The Turkish heatwave caused quite some issues in certain apple growing regions, but Alper Kerim, owner of Turkish fruit exporter Demir Fresh Fruits, states their orchards are at higher altitudes and were spared many of the issues: “For the new season, the growing period for Turkish apples was rather good, but climate change ensured that the weather did not cooperate with us, which introduced some challenges, but nothing we couldn’t deal with. Our orchards are mainly at higher attitudes, that’s why we’ve not been affected too badly by the recent hot temperatures. However, some of the regions in Turkey have not been as lucky, as you can imagine. Especially the Isparta region has some big problems. So, I would suggest buyers to avoid apples that are grown in this region if they can’t compromise on quality.”
Despite Greek and Polish production being quite a bit lower than last year, Kerim thinks there won’t be a major shift towards supplying European markets. “Although there are some supply issues on the European continent, Turkish apples are not as popular in Europe. Therefore, it isn’t likely that Turkey can fill the gap in Europe, and as such it will not be our first target. That said, there’s definitely a chance we’ll be presented with opportunities in Europe as well this year.”
India also expects a lower harvest from their domestic market, and so Kerim thinks it could be their best season yet: “The fact that production of apples in India is rather low this year, present a huge opportunity for us to fill the gap. I can easily state that Turkish apples have become the number one apple origin in India, and our brand DeBa has a huge demand, because of our sustainable quality. Apple prices will be according to the branding. If you have good brand that carries and represents good quality, you’ll see strong demand in the market. Given the lower production in both Europe and India I expect prices to be a little higher than last year for sure. All these things combined could result in the best year for Turkish apples to date!” he concludes.