Full of expectations and curiosity, a delegation of Dutch fruit and vegetable producers, importers, investors and eco-innovation experts left Schiphol airport on 16 October for the Turkish trade city of Mersin and agri-region around Antalya. To meet the Dutch retail (fruit and vegetables) demand, Turkish ‘good and cheaper’ products were sought.
Facts, key figures, priorities
First a few facts. Türkiye closed its Agri export in 2021 with $1 billion 182 million. The export of fresh vegetables, fruit and products increased by 9% in the first 6 months of 2022 compared to 2021 to 551 million. The Turkish target for 2023 in terms of the export of fresh vegetables, fruits and related products is 1.5 MLD. The most important export countries for Türkiye are Germany $93 million, US 87 million, Russia 65 million. In total, Türkiye exports to 122 countries.
Türkiye is looking for innovative solutions to its priorities in climate change, sustainable agriculture, residue-free agriculture and reducing logistics costs. The country has the ambition to use 30-50% less chemicals to start with mandarins, pomegranates and tomatoes.
B2B match making
More than 50 enthusiastic Turkish producers registered on October 17 to meet 11 Dutch delegation members during the first B2B matching session in Mersin. Matching is more than just shaking hands and getting to know each other. It requires thorough preparation, sometimes a month or two in advance, in order to align supply and demand. This was facilitated by the local Dutch-Turkish-speaking service provider Dutch Turkish Trade Consulting (DTTC). There was close collaboration with the Mersin Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MTSO).
The delegation then visited several greenhouses by bus. Everywhere the Dutch were very hospitable with Turkish tea and homemade cookies for an informal introduction. Subsequently, greenhouses were entered, fruit tasted, hygiene, safety standards, EU and other certification checked.
Selection of companies visited: TARGID; EREN TARIM; AKSUN TARIM. In addition, also companies or greenhouses with peppers, tomatoes and a juicy citrus field.
Ample time was taken to ask many questions. Ultimately, the quality must be constant and reliable. Questions were about production, storage, packaging, distribution, etc.
A Memorandum of Understanding with the aim of promoting cooperation was signed by the chairmen of the foundation Chamber of Commerce Netherlands – Türkiye and the Mersin Chamber of Commerce & Industry, one of the oldest Chamber of Commerce in Türkiye with more than 16,000 members.
The process was supported by a very hospitable board and secretariat of MTSO. Read more information about Mersin’s Agri Food sector such as climate and soil, R&D settings, agri production quantity, export and production seasonal calendar.
Inspired, the delegation took a domestic flight from Mersin to Adana airport and from there to travel by bus to the next trade mission destination: Antalya. More B2B matchmaking conversations were facilitated on October 19 in a representative hotel in Antalya. In a conference room, conversations were organized between Dutch members and Turkish producers at specified time intervals.
Individual company visits were carried out at the request of some delegation members. Of course, these were always accompanied by a driver and a Turkish interpreter. A photographer was also continuously present to capture the management, the business environment, products and packaging methods. Selection of company visits October 19: Meysan and Ergida Tarim.
They were welcomed with open arms because the participating Dutch companies represent a total turnover of +/- € 575 MLN, which corresponds to the six-monthly Turkish Agri export in 2021. The participating companies are administratively supported by RAAD International.
Smart ‘green’ Turks
The delegation was presented with a lecture by Sivas Cumhuriyet University on October 20. As part of the “Net Green” project, tasty products are produced under optimal hygienic conditions without fertilization, sprinkling and excessive irrigation. Sustainability is taken seriously by Turks. The delegation members then visited several (logistics) companies and fruit and seed production greenhouses. Selection: Adalya Fresh; Ebeyler Tarim.
The Interfresh Eurasia fair was also on the program on 20 October. 41 Turkish exhibitors or exporters (websites available for delegation members) met buyers from many countries. Just like during the previous trade mission in 2021, Turkish ‘TRT’ television now also found the Chamber of Commerce Netherlands-Türkiye foundation for a short conversation with the chairman and vice chairman at the stock exchange.
Pleasant social moments such as lunches and dinners were a permanent part of the program. The bow can’t always be spawn! Even for culture lovers there was an unexpected moment: a visit to the historic city of Taurus with the well of the Apostle Peter. Also used for fresh grapes at the time!
Additional market research
Getting to know the Turkish trade culture, building trust and eventually converting contacts into contracts is the ultimate goal of a trade mission. If desired, delegation members can request additional personal guidance, market and product studies from Dutch Turkish Trade Consulting for a fee. The not-for-profit foundation Chamber of Commerce Netherlands – Türkiye ensures that the quality of the service is guaranteed.
Joyful moments after business
The return journey started on Friday 21 October from Antalya via the new, impressive Istanbul Airport to Schiphol. Some delegation members continued to enjoy themselves for several days. They combined work and private life while enjoying the beautiful beaches and good quality hotels on the Turkish Riviera. It runs on the south coast of Türkiye on the Mediterranean Sea from Marmaris-Antalya to past Alanya.
Interested in participating? Inform us about the needs or specifications of your company or sector via the registration form.