The ornamental plants and cut flower industry was among the sectors that increased their exports during the coronavirus epidemic. Flowers are grown in Izmir, Sakarya, Isparta, and various other cities in Turkey. The majority of the production, however, came from Antalya, with 65% of exported flowers being grown in this city.
Ismail Yilmaz, Chairman of the Ornamental Plants and Products Exporters Association, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the industry has grown despite the epidemic. Noting that exports are increasing rapidly, Yilmaz said, "We had previously set a target of 115 million USD for 2021. As of today, we have exported around 125 million USD. I think we will exceed 150 million USD by the end of the year. This means an increase in our exports by 50-55%.
"The flower industry turned the epidemic into an opportunity and we have achieved significant growth in this process. People who do not go out during the epidemic become more interested in flowers and as a result, the flowers make both the producer and the exporter smile, as well as the consumer. Flower importing countries turned to the Turkish market with the canceling of flights during the first year of the pandemic, and, although flights returned to normal, sales continued with the increase in awareness of Turkish flowers in global markets.
"We have a very important place in the world in terms of location. There is an export of 23 billion USD in flowers in the world. 17 billion USD of this is to the countries within a 3- to 5-hour flight distance. Some of them were not working with us before but turned to us during the pandemic and now they continue to work with us permanently.
"We have sent flowers to 83 countries, including the Netherlands, England, Germany, Uzbekistan, Romania, and Bulgaria. We closed last year with 107 million USD in exports. There has never been a season in which we have increased more than 50 % in recent years. I can say that this figure is a historical record."