Tea in Turkey is marked by a vibrant culture, restricted industry and weak id. These might all be invigorated by the three way partnership introduced on the finish of September between the Dutch-based Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) and Ofçay, one in every of Turkey’s main tea producers. The two will mesh operations below one organizational umbrella.

The companions have robust complementary expertise, implicit of their introduced purpose to “Open up new growth opportunities in the Turkish hot beverages space… through the combination both of JDE’s International dimension and expertise in coffee and Ofçay’s local expertise in tea.”  JDE is a significant participant in espresso. Its merchandise can be found in 140 international locations, together with its personal manufacturers, resembling Jacobs, which has a powerful place in Turkey and ones it produces for a spread of labels. Its Pickwick tea dates to the 1930s and may be very robust within the agency’s residence base of the Netherlands and in Eastern Europe, an apparent goal for the three way partnership.  The firm is owned by JAB Holdings which controls about 20 % of the worldwide espresso market. U.S. manufacturers embrace Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Mighty Leaf, Caribou Coffee, Panera Bread, Krispy Kreme, Dr Pepper, and Keurig Green Mountain.

Ofçay was shaped in 1984, when the tea monopoly in Turkey ended. The dominant participant stays state-owned. This is Çaykur, with round 60 % of the market. The third primary model is Bogus. Almost all of the tea produced is black, although in recent times there have been improvements in inexperienced and even white tea.

The Turkey tea culture

The phrase “unique” is just too simply thrown round to explain one thing that doesn’t fall into well-established classes. The Turkish tea culture is described as totally different, idiosyncratic and even “peculiar.” All in all, it’s, properly, distinctive.

Here are a number of of its primary options:

  • Turkey has the best per capita tea consumption within the world, in line with most surveys. Just about each vacationer information will spotlight, typically within the first paragraphs that cay (pronounced like “chai”) “is much more than a drink. It is an unmistakable part of the nation’s social life fabric.” It is ubiquitous in houses, cafes, eating places, enterprise and social gatherings, sporting occasions, and so on., “from sunrise to sunset.”
  • Turkey is the fifth largest tea producer, producing round $1 billion in revenues. (Turkey has a inhabitants of 80 million.) Its exports are tiny, although rising, simply four % of manufacturing and $25 million gross sales. They elevated by greater than 20 % in 2017. The complete quantity was 7 million metric tons, bought to 96 international locations with Germany the highest market, paying $770,000 up to now this yr for 128 metric tons. During the primary eight months of 2018 the U.S. bought $576,000 price of Turkish tea, in line with the Eastern Black Sea Exporters Association (DKIB). Historically, Turkey has ranked round 15th globally however that has fallen to 30th.
  • The primary rising space, Rize, is at a low elevation and situated adjoining to the Black Sea and accounts for extra

    Turkish Samovar

    than half the nationwide output. The metropolis was initially a part of Georgia and given away to Turkey by the us. Of its 350,000 inhabitants, 200,000 are estimated to develop tea. Rize is notoriously wet – the wettest space in Western Asia. Its moist season is September to June and the dry one April to May, the precise reverse of the monsoon and rising patterns of the main Asia tea growers.

  • Rize has a pure pesticide: snow. It is the one main tea rising area within the world with a snowy winter – a lot of it – and the place tea vegetation stand up to freezing temperatures. Climate change is inflicting main disruptions, together with landslides, soil loss and lowering yields: Rize is drying out, with much less rain and colder winters.
  • Turkey produces one of many few true Earl Grey teas, by means of its being one of many few international locations exterior Italy to develop the important thing taste maker: bergamot. This is just a little ironic, since Turley was at battle with Britain within the very years he supposedly invented it.
  • Tea there may be brewed in a two-level double-boiler samovar and served in a tulip-shaped, handle-less glass. The liquid is concentrated and usually drinkers will pour half a glass and add water to dilute it.  They use quite a lot of sugar and no milk.

The tea industry

Rize, Turkey tea plantation

The JDE-Ofçay three way partnership is export-centered. Both companies have a powerful expertise in supplying retailers, product improvement and effectivity. For a number of many years, Turkey’s financial coverage makers have focused development in exports, with tea on the forefront; the federal government geared toward creating ten robust export manufacturers by 2023. The early intention and expectation have lengthy been that it might be admitted to the EU, the primary majority Muslim, Asian-European member.

These are the positives. Any assertion, nevertheless rigorously phrased, about the way forward for the Turkish political panorama and economic system is certain to overlook one thing about to occur or looming quickly. The negatives pile up virtually by the month: conflicts in and with Syria, Iraq and the Kurdish enclaves; Erdogan’s authoritarianism with the coup try of 2016 being adopted by aggressive crackdowns; the U.S. as Turkey’s commerce “enemy”; perceived and actual anti-Muslim sentiments amongst EU coverage makers; the refugee crises throughout Europe and MENA; an enchancment in unemployment to 11 % general and 20 % for these aged 25 % or youthful. In late September, inflation rose from 18 % two months in the past to 25 %, the best in 15 years. The lira has depreciated in 2018 by 40 %.

Back to the positives and the alternatives which might be open to JDE-Ofçay and the tea industry basically:

  • Tea may be very cheap, round 80 cents a cup and a 3rd of that for espresso. Given the rising vary of merchandise each companies provide to the recent beverage market, there may be each cause to count on home development to increase.
  • In each import and export markets, Turkey is increasing its connections and openness. Historically, imports have been blocked; even within the early 2000s, tariffs on tea have been as excessive as 145 %. Within the previous few months, initiatives have included Çaykur supporting a brand new manufacturing unit in Pakistan and partnering with Chinese companies to supply stevia – “Rize sugar” – within the tea rising area of Turkey. Turkey is Sri Lanka’s third largest market. Lipton has been constructing its provide base for natural teas by means of help to and training of small Turkish growers.
  • The primary export markets are international locations with a big expatriate inhabitants. Germany is the primary one, with its “Gastarbeiten” – visitor employees. North Cyprus is one other receptive goal. Increasing tourism from the Middle East has expanded consumers of its teas for his or her “idiosyncratic tastes.”

Turkey’s Tea Identity

Turkish tea lacks a world id. This is most blatant within the U.S. market. Searches for Turkish teas on main websites like Upton and Adagio produce “no results found.” Amazon checklist 60 hits for Caycur and none for both Ofçay or Bogus. There are few evaluations, with blended evaluations. There is a broad break up between particular and a weaker vacationer tea. The teas are small leaf, lowish in tannin and really cheap. Prices are principally below $15 a pound and teabags 15 cents. There are a number of distinctions among the many teas, with Filiz grade seen as probably the most selective. Ads uniformly spotlight the higher manufacturers being pesticide-free.

While the plans and priorities for the JDE- Ofçay enterprise are unclear (it’s awaiting approval from Turkey’s regulators), it appears possible that id can be amongst them, enabled by JDE’s worldwide provide chain and distribution strengths. Brand consciousness follows from this. Distinctive teas from wherever discover fans and tea lovers are on the lookout for new teas to get smitten by. It appears certain that Ofçay has underexploited model alternatives. It thrives in a culture that won’t fairly stay on tea however loves it. It has “idiosyncratic” options. Will it be a part of such area of interest entrants as Colombia’s and Vietnam’s wild black teas or neighbor Georgia’s Ghmerti organics?

Source: Daily Sabah

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