Interview: Poultry industry in Turkey
Poultry is one of the fastest developing sectors in Turkey and the industry has reached a point where it can challenge world giants in global markets.
In this article we would like you to meet Ms. Sake YALCIN, a renowned executive in the sector (to include abroad) and a shareholder at REFARM Company to share her broad knowledge about the industry and evaluations regarding the future of the sector.
03 August 2012
BTT – Ms. YALCIN, could you put us in the picture regarding the history of this industry in Turkey?
YALCIN : Turkey has a young and energetic population as well as advantageous climatic conditions and geographical position which are convenient for agriculture and animal breeding.
Poultry is the leading and fastest developing industry among all Turkish breeding sectors. The industry which goes back to 1950s consisted of family businesses mainly at the begining
It was not until 1980s that the sector incurred big structural change when integrated facilities started taking their places in the industry and a production model called “contract manufacturing” was put into practice. Turkish poultry industry was able enjoy “world standards” after giant facilities went into operation in 1990s.
BTT : We think you have been referring to chicken so far and gather turkey meat is not as poular in this country.
YALCIN : Indeed you are right. We can see initiatives for Turkey breeding starting 1995. In fact turkey meat which was only consumed at New Year’s eve, started to take its place on tables as regular meet as well thereafter. However still we can not say turkey meat meets as much demand as regular chicken meat.
BTT : What do we see when we look at the current production standards in the sector in terms of safety and health?
YALCIN : Factors such as healthy flock, healthy food, healthy consumption are points of focus for the administration and hence the producers. In fact, Turkey has a strong veterinary service and infrastructure and is one of the most recognized members of World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Furthermore, Turkish legislation on food, feed and animal health is fully harmonized with EU and we can easily say that Turkish poultry industry is now fully capable of producing safe eggs “From Farm to Table”.
All poultry plants are monitored by animal health and food authorities under the “National Salmonella Control Program” and “National Residue Monitoring Plan”.
On the other hand, Turkish Egg Producers Association and Poultry Meat Producers and Breeders Association are members of International Egg Commission and keep updated about all developments in the industry.
Moreover, Turkish poultry companies have obtained quality certificates such as Globalgap-Europgap, HACCP, ISO 22000, BRC (British Retail Consortium Standards).
When you put all this data together we can certainly say that the sector is quite developed in terms of safety and health standards.
BTT : Does egg production have an important share in the sector?
Starting from 1970s the country put in much effort to develop its standards and production technology to take its place among top ten egg producing country in the world. Producers supply foreign markets as well as the local market
Turkey has the advantage of being the closest country to many foreign markets and thus can deliver any required volume of the fresh products within required time.
Eggs are required to be produced, labeled and marketed in accordance with Turkish food codex’s communiqué on egg and egg products. Only eggs of class A are directly for human consumption. Eggs of Class B are used only in food industry.
BTT : You have often referred to integrated plants with modern facilities. Do producers own good enough equipment to challenge competitors abroad?
YALCIN : I have no doubt they do. In fact that is among the major reasons why the industry can challenge its competitors abroad
The sector developed very rapidly after 1990, especially. Facilities such as breeder establishments, feed production facilities, commercial egg production henhouses, breeders and abattoirs were equipped with state-of-the-art technology.
Most plants have managed to bring automation systems that minimize the human factor, into their systems. Moreover, most farms possess modern monitoring systems to control temperature-humidity-carbon dioxide levels and regulate ventilation conditions
After slaughtery the chicken meat is processed with fully automated machinery to be further served to sales points.
During the process cutting-edge robots are used to avoid any human contact and the poultry are made into meat, cut into pieces, packaged and taken to cold storage for resting.
BTT : How do you see the future of Turkish poultry sector?
YALCIN : Well, to tell you the truth Turks are very assertive. They hardly give up. These people have made giant investments and they are hungry for success, leave alone the money. I have no doubt these passionate entrepreneurs would do whatever necessary to go all the way to the end.. Meaning, they would always be creative, hard-workers and they surely have the courage and energy to achieve the target.
The important point here is the government should also keep a good eye on them at all times not to deny its support whenever need be becuase they absolutely deserve this support.
To recap, Turkey is tough challenge for global poultry producers.
BTT : Could you tell us a little about how your company is related to all this?
Well, Our company was established in 1985 under the name REFARM KİMYA LABORATUARI SANAYI VE TICARET A.S with reference to its mission to “RE-CONSTRUCT” POULTRY FARMS and provide preventive veterinary services.
Refarm is currently among the leading companies in the biosecurity sector in Turkey, thanks to its wide portfolio of products and services in the Veterinary, Environmental & Food Safety fields.
We as Refarm have representations of many reputable foreign companies such as PASREFORM, PFIZER, DUPONT, BELL LABORATORIES, HOLM & LAU and try to maintain our pioneering role in the sector by monitoring the developments in the world and introduce the sector suitable and useful products and services. While doing this we try not to miss the latest developments with the biosecurity products and services in the industry.
We consider ourselves to be experts in the biosecurity products and services area. Howwever we are also suppliers/distributors of mainly poultry equipment such as incubators etc and large animal equipment.
BTT : Thank you very much for all this valuable information and your time.