TRADE AND MARKET I NG Turkish crisps market is experiencing rapid growth and PepsiCo is benefiting The Turkish market for potato crisps has grown by 10 to 15 percent a year in recent years. In order to meet the increasing demand for crisps in Turkey, market leader PepsiCo is investing heavily in potato processing and storage in the country. At the beginning of this year, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdog˘ an opened the latest PepsiCo plant in Manisa, with a substantial potato storage facility of approximately 30,000 tons. W ith an area of about 142,000 hectares and a production of over 4.8 million tons, the potato is an important crop in Turkey. Turkish growers can grow their crops all year round in almost the entire country, says Hakan Sari, Agro manager at PepsiCo Turkey, during an exclusive visit to the new production site. In Central Anatolia, around 60 percent of the total production takes place, he continues. The provinces of Nig˘ de de and Nevs¸ ehir in the Cappadocia region together account for 23% of the total. Cultivation also takes place in temperate climate zones in the central, northern and north-eastern regions. In the Mediterranean and Aegean regions, farmers grow early potatoes in the winter and in the spring. Sari says that PepsiCo buys potatoes from all growing areas for a total of three crisp production locations in the country, which means that the potato transport to the factory in Manisa can sometimes run op to 700 kilometres. ‘We opened our first crisp factory in Turkey 25 years ago. Since that time, we’ve had full control over the cultivation process’, adds Paul Melis. Melis, as senior manager at PepsiCo, is responsible for all the agronomic aspects of the potato cultivation in Europe and the African sub-Sahara. ‘That management control is necessary because most of the growers we work with have little money, no machines and no knowledge of potatoes. There are still many small growers who grow between 1 and 5 hectares, despite the many land consolidation projects in Turkey. With our ten locallytrained agronomists, we guide the growers from A to Z. We carry out soil surveys, and supply them with seed, fertiliser and crop protection chemicals. In addition to processing the potatoes directly on the farm, we also store the harvest in our own storehouses at three production locations’, Melis describes the situation during a study day for European and African agronomists. Potato production is growing Before the study day starts, Sari announces that PepsiCo currently processes around 150,000 tons of potatoes into crisps in Turkey every year. ‘Given the increasing demand for crisps, our production will continue to grow in the coming years’, he expects. ‘Today, the Turkish population consumes half a kilogram of crisps per capita of the population. In Europe, the United Kingdom included, this consumption is 2.5 kilograms and in the United States this is Potato World 2019 • number 2 21 Pagina 20

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