A Record-Breaking Year for Producers in Turkey

After becoming the world’s second-largest producing country, Turkish producers upped their quality too.
(Photo: Rengin Suar)
By Costas Vasilopoulos
Apr. 27, 2023 15:38 UTC

With a tri­umphant show­ing, Turkish pro­duc­ers are again rais­ing the bar at the NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition in a record-break­ing year for the country’s olive oil sec­tor in all aspects.

According to Turkey’s National Olive and Olive Oil Council, the coun­try enjoyed an unprece­dented pro­duc­tion of 421,000 tons of olive oil, far exceed­ing the pre­vi­ous record yield of 263,000 tons in 2017/18.

(These awards are) a tes­ta­ment to our com­mit­ment to pro­duc­ing high-qual­ity olive oil that rep­re­sents the rich cul­tural and agri­cul­tural her­itage of Turkey.- Bahar Alan, owner, Nova Vera

Exports of Turkish olive oil are expected to total 134,000 tons, nearly three times more than the coun­try has ever exported.

The dis­tinc­tive aura of the Turkish olive oil brands was con­firmed at the eleventh edi­tion of the world’s largest and most pres­ti­gious olive oil qual­ity con­test.

See Also:The Best Olive Oils from Turkey

Turkish pro­duc­ers com­bined to win 74 of the industry’s most cov­eted awards (54 Gold and 20 Silver) from 107 entries at the 2023 NYIOOC, far exceed­ing their record haul of 65 awards in the pre­vi­ous edi­tion of the com­pe­ti­tion.

Entrants from the world’s sec­ond-largest olive oil-pro­duc­ing nation have also set a new coun­try record for Gold Awards, dwarf­ing their pre­vi­ous high­est tally of 34 from last year.

The excep­tional per­for­mance of Turkish olive oil pro­duc­ers at the World Competition is a tes­ta­ment to the con­tin­u­ous growth of the country’s olive oil sec­tor.

According to Mustafa Tan, the Turkish national olive and olive oil coun­cil board chair­man, the sys­tem­atic expan­sion of olive cul­ti­va­tion in Turkey is foun­da­tional to reach­ing new heights.

I would like to pay my respects to the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of our olive sec­tor in Turkey for the extra­or­di­nary suc­cess they have shown despite the earth­quake dis­as­ters,” Tan told Olive Oil Times.

Turkey has started to reap the fruits of its invest­ments in the olive sec­tor in the last 20 years, increas­ing the num­ber of olive trees from 90 mil­lion in 2002 to over 192 mil­lion,” he added.

I am pleased to report that we are still tak­ing firm steps towards a record in pro­duc­tion and exports. As a coun­try, we are open to new demands with our high-qual­ity olive oil and olives.”

An admirable tally of four Gold Awards made return­ing entrant Nova Vera a big win­ner among Turkish pro­duc­ers at the 2023 NYIOOC.


Bahar Alan

To owner Bahar Alan, win­ning in New York is always a cause for cel­e­bra­tion and great sat­is­fac­tion.

It is truly an honor and a priv­i­lege for our team to be rec­og­nized with four Gold Awards at the pres­ti­gious NYIOOC,” Alan told Olive Oil Times.

Our emo­tions are a mix of joy, grat­i­tude, and humil­ity,” she added. We are over­joyed by the recog­ni­tion our hard work has received and grate­ful for the sup­port from our loyal cus­tomers, part­ners, and the entire olive oil com­mu­nity.”

Nova Vera is based in the small vil­lage of Ayvalik on the coast of the Aegean Sea and spe­cial­izes in pro­duc­ing olive oil from rare local vari­eties.


The com­pany received two Gold Awards for its Novavera Memecik and Ayvalik medium mono­va­ri­etals. The NYIOOC judg­ing panel awarded another two Golds for a pair of Nova Vera’s Trilye extra vir­gin olive oils, one of which is organic.

Nova Vera has already cre­ated a remark­able tra­di­tion in the com­pe­ti­tion, earn­ing no less than three awards in all the edi­tions of the com­pe­ti­tion since 2020.

