Turkish produce exporter Finkum, is actively developing its presence in Europe. The company has already opened a European office in the Netherlands and is now applying for the GlobalGAP certificate in order to supply directly to European retail chains. Finkum has also struck up a partnership with the Dutch company Wilko Fruit Breda.

A European office
According to Cem Varnatopu of Finkum Europe, the location of the new office in Amsterdam acts as an important hub for the European market. “We import and re-export produce like pomegranates and Turkish bell peppers to Northern Europe. We have some important clients in Sweden, but we also trade with customers in Norway, the UK and the Netherlands.”

On the other hand, Finkum's customers in Austria and Germany are being directly supplied by the main branch in Turkey. This is due to the large volumes that are needed and through this client, Finkum’s produce reaches important retail chains like Edeka, Lidl and Aldi. “We send about 400 trucks a year; 6 to 7 trucks a week,” says Varnatopu.

Finkum Europe uses its position in Amsterdam to reach out to customers all over the world. While exports from Turkey are limited to its local produce, Varnatopu says the European branch is able to source produce from a wide range of countries, like Spain and the Netherlands itself. Other major advantages that come with the European branch are the opportunities for marketing and business relations. “We’re very happy with our partnership with Wilko Fruits. Wilko depends on our company for logistics and supply, while we benefit from Wilko’s position within the Dutch retail sector.”

Finkum trades in a wide range of fruit and vegetables, like grapes, figs, bell peppers and cucumbers. Right now, the company is involved with the pomegranate season. “We’ve shipped about 1,800 tons in our current pomegranate season so far. The season began at the end of September and is going to last until the end of March. Afterwards, the market will be supplied by Peruvian growers, but until then we’ll be in full swing.”

While the pomegranate season started out with low prices due to the large amount of companies supplying to the Netherlands, he expects prices to rise in the weeks leading up to Christmas. “On average, the prices for a box of pomegranates vary between €4.50 to €5. I think these prices will grow by one euro in the coming weeks. Everybody prefers Turkish Hicaz pomegranates. Along with our cheaper costs for logistics, this gives us an edge over competitors from Egypt or India.”

The demand for pomegranates has grown in regions in Northern Europe, that until recently, were not known for their consumption of pomegranates. Finkum sends three trucks with produce to Oslo and Stockholm every week. While one truck contains a mixed cargo of Turkish products, like cucumbers and egg plants, the other two are loaded with pomegranate. “The demand has risen due to good marketing. We usually start off sending one pallet as a trial. Last week we sent one truck to one particular customer. That same customer now wants two trucks,” explains Varnatopu.


Finkum also offers tomatoes. This has been one of the important products of the company, and continues to increase its exports in Europe and other countries. So far, they've already exported 15 trucks of Turkish vine tomatoes.

For more information:

Cem Varnatopu
Finkum Europe
Mob 0031-638-396-707 (Netherlands) ; 0090-541-944-4873 (Turkey)
Email: cem.varnatopu@finkumeurope.nl ; cem.varnatopu@finkumtarim.com