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Turkish fruit & veg to fill Saudi Arabian demand

Saudi Arabia is currently in the grips of Haj season, where millions of Muslims travel on pilgrimages to visit some of Islam’s holiest sites located in the country. During this period, demand for fresh fruit and vegetables skyrockets – and Turkey is stepping in to plug 2016’s gap.

120,000 tons of produce are to be shipped to Saudi Arabia, with Turkish airline companies responsible for transportation, according to Sahim Al-Ghamdi, Head of the Fruit and Vegetables Committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Tomatoes, Turkey’s biggest export product for 2016 so far, make up a hefty chunk of this shipment, with 40,000 tons heading to Saudi consumers. An additional 40 tons of citrus fruits will be also be exported.

Mr Al-Ghamdi told the Saudi Gazette that there has been an increase of Saudi imports of Turkish produce in the past year, while praising the variety of products available from Turkey. 

According to Sahim Al-Ghamdi, Saudi imports of fruit and vegetables have increased 30% in 2016 after a number of agreements with Turkish producers had been signed. 

Saudi investors have been holding talks and visiting with Turkish companies since May 2016. A delegation of Saudi businessmen, alongside representatives from other Gulf states, visited Antakya in Southern Turkey to discuss the opportunities and obstacles facing investment in the Turkish produce sector. The main focus of these discussions fell on transportation issues.

Turkish Airlines has stated it is able to transport 70 tons of produce a day to Saudi Arabia, based on its scheduled passenger flights. 

Turkey has had to search for new markets, or expand its presence in countries already importing Turkish goods, since the implementation of a food embargo by Russia in November 2015.

Source: saudigazette.com.sa

Image: © Jazpix via Flickr


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