Flour industrialists must invest in changing and developing technology

02 May 20244 min reading

Haluk Tezcan, the Chairman of the Turkish Flour Industrialists' Federation (TUSAF), assessed the milling industry and shared his insights into future goals with IDMA Today daily.

TUSAF Chairman Haluk Tezcan highlighted that the Turkish flour industry, which has been the undisputed world export champion for the past 10 years, reached its highest-ever export figure in 2023 by shipping over 3.6 million tons of products to 160 countries and 6 free zones. Tezcan mentioned that this export generated nearly $1.5 billion in revenue for our country, stating, ‘Our industry, a key stakeholder in the food sector, takes rightful pride in crowning our country as the champion in international trade.’ He stated that Turkey, which meets about 30% of the world flour trade, has set an export target of 4 million tons for 2024.

Tezcan provided insights into the export markets of the Turkish flour industry, stating, “Iraq has long been Turkey’s largest export market by a significant margin. In 2023, our top export destinations were Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Djibouti, and Venezuela, respectively. When comparing the 2022 and 2023 seasons, we observe the inclusion of Sudan and Sri Lanka among our export destinations this season. We’ve seen an increase in exports to Djibouti and Sudan due to issues in the Red Sea. Wheat production, which has been on the rise in the last 2 years, particularly with the substantial support from our government, appears set to continue in the 2024 season. With this increase in our raw materials, we anticipate a revitalization of idle capacity in the sector and the emergence of new markets in the 2024 season.”


Haluk Tezcan mentioned that there are 598 flour factories spread across 69 provinces in Turkey, with an annual flour production capacity of around 32 million tons, while local consumption stands at approximately 12-13 million tons. He indicated that the capacity utilization rate is about 50%, with this rate continuing to rise. Tezcan highlighted, “Exports play a significant role in this increase. Although there isn’t official data on flour industry production, we can say that we surpassed 15 million tons in 2023. While support for the flour sector isn’t currently under consideration, our export volumes rise annually, and domestic demand continues to increase alongside population growth. Revitalizing idle capacity involves forming new markets and supporting and improving production cost items, which will guide us forward.”


Highlighting the fundamental issues in the milling sector as quality and dependence on imported raw materials, lack of skilled personnel, and idle capacity, Haluk Tezcan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of TUSAF, also addressed the technological advancements in the industry with the following assessments: ‘In the Turkish milling sector, which has a long-standing history, we now see the 3rd and 4th generations taking the reins. Evolving generations keenly track technology, positioning the milling sector among those utilizing technology most effectively. Consequently, investing in evolving technology becomes imperative. Newly acquired and revamped production facilities are transforming traditional flour milling into more modernized establishments. With each passing year, the mechanization rate increases, and factories embracing artificial intelligence to reduce carbon footprint and eliminate human intervention in production stages are being renovated and commissioned. As the world evolves, so do consumer demands, leading to shifts in the bakery products sector and the emergence of new trends. I anticipate that our flour industrialists, by aligning with these trends and producing products tailored to demand, will further enhance flour exports.’

Tezcan underscored the significance of the flour industry in terms of global food security, stating, “As flour manufacturers, we constitute the foundation of nutrition. We strive to provide access to food for everyone, including those with low incomes, while also tailoring products to align with emerging food trends and the culinary preferences of each nation. While global economic downturns may impact our industry, the food sector remains a resilient industry that will persist as long as humanity exists.”

Tezcan emphasized that the key focus areas in the upcoming period will include consumer protection, establishing fair competition in the sector through a binding and rigorously monitored rules system applied equally to all participants, ensuring the quality and safety of raw materials, adherence to production process standards, and ensuring a secure and trustworthy food supply. “Encouraging and economically incentivizing small-scale producers through the new contract farming model will guide us in creating a sustainable agricultural model that prioritizes producers, society, and the planet. As part of the Green Deal, we will intensify our efforts to preserve quality, enhance efficiency, and accelerate initiatives to reduce carbon footprint,” he stated.

Haluk Tezcan concluded by highlighting that IDMA Istanbul provides an opportunity to unite the industry’s innovative solutions, collaborations, and vision for the future, stating, “Let’s seize the opportunity together to shape our industry for a better tomorrow.”

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