with potential customers for Turkish pomegranates. We would also like to tap into the Asian market, such as Singapore, in the future."
New and proven: Turkish pitahaya and vine tomatoes
Meanwhile, the variety of products at origin is also being continuously expanded, Güner continues. "As is well known, exotics, such as white and red pitahaya, have recently been produced in Turkey. The same applies to persimmons, which we were able to import for the first time last year and which I believe could become an interesting alternative to Spanish products in the long term. I also see export sales opportunities for avocados, which have so far been traded mainly on the Turkish domestic market."
Images: Focus Fresh Ltd.
For more information:
Focus Fresh GmbH
Kaiserswerther Strasse 239,
+49 162 6081888