Turkish cherries have reportedly entered the South Korean market for the first time, according to The Daily Sabah.
The development comes on the heels of China greatly easing the export protocol for Turkish cherries.
Alanar Fruit, one of the largest fruit producer and exporter companies in the country operating under Tekfen Agriculture, was responsible for the shipment.
Korean authorities examined the cherries on-site in Alanar's Alaşehir facilities. The fruit set out to Seoul following a ceremony with the regional agriculture minister.
Exports to China started in July after a new agreement ended the condition that cherries must wait 16 days in cold storage before export, removing one of the biggest obstacles to Turkish cherry exports to China. Chinese authorities have now allowed fumigation.
Tekfen Agriculture General Manager Emrah İnce noted that 2019 brought many firsts and successes in terms of Turkish cherries.
"The cherries we grew this year were awarded by the International Taste Institute with an international flavor star. Soon after, we entered the Chinese market," he said.
"Now, we have introduced the Turkish cherry to the South Korean market for the first time in history."
South Korean Plant Quarantine Representative, Huan San, who came to examine the cherries on behalf of South Korea and prepared the report that permitted the importation, said the cherries fulfilled all the requirements.
"Korean people will appreciate Turkish cherries," San said.
Last year, Turkey sold 76,000 metric tons (MT) of cherries worth US$162 million to 59 countries. Its main markets are Europe and Russia, but the industry is eager to expand its presence elsewhere in the world.
Sector representatives recently said they aim to reach US$200 million this year thanks to the favorable picture for cherry exports.
Turkey's cherry season runs from May through September.