Turkish apple exporter Demir Fresh Fruits ships multiple varieties of apples to countries in Asia and the Gulf, says owner Alper Kerim: “We’ve started with the harvest of the Gala variety apples around 25 days ago, which means that at this point we’re shipping Galas in full swing. For Gala apples, our main markets are the Gulf countries and Asian countries.”
Although the Turkish season had already started a few weeks ago, demand in India isn’t at a great level yet. Kerim does expect that demand will pick up later in the season. “There isn’t too much demand so far from India. The Red Delicious variety is the most popular one in the Indian market and we’ve just started the harvest of this variety, but due to a large local crop in India we expect demand to pick up in later stages of the season. We’re also shipping Gala to the Indian market this season, but if you compare the sales of this variety to India to last year, current volumes seem to be lower.”
Profits could be a lot lower for Turkish apple exporters, as costs and general inflation are not rising as much as the prices for apples. “Our season is not without its challenges. Higher costs and inflation are both big problems in Turkey. For example, our packing materials costs have increased at least 50 per cent compared to last year and production costs have increased in a similar manner. Getting the correct price for the final product can be a big challenge for Turkish exporters this year, I guess. But we will do our best to give the best possible prices to our customers. Our strategy this year is maintain our customers, even if that means we’ll see lower profits than last year.”
“We invest a lot of money in research and development activities every year and try to improve ourselves whenever we can. This year, we have a new development that will contribute to the shelf lives of apples. I can’t share more details just yet, but I expect a positive shock effect when our customers receive their containers. The transit time from Turkey to India is around 20 to 23 days, but the apples will appear as if they had only departed from Turkey three or four days earlier. This development will put our brand DeBa in a way better position when compared to rivals’ products in India.” Kerim concludes.