The Turkish flower sector has sent 65 million flower stalks to 24 countries for Valentine’s Day. The atmosphere in the greenhouses in the southern Mediterranean city of Antalya is hectic because it is the center of flower production in the country on the eve of February 14.
Employees of the sector arrive at work in the early hours of the day to collect mostly red flowers and mainly carnations from greenhouses.
Ismail Yilmaz, chairman of the board of the Association of Exporters of Ornamental Plants and Products, told the Anatolian Agency (AA) that the sector ended 2021 with $ 148 million (£ 1.99 billion) in exports and began the year at a promising pace.
The sector has set a $ 180 million export target for 2022, Yilmaz said, adding that data for the first month of the year “made them optimistic” as there was a 12% increase over last year.
A total of 65 million flower stalks, worth $ 9 million, have been sent to Europe, he said. The flowers are delivered to 24 countries for Valentine’s Day, with the Netherlands being the most important market.
“The Netherlands does not buy for the local market, but resells flowers to many countries in Europe and the world.”
Other important markets for the sector are the United Kingdom, Germany, Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine, he said.
Yilmaz stressed that most cloves are made in Turkey and that the red variety is the most preferred for Valentine’s Day.