17 Mar

Akhisar becomes Turkey’s biggest olive production center

By Ali Riza Karasu, Ramazan Sari Akhisar,

The Akhisar district of Manisa has surpassed Gemlik, a district in the province of Bursa, as Turkey’s biggest table olive producer. Formerly known for tobacco production, Akhisar has become the country’s olive production center.

Tobacco fields have been replaced by olive groves. Some 5 million olive trees planted in the district have resulted in the establishment of new industrial plants. Over 280 olive and olive oil factories have been built in the last decade. In 2006 alone 63 factories were established, convincing district officials to set up an organized industrial zone. Akhisar became the center of Turkey’s table olive production in the early 1990s.

As tobacco production, a popular branch of business until then, started to bring diminishing returns, producers began to look for other types of products. As olive trees planted in the tobacco fields yielded high returns, they planted olive trees everywhere. Turkey’s youngest olive groves can be found in this district. The highest production rate for table olives was in a region of Spain and in Gemlik. But since four types of table olives, including the Gemlik type, are produced in Akhisar, it became a center of focus for producers.

The number of table olive-producing plants in the district rose from three in 1993 to 285 by the end of 2006. Twenty-two of these plants produce olive oil whereas others produce table olive. The olive oil plants have a yearly production capacity of 25,000 tons. Two hundred sixty-three plants producing olives have a capacity of over 150,000 tons. The olive plants provide employment for some 3,000 people, according to data from the Akhisar Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The number of employed people rises to 5,000 together when seasonal workers are included.

In addition to the modern enterprises set up in recent years, almost every olive farmer has a well of olive brine. Most of the olives produced in this country are put on the domestic market. Exporting companies send the olives to Romania and Bulgaria Manisa Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Mehmet Ali Erdayıoğlu says the district’s economic life has improved thanks to olive production and said the financial standing of producers increased when tobacco fields were replaced with olive groves. Stating every family owning an olive grove has also a well of brine, Erdayıoğlu says Akhisar was also Turkey’s biggest planter of olive groves and since producers took good care of their trees, there were no problems with the crops.

Industrialists who invested in the olive industry say Akhisar is the best location thanks to its high-quality raw materials. Bülent Birel, one of the owners of Cebel Olive, says Akhisar is geographically ideal thanks to its sun and constantly blowing wind. He described the land in Akhisar as wide and its groves as modern. Birel says its climate is more suitable that that of Gemlik. He added trees grow more rapidly and yield higher production in Akhisar, adding that the district will become Turkey’s table olive production center. “We put the olives in the wells of brine and put them to market after they wait in a totally natural environment for nearly a year. Every farmer has 15-20 tons of Gemlik-type olive here.”

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3 Responses to “Akhisar becomes Turkey’s biggest olive production center”

  1. Hamed Nazari Says:

    Dear Sir

    We kindly request your quotation and some information about your productions(olive and table olive) in bulk.

    Please send me the answer of these questions:
    1-Olive varieties that you produce in your place.
    2-Which one of these varieties you export to Iran.
    3-Introduce some valid companies or persons that work in field of table olive and olive oil export.
    4- Information about olive fair in Turkey.

    The quantity I need at first order are about 20ton olive oil and 30ton table olive.

    Thank you for your prompt reply in advance.
    Hamed Nazari
    Fanavare Golestan Co.
    Eastern block six, first floor,
    Farhangian complex,
    Tilan road,Beheshti street,

    Tel:+98-912 573 7166
    +98-174 6733533
    Fax:+98-172 2583613

  2. Rahmatollah Says:

    Hi Dear chairman mehmet Ali erdayioglu.
    I am DR. R.HIEDARPOUR Esfahan Branch Olive council
    Cairman IRAN.
    I Wish to see closely your Best favorite Olive cultivation in AkHISAR as soon as possible.
    Would you please send me an invitation paper.
    best Regard
    Hiedarpor -R
    No 36 10th Street Kooye sepahan Esfahan IRAN


    Hi dear Chairman Mehmet Ali Erdayioglu.

    Iam DR,Hiedarpour [ Esfahan Branch of Iranian Olive council Chairman]
    I wish to see closely your favorites Olive cultivation in AKHSAR ,TURKY,
    Wuold you please send me an INVITATIN PAPER.
    Best regards for you and family.
    NO 36 10th street Kooye Sepahan Esfahan Iran.

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