Chinese taste Turkish olives, oil up next
ISTANBUL - HürriyetTurkey’s olive producer Marmarabirlik has begun exporting olives to China following Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to the country. Marmarabirlik President Hidamet Asa, who was part of the prime minister’s entourage, said after visiting several Chinese food producers, they have begun exporting olives to China.
“The products we brought with us, especially those that are low in sodium like our ‘Gold’ product, received a lot of interest and we sent our first shipment,” said Asa in a written statement. “Maybe we can’t feed an olive to every one of China’s 1.5 billion population, but at least we opened the door,” he continued. Asa also said they were exploring the option of exporting olive oil as well to China.
Marmarabirlik already exports to markets such as Japan, Kuwait, Bosnia, Ukraine, Russia and Greece.
Asa said Marmarabirlik’s production cycle is from Nov. 1 to March 31 and that from Nov. 1 to March 31, 2012, the company increased its exports by 44 percent from the year before.
“On a lira basis, this amounts to 65 percent growth and on a dollar basis 40 percent growth,” said Asa.
Meanwhile, the president of the National Olive and Olive Oil Council (UZZK), Mustafa Tan, said yesterday at the second Olive and Olive Oil Fair in İzmir that Turkey was taking huge steps in olive production. He said per capita consumption of olives in Turkey had risen from 800 grams to two kilograms.