Turkish food & drink market roundup: February 2018

More government funding, more cash for Peyman, and Russian relations under the spotlight in February's Turkish food & drink market roundup.

We continue our look at Turkey’s huge food and drink industry by checking out some of the hottest trends and top news stories from the sector.

Turkish food & drink sector news roundup

Turkish government to invest more in food & drink production in 2018
Food and drink production will be allocated the largest share of government cash under its 2018 Annual Investment Program. Out of the total TL1.2 billion ($271.2m), foodstuff producers are set to gain a total of TL342.6 ($91m) this year.
Most of the available resources will go to the General Directorate of Tea Operations, which will receive TL120m from the government for its 2018 activities. Following on from them with the second highest funding level is Turkey Sugar Factories Inc. with TL116.5m (£30.9). 
Actual government agencies round off the big funding recipients. The Food, Agriculture, and Livestock Ministry will be gaining an additional TL57.1m ($15.6m) in 2017. The Meat and Dairy Authority has been allocated an extra TL48m ($12.7m) too.
Peyman expands with EBRD loan
Peyman, one of Turkey’s top producers of dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and popcorn, is set to grow its business – thanks to a €32m ($39.8m) loan from the European Development Bank (EBRD).
With this cash, Peyman is building a new production facility in the north-western city of Eskişehir. The new 59,000 square metre factory will become operational in the first half of 2018, and is expected to double Peyman’s current production capacity once fully operational in 2023.
The EBRD loan will also let Peyman put into practice a new buying regime. Under new practices, the company will be buying raw produce directly from Turkish farmers, saving money and improving product quality in the process.
Tourists in Turkey spend nearly $6 billion on food & beverages
Tourism is a major industry for Turkey, and its billion-dollar revenues are important for the national HoReCa sector. Tourism spending grew 19% in 2017, reaching $23.3 billion. Of this massive total, approximately a quarter of spending went towards food and drink.
Visitors to Turkey spent $5.86 billion wining and dining at Turkey’s myriad restaurants. Istanbul, being Turkey’s tourism hub, is likely to receive the bulk of this spending.
Russia not ready to lift all agricultural sanctions
Although we reported in January that Russia had mentioned a provisional early 2018 lifting of all import restrictions on Turkish produce, specifically tomatoes, this might have been a bit optimistic. 
“We are not ready to remove restrictions in full, since we want to protect the interests of Russian farmers amid sanctions,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2018.
Currently, Russia only allows three Turkish tomato producers to export their goods there. According to news agency Reuters, however, an additional five exporters may be allowed full access to the Russian market later in the year.
Until then, full realisation of trade norms between Russia and Turkey is still an ongoing process.