Grower Selcuk Celebi, the co-owner of Turkish carnation company Trendy Tarim, spoke about the current issues in cut flower production in the areas around Antalya.
Selcuk Celebi: “Our country has very diverse ecological attributes across its different regions. The climate and the soil are very suitable for cut flower and ornamental plant production. The cut flower industry had been booming in the last 2 years. Due to the high quality, there is a high-demand for Turkish carnations in export markets. We were able to export significant volumes in the last 3 years from Antalya and from the neighbor city Isparta.
This year, due to temperatures being higher than usual, we started receiving products much earlier than expected. Additionally, the quantities we have received also rose up. Consequently, there is an excess supply of products. There is still a high-demand abroad for our products and we keep exporting as usual however the excess supply threw off the balance of the market place a little bit. With the weather getting colder now, we expect this problem to go away as we will be receiving a lesser amount of products from now on.
However, it does not change the fact that we have some products remaining in our stocks that are not being sold. Because of that, a lot of growers had to reduce their prices. We are selling right now carnations at 25 % of the production cost. Right now there are around 10 million carnations waiting in cold storages of Antalya growers.
As there is no coordination or master plan, everyone grows products at the varieties and quantities that he wishes to. This results in excess supply of some products and a shortage of supply in some other products. That’s why growers should work together and grower cooperatives should plan the production of different varieties according to the market demand. In some products, we need to reduce the production whereas in others we may need to increase. Furthermore, a lot of growers have shifted from tomato to cut flower production without having any customers in hand. Naturally, they go after the customers of the old growers and they create a significant imbalance in the market place.”
Source: Akdeniz Manset