A Predicted Record Harvest Would Make Turkey the World’s Second-Largest Olive Oil Producer

The country’s olive oil and table olive yields are expected to reach record highs. Officials hope to export more olive oil to Europe and grow domestic demand.
Terraced olive fields in Turkey
By Costas Vasilopoulos
Nov. 10, 2022 15:50 UTC

In Turkey, ini­tial esti­mates for the cur­rent crop year sug­gested a higher yield of olive oil than the 228,000 tons pro­duced in 2021/22.

However, the offi­cial yield fore­cast released last week exceeded expec­ta­tions, pro­ject­ing the country’s olive oil crop to exceed 400,000 tons this year, a record high. Official pro­vi­sional fig­ures for table olives also indi­cate a record har­vest of more than 700,000 tons in Turkey.

This record level of our yield shows that we can cre­ate a very impor­tant oppor­tu­nity, espe­cially in terms of our for­eign trade.- Mustafa Tan, chair­man, Turkish national olive and olive oil coun­cil

It is esti­mated that total table olive pro­duc­tion will be 735,678 tons, an increase of 45 per­cent com­pared to the 2021/22 sea­son,” Mustafa Tan, the chair­man of the board of the Turkish national olive and olive oil coun­cil which coor­di­nated the fore­cast stud­ies, told Olive Oil Times.

A total of 421,717 tons of olive oil will be obtained with an increase of 79 per­cent com­pared to the 2021/22 sea­son,” he added.

See Also:2022 Harvest Updates

Tan attrib­uted the country’s expected record olive oil and table olive yields to the advan­ta­geous weather con­di­tions pre­vail­ing in Turkey and the pur­pose­ful cam­paign to advance the coun­try’s olive oil pro­duc­tion poten­tial.

We have the most favor­able cli­matic con­di­tions and, there­fore, [the olive trees] were rel­a­tively lit­tle affected by cli­mate change,” he said. We set the goal of rank­ing sec­ond in the world in 2007. To achieve this goal, with incen­tives from our Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the num­ber of fruit-bear­ing and non-fruit-bear­ing trees has increased from 100 to 120 mil­lion to 168 to 196 mil­lion.”

Due to its geo­graph­i­cal loca­tion between Europe and Asia on the north­east­ern side of the Mediterranean basin, Turkey avoided the unfa­vor­able dry and hot weather that affected large parts of west­ern and south­ern Europe in the sum­mer.

The region’s worst drought in the past 500 years has par­tially resulted in abnor­mally low yields across most of Europe’s olive oil-pro­duc­ing nations.

Tan also indi­cated that Turkish pro­duc­ers and exporters might be able to fill the gap in inter­na­tional mar­kets.

This record level of our yield shows that we can cre­ate a very impor­tant oppor­tu­nity, espe­cially in terms of our for­eign trade,” he said. We believe that Turkey will be able to meet a sig­nif­i­cant amount of the sup­ply short­ages expe­ri­enced in other coun­tries. We can get out of this global cri­sis together.”

Tan added the vast olive oil and table olives har­vest pro­jected for Turkey could fur­ther fuel domes­tic con­sump­tion.

Such a full crop year could lead to a sig­nif­i­cant increase in domes­tic con­sump­tion of olive oil and table olives in Turkey,” he said. In par­tic­u­lar, a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of the for­eign cur­rency loss due to the short­ages and imports of oils such as sun­flower oil can be met with olive oil, cre­at­ing added value both domes­ti­cally and inter­na­tion­ally and con­tribut­ing to our coun­try’s econ­omy.”

The pro­jec­tions of a bumper olive har­vest in Turkey are being reflected in the words of pro­duc­ers from across the coun­try.

Turkey will have a new record for olive oil quan­tity this year,” Cem Erdilek, the gen­eral man­ager of Darvari Gida Tarim, an award-win­ning pro­ducer from the Geyliki region near the Dardanelles Strait in north­west Turkey, told Olive Oil Times.

In all regions of Turkey, the [olive] trees are full of fruits, as we hear from our friends and from the peo­ple who are into the olive and olive oil busi­ness,” he added. Our har­vest will end around the mid­dle of November, and we are sure that we will dou­ble our quan­tity of olive oil com­pared to last year.”

However, Erdilek expressed some reser­va­tions about whether olive oil prices at ori­gin will be favor­able for pro­duc­ers through­out the crop year. He also iden­ti­fied ris­ing pro­duc­tion costs as a sig­nif­i­cant bur­den for pro­duc­ers to shoul­der.

Harvesting labor costs have dou­bled this year, and all other related costs are also too high,” he said. To pro­tect our­selves against infla­tion, we are invest­ing in har­vest­ing tools and equip­ment to decrease the cost of har­vest.”

Meanwhile, the country’s first state-licensed ware­house for stor­ing olive oil and table olives is planned to be built in the dis­trict of Akhisar in Manisa province, often referred to as the cen­ter of Turkey’s olive oil indus­try.

The ware­house, dubbed the miss­ing link’ of the Turkish domes­tic olive oil sup­ply chain,
is expected to pro­vide local pro­duc­ers with the abil­ity to safely store their oils until the mar­ket con­di­tions are right to sell and receive higher rev­enue.

We are break­ing new ground in Turkey and for our olive and olive oil pro­duc­ers,” said Besim Dutlulu, the mayor of Akhisar. We bring a total of 6,500 tons of licensed ware­houses to our city. In this way, our pro­duc­ers will return to the land, and our city will become the cen­ter of table olives and olive oil as it deserves.”


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