Erust Tarim, based in the southern Turkish city of Antalya, has started to export miniature vegetables. Russia and some Arab countries are among the first buyers.
Erust Tarim is a family-run fresh produce business based in Antalya's Serik district The company have been growing miniature vegetables for ten years. Since they don't use any agrochemicals the company has built a highly reputable brand over the years. Erust Tarim started to grow only two three varieties but today, they offer up to 20 varieties of miniature vegetables.
20 varieties of miniature vegetables
The company's product range on miniature vegetables consists of the following:
Mini aubergine, mini white aubergine, mini cucumber, mini zucchini, mini yellow zucchini, mini spinach, mini red butter lettuce, mini butter lettuce, mini cherry tomatoes, mini yellow cherry tomatoes, mini plum tomatoes, mini red beetroot, mini yellow beetroot, mini pepper, mini celery, five different colors of mini carrots, mini rucola, mini radish, mini green beans and mini onions.
Production in an area of 150 hectares
Mustafa Erust, General Manager of the company said that they produce in an area of 150 hectares in the districts of Serik and Korkuteli. He explained that while Serik is suitable for production in the winter, the Korkuteli plateau is better in the summer due to its location. Therefore the production takes place throughout the year. Since mini vegetables grow in a shorter time and given that they don't need any chemicals, Erust contends that they are extremely healthy and have more taste.
A favorite luxury food
Erust stated that miniature products are usually preferred in luxurious meals. "These products are usually consumed in big cities like Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Antalya. They can be found in supermarket chains and in some restaurants. Consumers choose to buy miniature vegetables because they are fresh and free of chemicals. These vegetables don't take long to grow and their harvest is early. Therefore, they are healthy and have a different taste."
Export started to Russia and Arab countries
Mustafa Erust said that they started exporting miniature vegetables first to Russia and Arab countries. While the company aims for an increased volume of export, Erust underlined that the price for miniature vegetables are higher than usual: "Our packages consist of 6 to 7 of these miniature vegetables that weigh 250 grams in total. While medium size zucchini's current price per kilo is 4 to 5 Turkish Lira (0,66 to 0,82 Euro), a mini zucchini pack of 250 grams costs 6 to 7 Turkish Lira ( 0,99 to 1,15 Euro)" said Erust.