European supermarkets turning to Turkey for food supplies

European supermarkets turning to Turkey for food supplies

 As greenhouse cultivation has dropped in Europe due to the growing energy crisis, supermarket chains in the continent are turning to growers in the southern province Antalya to secure food supplies. 

Production in Europe has dropped 30 to 40 percent, that’s why they are looking for a solution and Turkey appears to be the most important country to help them overcome the problems, said Ümit Mirza Çavuşoğlu, head of the Western Mediterranean Exporters Association (BAIB).

“Even last year, many growers stopped production in greenhouses because of high natural gas prices, which gave a boost to imports from Türkiye. They thought problems could be resolved, but this did not happen. Now, large [European] supermarkets are holding talks in Antalya,” he said.

The energy crisis hit production of fresh fruit and vegetables, particularly tomatoes, in Europe, which prompted supermarket chains to seek new suppliers ahead of the difficult winter months.

Europe is not only demanding fresh fruit and vegetables, but all kind of food products, Çavuşoğlu added.

Climate change-related weather conditions may affect production in Türkiye, he said. “But we expect both output and exports to increase.”

This winter tourism activity will be strong, which means more food consumption, Çavuşoğlu said, noting that the agriculture sector will channel some of its products to hotels.

Many European suppliers are signing agreements with large greenhouses in Antalya, according to Cüneyt Doğan, a company owner and member of the Antalya Commodity Exchange.

Custom duties are normally increased between January and April in Europe, when production level is low, but last year this did not happen, he noted. “If they do the same and not increase the tariffs, this will have a positive impact,” Doğan said.