According to the Greenhouse Investors and Producers Association (SERA-BIR), Turkish tomatoes are very popular in the world. Muslum Yanmaz, head of the association said: "We export mainly to Russia and also to Romania, Bulgaria, Germany and Switzerland. The world can't get enough of Turkish tomatoes."
Yanmaz pointed out to the importance of tomatoes among other agricultural products and urged for the need to improve greenhouse production in Turkey.
Yanmaz stated that tomato exports marked an increase compared to the same period last year and totaled 100 million USD (89 million Euro) so far in 2019. Yanmaz reminded that in 2018, Turkey exported tomatoes to 53 countries and earned 292 million USD (260 million Euro). He emphasized that the biggest market for Turkish tomatoes is Russia which is followed bu European countries.
"We produce approximately 12 million tons of tomatoes"
Pointing out to the quality of Turkish tomatoes Yanmaz said: "In Turkey, we produce approximately 12 million tons of tomatoes of which 3,5 million tons come from greenhouses. We use the technology and smart systems. Good agricultural practices increase the demand for our tomatoes. Russia is our major market. 62% of Turkey's overall fresh produce exports are destined to Russia. The climate in Turkey is suitable for modern greenhouses. In our experience, the transition to modern greenhouse production increased the demand for our products. From December to May, we harvest a lot of products. For the last 20 years, we owe our success to modern greenhouses."
Yanmaz emphasized that no additives are used in greenhouse production. Therefore, he asserted that tomatoes in greenhouses are even healthier than open-field tomatoes.
Yanmaz contended that the prices are high in the domestic market due to the absence of open-field tomatoes. "From December until May, there is an increased demand for tomatoes and prices increase. The harvest of open-field tomatoes from May on will decrease the prices again." said Yanmaz.