Buyers, exporters of fresh produce to meet in Antalya
The Interfresh Eurasia is one of the biggest exhibitions hosted by the country on the fruits, vegetables, storage, packaging and logistics sectors.
Murat Özer, the head of Antexpo Fairs Inc. -- the firm that organized the fair -- told Anadolu Agency that the event aims to expand its scope, adding two new sections: one for irrigation systems and the other for agricultural machinery and equipment.
He recalled that last year's fair in Antalya hosted 26 different countries arriving as international buyers delegations and individual visitors, while the total number of participants numbered at over 15,500.
"The idea is to bring all supply chains together," Özer said, adding that the exhibition covers stages from growth until "it comes on your plate".
With the support of governmental bodies, ministries and "international friends" -- such as foreign diplomatic missions and trade attaches -- Antalya and Interfresh Eurasia is expected to become a hub for the agricultural industry within a few years, he said.
He also underlined that the main idea of the fair was to boost Turkish exports.
"The aim of the exhibition is networking, and being the meeting place of the industry in Turkey."
Turkey is a "hub and bridge" between Asia and Europe, Özer stressed and said the country had strong "tools" such as international flights, especially in Antalya where commercial airlines arrive from 250 destinations, as well as visa-free access to Turkey.
Even if Turkey did apply visas, they would not be difficult to obtain, but easily obtainable at the border, he added.
"Within the zone of a four hours flight, we are targeting two billion people, and this is quite a good number for us," Özer said.
- THE WORLD STREET TASTES FESTIVALS
Dr. Fulya Sağlık, the Ankara regional coordinator of Antexpo, said at the opening ceremony that the fair would be closed to the public and that only exporters and importers would be able to participate.
Saglik added that "The World Street Tastes Festivals" -- a flavor festival where different cuisines from across the world meet -- would be organized in six different cities across Turkey, with street delicacies of 15 countries and nearly 200 specific tastes of different regions within the country could be sampled by residents and tourists alike.
It would be a year-long event where participating countries and regions could exhibit their food culture over, she said.
The hot-dog of Germany, chicken tikka masala of India, tapas varieties of Spain, taco of Mexico, spaghetti of Italy, along with the most famous dishes of Thailand, Uzbekistan, the Caucasus, China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Japan, Russia, Lebanon and Morocco will be presented in the festivals.
The first Street Taste Fest will be held on Oct. 18-21 in Turkey's central Eskisehir province, Sağlık said, adding that the other festivals would take place alternately in the capital Ankara, followed by Antalya, Izmir, Trabzon and Istanbul.