Turkey Cut Flowers Exporters Association Chairman Ismail Yilmaz noted that the economic measures and support programs announced by the government in order to battle the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak do not cover the cut flowers and ornamental plants industry.
Ismail Yilmaz: “Flower growers and exporters do not have the option of storing their products. The flowers are either thrown away or distributed for free. The COVID-19 outbreak has been devastating for flower growers.
Most of the growers and exporters who lost money will not be able to continue production next season. Their debts to state banks should be postponed for 3 years. We have explained all the issues we have as a sector to the Minister of Treasury and requested a compensation payment to growers due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We have also asked additional funding for air freight costs as air freight costs have increased significantly over the last 3 months. Our land transport costs have also gone up by 25 – 30%. Growers are forced to throw their products away or to export them at a loss just to keep their cash flow going even slightly.”