Vendors select flowers at a flower auction and trading center in Istanbul, Turkey on Jan 11, 2021. Turkey's flower sector representatives said Monday that the industry eyes becoming a production and marketing hub in the post-pandemic era with expanding export figures. Turkey succeeded to export flowers worth 107 million U.S. dollars to more than 80 countries in 2020 despite the challenging conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest sectoral figures.(Photo by Osman Orsal/Xinhua)
ISTANBUL, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Turkey's flower sector representatives said Monday that the industry eyes becoming a production and marketing hub in the post-pandemic era with expanding export figures.
Turkey succeeded to export flowers worth 107 million U.S. dollars to more than 80 countries in 2020 despite the challenging conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest sectoral figures.
The Ornamental Plants and Products Exporters Association revealed that the export transactions in the industry significantly gained momentum in June last year when the country started to ease the drastic measures taken to restraint the pandemic.
The flower sector increased its exports by 55 percent year on year in June 2020, reaching the highest figure in the last 10 years, the data showed.
Turkey's competitors in Europe could not fulfill the necessary flower planting last year as they experienced the pandemic much more strongly, according to sector representatives.
Additionally, most European countries did not get their shipments in time due to the growing COVID-19 related logistic problems.
"Turkey has filled the gap," Muammer Yazici, head of the Istanbul-based S.S. Flora Floriculture Production and Marketing Cooperative, told Xinhua on Monday, noting that Turkey's biggest market became the Netherlands, followed by England, Germany, Romania, and Bulgaria.
Turkey exported over 500 million flower branches, mostly carnation, one of its most vital strengths, followed by Ranunculus, known as buttercups, Dianthus barbatus, and Gerbera.
"We have a significant climate advantage in the production of carnation," Yazici noted, saying that the Turkish producers have been exporting a notable amount of carnation to the Balkan and European countries from the western province of Izmir.
The florist also urged the government to provide the necessary incentives for Phalaenopsis or moth orchid and rose producers who do not have an air-conditioned glasshouse system.
"This system is inevitable for Turkey to become an influential actor in the exports of rose and orchid," Yazici stressed. "So that we would be able to continue producing in the winter months as well."
In his view, the sector tackled the first shocking impacts of the pandemic and got used to its conditions.
"We now feature online trading," he noted. "Toward Valentine's Day in February, we will catch a further upward trend in our sales, and I believe that our export figures will explode during the post-pandemic era."
Aytul Temiz, a forest engineer and owner of a landscape design company in Istanbul, said that supports and state incentives are very important for the sector producers to catch the international quality standards.
"Improving the structural characteristics of the floral enterprises in the country, expanding the use of technology, following a product diversity policy in line with the market demands, will carry the sector to a solid point," she said.
"It is not a dream to make our country a production and marketing base for ornamental plants by using our ecological and logistical advantages," added Temiz.
According to the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, the ornamental plant market across the globe has a volume of 43 billion dollars, with the largest producer, the Netherlands, having a share of 48 percent. Enditem