Memişoğlu-Tat Bakliyat, which has pulse sifting, processing and packing plant in Mersin, Edirne and Kyrgyzstan, established pulses flour mill in the beginning of 2017 and started to sell all pulses by turning them into flour. Veysel Memiş, a member of the Board of Directors of Tat Bakliyat Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş, saying that pulses are now used in many food items such as flour, bread, pastry and desserts, emphasizes that even in countries like USA and Europe where pulses are not consumed much the interest in pulses that is a healthy, powerful protein source has increased. Having an annual processing capacity of 400 thousand tons, Tat Bakliyat exports to more than 80 countries.
As Degirmenci Magazine, we talked about the establishment process of Tat Bakliyat, the pulses products that it produces, and the situation of pulses industry in Turkey and in the world with Veysel Memiş, Board of Directors of Tat Bakliyat Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş.
Dear Veysel Memiş, could you tell me a bit about Tat Bakliyat? Would you please share with us the company’s history and the story of its journey to the present?
Our Company Memişoğlu Agricultural Products was established in 1991 in Mersin. Our founder is Şerafettin Memiş and his brothers. Şerafettin Memiş, who was been involved in food trade since 1977, started to operate in the pulses and cereals sector in 1991. Serving with the brand “TAT” in 1994, Memişoğlu-Tat Bakliyat continued to operate intensively both domestic and abroad with its first packaged pulses in the sector. Our company, which keeps growing with regular investments every year since it was established, is among the biggest pulses and cereals processing companies of Turkey with its sales and capacity today. With 25 years export experience, we export to nearly 80 countries. By exporting 100 million dollars in 2016, we are Turkey’s 302nd largest export company and with the total sales of 505 million we are Turkey’s 237th biggest industrial company in Turkey.
What can you tell us about your production facilities, the types of pulses you produce, the technologies you use in production, and your production capacity?
Our company, which is among the biggest companies of Turkey in terms of capacity and diversity in the pulses sector, operates on a total area of 105 thousand square meters in Mersin. In addition, rice, bulgur, red and green lentils, chickpeas, white beans, kidney beans, black eyed peas, horse beans and corn are among the main products produced by our company, which also has pulse sifting facilities and storage areas in Kyrgyzstan. We have an average of 400 thousand tons of product processing capacity per year. Our company, which is one of the companies using new technologies related to the pulses sector, has the most modern pulses sifting, processing, and packaging facilities in Turkey. In Mersin we have a factory with a daily capacity of120 tons of bulgur, 360 tons of red lentil, 250 tons of paddy and pulses sifting and packing facilities. In Edirne Uzunköprü we also have a paddy factory with a daily capacity of 250 tons.
How much of your production do you utilize in the domestic markets and how much in your overseas market? What is the number of countries worldwide that you export your products? What are your new target markets? Do you have a goal to establish factories abroad or to buy other factories abroad?
We shift our production sometimes to domestic market and sometimes to the overseas markets according to the market situation by focusing on both domestic and foreign markets. For example, in 2016, we made 65 percent overseas sales and 35 percent of our sales were domestic. Some of the 80 countries that we export worldwide are: Germany, France, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Qatar, Tunisia, Algeria, India, Malaysia, USA, Australia, New Zealand. We have a facility that receives, processes and sifts most of the beans grown in Kyrgyzstan. We also have partners that we have been working with for many years in countries like Canada, USA, Russia where we make big purchases, and our relations are strong.
Would you give information about the service of TATLOG established within the scope of Memişoğlu Group? What are your activities here?
Established by Memişoğlu-Tat Bakliyat with an investment of 12 million TL in 2011, TATLOG serves as a modern with or without customs paid cold and dry product storage facility in the Mediterranean region and Mersin. The storage facility need of Mersin, which is a port city, has been met with TATLOG. Our facility, which has a total area of 61,500 square meters, provides service to many sectors such as food, chemistry, construction-building, textile and paper industry, electronics and automotive supplier industry with cold storage, dry product storage, silo-system bulk product storage and open storage units .
Do you have any produce other than pulses? Do you plan to offer a new product to the market?
Every year we use our earnings to invest in the pulses sector. In 2016, we built our second paddy plant in Edirne Uzunköprü, thus we provide faster service and competitive prices to our customers in the Marmara Region.
By the beginning of 2017 we established pulses flour mill and started to sell all pulses by turning them into flour. Since pulses is an important product for consumers who intake primarily vegetable protein, today pulses floor is used to increase the amount of protein in each kind of food. For this reason, we meet the demands of our consumers with the production of rice and pulses flour (lentils, beans, chick peas, pea flour)
Pulses are not consumed enough in the world and in Turkey, they do not draw interest. What does Tat Bakliyat do to promote pulse products and what kind of solutions does it offer?
Although the consumption of pulses in our country decreases, there is a growing interest in pulses in the world. In India and Southeast Asian countries where pulses are consumed the most, the consumption of pulses is also increasing due to the increase of population each day. In addition, even in countries like USA and Europe where pulses are not consumed much the interest in pulses that is a healthy, powerful protein source has increased. Pulses are now used in many foodstuffs such as flour, bread, pastry, and desserts to increase the protein content and nutritional value of these products.
What is the most important problem of pulses industry in the world and in Turkey? Would you share your solution suggestions with us for this problem?
The biggest challenge in Turkey is the decrease in pulses production and that we have reached to the condition of being importer. Despite the fact that the most delicious and high quality pulses in the world are grown in Anatolia, the production of pulses in Turkey has decreased. For this reason we import pulses from countries such as Canada, Russia and USA that did not know anything about pulses nearly 20 years ago, but make production of pulses in big amounts today. Despite the fact that the world’s most modern pulses processing facilities are in Turkey, since we do not have enough production in our country we have to buy raw material from other countries and process it in Turkey and re-export it and this situation reduces our competition chance. The fact that Turkey’s logistics location is close to the countries that consume pulses increases Turkey’s chances of exports even a little. However in case if we fail to find a solution to the production problem, the pulses sector in Turkey cannot make progress.
Could you tell us about your R&D work? How much budget do you allocate to R&D activities? What are your principles about R&D?
We regularly conduct R&D works to improve our production technology, to produce more efficiently and to provide better quality products to our customers.
Can you speak about the itinerary that you are going to follow further on? What are your goals, what do you want to reach?
We aim to continue growing in the sector and increase our market share abroad. We will direct our company’s investments according to the demands of our consumers and the developments in the market.