An assessment of the agenda by TUSAF President Günhan Ulusoy
Turkey's Industrialists Federation (TUSAF) President Günhan Ulusoy shared his views about the agenda to a private television channel in Turkey. Indicating that the food and agriculture sector is as important as the health sector, Ulusoy stated that if we give the opportunity for a disruption in our food chain to evolve, it may cause larger problems in the future.
Ulusoy noted that Turkey's flour industry is very strong ad will continue to flourish.
Answering a question about transition to automation, Ulusoy expressed his thoughts as follows, 'There are 523 enterprises and 20,000 direct jobs in our industry. Very few people are needed during the production phase. The main need is people in the packaging area.'
TUSAF President Ulusoy also added that, even if a decision is made in this direction, it will take at least an average of six months to implement, and that automation in the enterprises depends on the machinery manufacturers.
In his statements, Mr Ulusoy also noted that looking at the flour consumption map per capita, there is more consumption in the east compared to the west, while the average is 160kg per person per year. The situation is now above average, the retail shelves are empty in the west and new products are replaced quickly.
In a question about COVID-19, he conveyed the knowledge that Europe is now the centre of the pandemic and demands are made for flour. Mr Ulusoy continued his speech as follows, 'Europe's normal capacity utilisation rate is 82 percent. In Turkey, there was an increase of demand on flour as previous week 130 percent and last week 82 percent. We also see an increase of over 20 percent in the bakery channel. A total increase of more than 30 percent is exhibited when we look at it. The same is valid in Europe.'
Expressing that Turkey has no problems with flour production, Ulusoy stated that the main problem is in the crossings at the border gates and the vehicles crossing take four-to-five hours due to the tight control at the border gates. He stated that foreign trade slowed down for this reason and they could not meet the demands from Europe.
Mr Ulusoy, gave the following information about the next sowing and harvesting period, "Turkey finished the 2019-20 season with a total of 19 million tonnes of production. This figure is equivalent to our consumption. But, as we have stated, we have an intense export demand. This applies to flour, pasta, biscuits and other bakery products. This corresponds to 7.5 million tonnes.
If we calculate this season as of July 2019, we were planning to close with an import of over nine million tonnes. Of course, this applies to ordinary situations. Approximately 1.5 million tonnes of Turkey's imports have been added to their inventory."
Mr Ulusoy stated that the wheat of 2020/21 season was planted in October-November, although it was a dry season in November, the subsequent rains recovered the situation. For the moment, the Turkey Statistical Institute and the Ministry of Agriculture has not stated any views about the situation, other than that there is no extraordinary situations occuring.
TUSAF President Ulusoy completed his speech as follows, 'There are agricultural products to be planted today. When we come to September, we should have done our planting again. Currently there is no problem in Turkey. But the current favorable conditions are valid until the next harvest period. For the coming period, measures should be taken regarding the sustainability of this production.'