According to the Turkish Ornamental Plants and Products Exporters Association, Turkey’s flower industry is in excellent health, rapidly growing its production, exports and horticulturally skilled workers. (This article was first published in FCI November 2021.)
The Turkish Ornamental Plants & Products Exporters association was founded in 1999 to support its 500+ Turkish ornamental plants’ sector members. The Turkish flower industry utilises 5,248 hectares in production and exports indoor and outdoor plants, cuttings, cut flowers, wreaths and mosses to 79 countries worldwide.
The climate and its geographical proximity to its export markets create the ideal conditions for ornamental plant production and cut flowers.
Around 55 per cent of the production area raises nursery stock, outdoor and indoor plants, with the rest made up of 35 per cent of cut flowers and ten per cent of young plants, seeds and flower bulbs.
It is no secret that the coronavirus pandemic caused a significant surge in demand for houseplants, garden plants, and all things green and fuelled the exports of Turkish grown ornamentals.
The ornamental plants industry in Turkey plays an important role in supplying high added value and employment. In Turkey, approximately 25,000 people are directly employed in ornamental plants export. And when you factor in the domestic market, then more than 300.000 people are indirectly employed in the industry.”
The major production cities in Turkey are İzmir, Sakarya, Antalya, Yalova, Bursa, Edirne, Mersin and Adana. Outdoor plants are produced in Sakarya, Yalova, İzmir and around the İstanbul region. Cut flowers are produced in different provinces like Antalya, İzmir and Isparta.
The ornamental plants industry in Turkey is another rapidly developing sector in terms of both production and export. Ornamental plant exports from Turkey began 25 years ago, and the sector has grown steadily since then.
“For cut flowers, 50 per cent of Turkey’s production is export-oriented, whereas for outdoor plants it’s ten per cent. The share of exports for both groups has been increasing in recent years. Exports increased to $107 million USD in 2020. The outlook for 2021 is rosy, with the Turkish Ornamental Plants and Products Exporters Association expecting to reach the $150 million USD mark by the end of this year.
In Turkey, the ornamental plants sector still has enormous growth potential, and this applies to all three sub-sectors; cut flowers, outdoor and indoor plants.
Turkey has logistical advantages in the sector. Air and road transport are commonly used in exports. Road transport is cheap, and it takes a short time to reach main destinations in Europe like the Netherlands, UK and Germany.
“In five to ten years we expect that our nurseries will continue to produce high quality products with a wider range of varieties and will be competitive at export markets. This will increase exports for live plants,” said Ismail Yilmaz, Chairman of the Board of Turkish Ornamental Plants Exporters.
He concluded, “We will continue our promotional activities and implement new projects to reach this target. We aim to improve our exports by entering new markets. We are working in cooperation with the global players in our industry. We represent our sector in Union Fleurs and AIPH, which are important international associations in the sector. We also make promotional activities in the domestic market, to improve the industry and increase consumption.