Almost all of our dried fruit sector is of great importance for the economy and foreign trade of our country and our region with its structure based on domestic inputs. Our dried fruits come to the fore within the framework of increasing consumer awareness and the demand for healthy food all over the world.
In 2019, our industry reached an export figure exceeding 1.4 billion dollars, seedless raisins ranked first with an amount of 523 million dollars, dried apricot exports were 253 million dollars, dried fig exports were recorded as 236 million dollars.
Turkey in general dry fruits and products exports reached 2020 billion dollars in 1,4. 477 tons of dried fruit were exported to 150 countries. The European Union countries and the USA stand out in our exports.
Among our leading markets in dried fruit exports in 2020; Germany ranks first with $ 202 million, the United Kingdom second with $ 188 million, Italy third with $ 101 million, France fourth with $ 93 million, and the USA fifth with $ 92 million.
In 2020 Turkey in general our exports 466 million dollars of raisins, 266 million dollars a 5 percent increase in dried apricots, 236 million dollars dried figs, $ 119 million of pistachios, 41 percent increase to 84 million dollars, the other dried fruits, 66 million dollars almonds, 30 percent rising 50 million dollars in other roasted fruits, 42 million dollars in pine nuts with 46 percent increase, 22 percent increase in 32 million dollars in walnuts, 4 million dollars in chickpeas with an increase of 16 percent, 10 million dollars in apricots and seeds, 5 million dollars in dried apples with an increase of 8 percent. Dried plum constituted $ 2 million with an increase of 29 percent.
Aegean Dried Fruits and Products Exporters Association exported 2020 million dollars worth of products to 846 countries in 106.
Top 2020 countries in our exports from the Aegean in 5; The United Kingdom with $ 171 million, Germany with $ 116 million, Italy with $ 73 million, the Netherlands with $ 61 million and the USA with $ 44 million.
As the Aegean Dried Fruit and Products Exporters Association, which realizes more than 60% of our country's dried fruit exports, we work in cooperation with all institutions / organizations in the value chain, carry out both scientific and promotional projects, closely follow all developments with a proactive approach, and We inform our producers.
Together with our universities and ministries, we aim to increase our exports with productivity, quality, food safety in products and, in parallel, production in accordance with the sustainability theme.
Since the importance of healthy food is better understood by every segment of the society during the 2020 pandemic period, our entire industry is working hard to achieve our goals in terms of figures at the end of the year in the export of our dried fruits, which are included in the list of healthy foods of the World Health Organization.
There are around 350 active exporter companies that are members of our association, and 10% of this is the main export of the sector.
Especially in recent years, with the implementation of the "Belt and Road Project", we turned our face to the Far East.
We pay special attention to our promotional activities aimed at the Far East, which has more than 2/3 of the world's population such as South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Singapore, which has become the second largest economy in the world, whose economies are developing rapidly and the demand for food is increasing.
Chinese exports to Turkey generally dry fruits and products reached 2020 million dollars in 21 increased by 28 percent.
Our region is very rich in organic products, and our dried fruits stand out with their locomotive feature in organic products. In addition, interest and demand for dried fruits are increasing day by day in terms of compliance with the Vegan consumption habit and being a health food.
It has been observed that the consumption of dried fruits did not decrease, especially during the pandemic process, due to the healthy products of our industry. With the measures taken and the support given by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry as well as the Ministry of Trade, production was not interrupted, we quickly adapted to the conditions and continued our exports without interruption.
We only maintain our new sales channels virtually instead of physical environments. The fact that the interviews are virtual has been beneficial in many ways. It focused all the energy on direct sales by reducing costs, time loss and labor. As the world conditions change, we, as the sector, think that we are adapting to the current conditions. After the pandemic process, we will go to our Association's existing fairs, make visits, and we will definitely continue virtual events.
I think some of our companies are successful in platforms such as e-commerce and e-export, even webinars related to e-commerce are organized for the members of our Association, and our goal to increase e-commerce and continue efforts towards this continues increasingly.