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Organic imports from Turkey: How the current inflation affects prices

by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 0)

Turkish lira
The Turkish lira is losing value. This also has an impact on the organic market. © shutterstock/Yulia Grogory

Within last months, the Turkish lira rapidly lost in value. has asked what effects this has on organic imports from Turkey. Results show: They won't become much cheaper due to inflation.

Since the beginning of the year, the Turkish lira has lost around 40% of its value compared to the euro. So, figs, apricots, raisins and hazelnuts, which are imported in conventional as well as in organic quality mainly from Turkey, should actually become correspondingly cheaper. But it is not that simple. Because the fall in prices is damaging the producers.

Producers should get fair prices

Rapunzel has established its own projects in Turkey and manages them through a Turkish subsidiary. Rapunzel spokeswoman Eva Kiene assumes that due to direct cooperations with the producers, effects of the lira devaluation will be rather small. “It is important to us that the farmer can make a living from his harvest. Since we calculate along the entire chain, i.e. starting with the farmer, we can also pay fair prices - regardless of currency,” she says. In advance, a basic price has been agreed with the farmers and is continuously updated. The advantage for the farmers is that they are paid immediately after the purchase, so there is no loss in value. In addition, some farmers had used the possibility of an advance payment, which was already made in spring. “Rapunzel also provides all services such as advice and organic certification, so there are no costs for the farmers,” reports Kiene.


“It is important to us that the farmer can make a living from the harvest. Since we calculate along the entire chain, i.e. starting with the farmer, we can also pay fair prices - regardless of currency.”

– Eva Kiene, Rapunzel


In addition to dried fruits and hazelnuts, organic rose oil is also an important raw material for the German market. With Wala and Primavera, two manufacturers have established their own projects in Turkey. Primavera obtains rose oil, rose water and myrtle oil from the Taurus Mountains. “So far we have not received any feedback from our partner that the current inflation could be a threat to their livelihood", says Ioanna Mantzouki, Head of Raw Materials Purchasing. “For us, however, sustainable acting also means that, if absolutely necessary, we would discuss price alignments and accept it where required.” That's why it's important to stay in touch.

Turkish intermediaries benefit most

Such direct relationships between producer and importer are rare on the Turkish organic market, says an experienced wholesaler, who does not want to be named. Farmers usually deliver their products to Turkish companies, which prepare them for import: Dried fruits are washed, sorted and packed there, hazelnuts get cracked. Most importers turn to these processors to buy goods. “It is the processors who are most likely to profit from the lira devaluation - if they negotiate skilfully,” says the importer. The producers themselves, on the other hand, would suffer from inflation. At the moment (end of August), he observes that many producers are still holding back goods from the new harvest in order to achieve higher prices. It is also likely that the Turkish authorities will keep the price high by support buying for hazelnuts. "I don't expect prices to change much unless there is a shortage due to political or economic events," the importer sums up.

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