Save Foods establishes presence in Turkey, eyes Europe expansion

Save Foods’ products aim to enable packers to meet strict EU regulatory requirements for residues

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Save Foods, an agri-food tech company focused on developing and selling eco-friendly products specifically designed to extend the shelf life and ensure the food safety of fresh fruits and vegetables, has engaged a local commercial post-harvest expert in Turkey, who is well connected in the local produce market, particularly within the citrus sector, to introduce the company to local post-harvest operators with ties to the EU produce market.


According to the Union of Exporters of the Mediterranean Region, Turkey exported a record $2.7 billion in fruits and vegetables in 2020, up 21 per cent compared to 2019. According to Trading Economics, 22 per cent of that was sent to Germany. Mandarin oranges were the country’s leading fruit export, accounting for $437 million, followed by tomatoes and lemons.


Dan Sztybel, CEO, Save Foods, the company’s Israeli subsidiary, commented on the announcement, “The EU is an important market for Save Foods and Turkey is a natural gateway for us. Our treatments are extremely effective on mandarin oranges — Turkey’s leading export — as evidenced by our trusted relationship with Cuties, one of the best-selling produce brands in the US.”


The EU maintains maximum residue levels (MRLs) for pesticides in or on food to protect consumers against unnecessarily high residue levels and the associated health risks. Likewise, certain leading food retailers in Europe developed and implemented their own MRLs, which are often stricter than those imposed by the EU. Additionally, the EU recently released the “Farm To Fork Green Deal Initiative” which establishes concrete targets to reduce food waste and the use of pesticides in the EU by 50 per cent and convert a quarter of the total farmlands of the EU to organic cultivations — all to be achieved by 2030 at the latest.


Although not a member of the EU, it is estimated that more than 42 per cent of all Turkish exports go to EU member countries, and Turkey’s Ministry of Trade reports that EU exports exceeded €120 billion in 2020. This past July, the Turkish government announced its Green Reconciliation Action Plan in response to the above-mentioned EU initiatives, which signals Turkey’s increasing commitment to its agricultural industry and efforts to remain competitive in the EU.


Dror Eigerman, a post-harvest expert and member of the company’s advisory board, concluded, “Save Foods’ products offer a perfect solution for Turkish produce packers. Not only do they represent a green sustainable investment, but they also provide a safe, effective green treatment alternative that will allow the packers to comply with the EU’s new regulations. Our local expert is well-positioned to introduce us to suitable customers throughout the country. Preliminary discussions have been very well received and we are on track to initiate trials with several local packing houses for the upcoming growing season.”


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