“[This achieve­ment] is a tes­ta­ment to our com­mit­ment to pro­duc­ing high-qual­ity olive oil that rep­re­sents the rich cul­tural and agri­cul­tural her­itage of Turkey,” Alan said. We look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to share the unique taste and health ben­e­fits of Turkish olive oil with the world.”

Another awarded Turkish pro­ducer, Eminen’s Olive Oil from the Milas province, shined at the 2023 NYIOOC, earn­ing two Gold Awards in its first par­tic­i­pa­tion in the com­pe­ti­tion.


(Photo: Eminen’s Olive Oil)

This was our first year in our new mill facil­ity, and frankly, we did not know what to expect,” co-owner Mark Colin told Olive Oil Times. Winning awards is a val­i­da­tion of our belief to take time and effort through­out each step of har­vest­ing and milling.”

Even though Eminen’s Olive Oil only broke into the country’s olive oil indus­try in 2020, the com­pany aimed high from the start, giv­ing promi­nence to indige­nous olive vari­eties.

When we decided to embark on this jour­ney and started our com­pany two years ago, we com­mit­ted our efforts to pro­duc­ing the best extra vir­gin olive oil from our orchards, pro­mot­ing the region and Turkey,” Colin said.

The pro­ducer added that Turkey’s Milas province is home to the Memecik vari­ety, a fra­grant olive vari­ety with high-qual­ity poten­tial if trans­formed fol­low­ing the right prac­tices.

From the very first batch we milled last fall, we were amazed by the qual­ity of the fin­ished prod­uct,” he said.

The com­pany won Gold Awards for its Oro di Milas and Eminens Olive Oil brands, both organic extra vir­gin olive oils made from the Memecik vari­ety.

Another pro­ducer from the Ayvalik region, first-time entrant Rengin Suar Zeytinyaglari, received a Silver Award at the 2023 NYIOOC for its del­i­cate organic mono­va­ri­etal from Edremit olives.


(Photo: Rengin Suar)

Winning at the NYIOOC sig­ni­fies the recog­ni­tion of our ded­i­ca­tion and pas­sion for pro­duc­ing high-qual­ity olive oil,” owner Renk Suar told Olive Oil Times.

Suar is a remark­able case of an olive oil pro­ducer: after 20 years work­ing in pub­lic rela­tions and polit­i­cal con­sult­ing, she devoted her­self to her pas­sion, pro­duc­ing high-qual­ity olive oil.

Owning no pri­vate olive groves or milling facil­i­ties, Suar chooses the olives to be milled each year from the olive grow­ers in west­ern Turkey’s Edremit dis­trict.

The two main chal­lenges our brand faces are the same every year: find­ing the farms with the best qual­ity olives and beat­ing the com­pe­ti­tion in the pre­mium olive oil mar­ket,” Suar said. My pro­fes­sional know-how is my main cap­i­tal.”

More Turkish pro­duc­ers joined the win­ners’ club at the 2023 NYIOOC, reaf­firm­ing their track record of high-qual­ity pro­duc­tion.

Zagoda Tarim repli­cated its suc­cess of 2022, walk­ing away with three awards at the 2023 NYIOOC.


Ismail Sahin

We are absolutely thrilled and hon­ored to have received Gold Awards for our extra vir­gin olive oil at the 2023 NYIOOC,” owner Ismail Sahin said. This recog­ni­tion means so much to us, as it val­i­dates our unwa­ver­ing com­mit­ment to pro­duc­ing the high­est-qual­ity olive oil, with utmost care and sus­tain­abil­ity.”

The com­pany earned two Gold Awards for the Zagoda Trylie and Arbequina mono­va­ri­etal extra vir­gins and a Silver Award for the Ayvalik mono­va­ri­etal, all made from olives har­vested from their 16,500 olive trees in the Manisa province.

The inspi­ra­tion for Sahin to cre­ate Zagoda was the poem On Living’ by the famous Turkish-Polish poet and nov­el­ist Nâzım Hikmet, mak­ing the poem’s verses the motto of his olive oil busi­ness.

I mean, you need to take life so seri­ously that, even in your sev­en­ties, for exam­ple, you need to plant an olive tree.”


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