Hosted by participating countries around the globe in turn, 54th version of raisin producing countries conference was held in San Juan, Argentina, 10-12 November 2014.
A group of representatives of Aegean Exporters Union and officials from Ministry of Economy and managers of exporters participated in the event. Data about production and trade of raisins worldwide, its benefits for human health and results of studies on raisin have been shared in several presentations.
Pointing out that about 1.3 million tons of raisins are produced worldwide, Birol Celep, chairman of Aegean Dried Fruits and Products Exporters Union, said that about 750 thousand tons of it is subject to international trade. “It is one of the strategic products in world trade. Presentations in the event were dealing with effects of the raisin on public in both developed and developing countries. It is a healthy product for consumption. The need for more promotional efforts for raisin in the country and in the world is obvious. At the end of the conference a call for action was published for the realization of generic promotion campaign without mentioning any country, brand and type of the product. It is decided that the issue will be on the agenda of the next meeting that will be held on October 2015 in Hamburg,” he said.
Birol Celep said, “Turkey’s raisin exports reached to 328 thousand tons, a historical record, during 2014/2015 season. Raisin production is heavily depended on exports. We have to export 80 % of total production in Turkey. With an aim to increase the value added by raisins our union is planning a commercial visit to far eastern countries to promote it. Far Eastern countries have great potential for raisin and dried fruit exports.”
President of dried fruit promotion organization Osman Öz pointed out the need for promotion directed to domestic consumers. He said, “In England, where any raisin is produced, people consume about 100 thousand tons of raisin. In Turkey, where about 300 thousand tons of raisin is produced, domestic consumption is limited to 30 thousand tons, annually. Raisin is one of the major item in the daily diets of children. 15 thousand tons of raisins are distributed free of charge in schools by the state. Similar campaign has been applied for many years in EU.”
Chairman of Aegean dried fruit exporters, ADFRE, Birol Celep, Head of promotional group Osman Oz, board member of ADFRE Yurtcan Biryol, agriculture section director of export general management of ministry of economy Tayfun Kilic, chairman of cooperation of TARIS Ali Riza Turker, board member Mehmet Ersoy, export expert Nur Sorguc and Mustafa Ozgur, chairman of Ozgur Tarim company were participated in the conference.