Produced in Turkey, consumed throughout the whole world
Hazelnuts, of which Turkey is the world’s leading exporter, have historically been used in a variety of areas.
First cultivated in China, hazelnuts date back to the 29th century BC. Native to Turkey, they are regarded as a wonder of nature with their flavour and health benefits. As well as being an excellent source of energy, scientific studies demonstrate that hazelnuts help to prevent cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases, and also promote healthy skin. Turkey accounts for 75 per cent of the global production of the miraculous hazelnut. Moreover, Turkish hazelnuts make up 80 per cent of total global hazelnut exports, with great interest and demand from numerous countries, particularly those in Europe.
Europe loves Turkish hazelnuts
Hazelnuts are used to enhance flavour in many desserts, especially in chocolates, ice creams, and cakes. They are widely found in Mediterranean cuisine, which is known for its healthy dishes. Hazelnuts are also precious for their oil and are used as a dietary supplement, thanks to the vitamins B and E they contain, the amount of energy they provide, and their benefits for the body. Turkish hazelnuts are preferred in Europe, their greatest export market, thanks to their flavour, quality and the reliability of how they are cultivated. Germany, Italy, France, Austria and Poland are the main countries that import them. South America, Asia and Africa also import large quantities of hazelnuts.
More countries to export to
The Turkish hazelnut and products industry is aware of its success, but it is determined not to rest on its laurels. It aspires to increase the number of countries to which it exports gradually each year, while maintaining superiour production. Currently, Turkey exports hazelnuts to more than 100 countries, and Turkish hazelnuts are promoted in each nation in accordance with certain plans and programmes.
While significant progress has been made, efforts will continue; Turkey is almost sure to expand its market in the coming period. In 2015, it exported 240,000 tonnes of hazelnut kernels, up by 22.5 per cent year-on-year. A new achievement has been marked with the addition of China to the export markets. When China was identified as a target country in 2001, hazelnut kernel exports amounted to only 165 tonnes annually. Publicity efforts resulted in hazelnut exports soaring to 1,600 tonnes in 2014 and to 3,550 tonnes in 2015, representing a 120 per cent increase year-on-year. New players are bound to be added to the list.
$10 billion by 2023
The $3-billion export target set for 2023 has been pushed up to $10 billion. Turkey, already the world’s leading hazelnut grower, strives to increase demand for its hazelnuts, while also carrying out product publicity efforts. The hazelnut industries aim to create products that are unique to Turkey. The initiative will help Turkish hazelnuts be recognised and consumed in an even wider area.