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Ufuk Sahin of UFSA Fresh on direct imports from Turkey:

"Turkish tomatoes are selling like hotcakes at the moment"

He says the starting situation at the beginning of the Turkish tomato season this year is quite pleasing. "We mainly buy loose as well as vine tomatoes directly from the producer in Turkey. The season in the Netherlands is now slowly running out, and there is currently little volume for export in Spain. Accordingly, Turkish tomatoes are currently selling like hotcakes. What also helps us here are the relatively low labor costs, which, among other things means that Turkish tomatoes are up to 20-30 percent cheaper on sale than goods from the European countries of origin. There are similar price differences for California peppers," reports Ufuk Sahin, direct importer and managing director of UFSA Fresh, based at the Vienna wholesale market.

Turkish pomegranates

Turkish tomatoes are usually offered until March/April. Sahin: "Due to the earthquake a few months ago, some produce from eastern Turkey will be missing. However, Turkish horticulture is strong enough to absorb these quantities accordingly and provide the required export volume. Interestingly, this year, there were also requests for Turkish tomatoes in the summer. This again points to Turkey's continued high export potential."

UFSA Fresh benefits from the central location of the Vienna wholesale market. Whether importing or exporting, we always have the option of temporarily storing the goods here on site in Vienna if they cannot be placed immediately."

Sahin founded his company in the spring of 2022 and sees himself as a link between Turkish producers and the European sales market. He serves not only bulk buyers in DACH countries but also in Spain, France, and Scandinavia. "If something is lacking in European countries, Turkey is a good alternative in many cases due to its cultural diversity. So we not only source the usual export products from Turkey, such as fruit vegetables, pomegranates, and quinces, but also garlic and melons. After our last post on FreshPlaza, a wholesaler from Spain contacted us asking if we could supply seedless watermelons from Turkey, as the quantities there were not enough to meet their needs."

Turkish produce can be sourced by the truckload or by the part-load through UFSA Fresh.

The ambitious fruit trader also points to the current cost situation. ''The high energy and transport costs coupled with ongoing global warming are making it difficult to supply the European markets. In line with the growing population, however, ever larger volumes are needed," Sahin describes with an example. "More people means more volume; it's like a chain reaction. You can see that not only here in the Vienna area but all over Europe. Accordingly, Turkey will only become more important as a source of supply in the near future."

Images: UFSA Fresh

For more information:
Ufuk Sahin
UFSA Fresh Import-Export
Tel.: +43 660 1905881
[email protected]
[email protected]

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