Message of Chairman
We are going through a period in which major crises such as climate change, coronavirus pandemic and conflicts between countries are happening simultaneously. Besides these problems that affect almost every part of the world likewise, life goes on; population is increasing, new technologies are emerging, and consumption habits are changing… Food is essential to life. Nutrition is a basic human need, and also a right. For this reason, our industry is a strategic industry that works and produces without batting an eyelid, with a very powerful humanitarian side.
In addition to the extraordinary problems and difficulties we have mentioned, the dynamism brought by trade, competition and seasonality means that operating conditions in food and agriculture are ever changing. Being attuned to this requires a constant struggle. As the industry, we are used to this, we are strong enough to overcome difficulties, and we are always prepared to do our best for our country and our citizens.
The coronavirus pandemic, that affected whole world starting from the beginning of 2020, reminded everyone of the importance of a strong and resilient food chain that works without interruption, and the importance of our industry was better understood by the public. At that time, we did our best in a crisis environment where international trade chains were interrupted, raw material supply was difficult, and strict quarantine measures were taken. We did not leave the shelves empty; we always gave confidence to our consumers.
In the present era, many new responsibilities have been imposed on the food and agriculture sectors, that were not present in the past. Sustainability, green economy, biodiversity, zero waste, rural development are just few of these topics. All these are increasing the responsibilities of the sector and expanding its field of activity. As the Turkish food and beverage industry, we keep up with the world on these issues, closely follow the latest mentalities and developments, and continue our preparations with a proactive approach.
According to Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) data, employment in the food and beverage industry reached 555 thousand by the end of 2021. The food and beverage industry, which has more than 53 thousand enterprises in total, has a turnover of 465.9 billion Turkish liras and provides an added value of 68.1 billion Turkish liras to our country.
According to the foreign trade data published by TUIK within the Special Trade System (ÖTS) framework in 2021, exports increased by 20.9% compared to the previous year and reached 22.94 billion dollars, while imports increased by 22.2% and reached 17.18 billion dollars. In 2021, the foreign trade surplus increased by 17.2% compared to the previous year and amounted to $5.76 billion.
As the Federation of Food and Beverage Industry Associations of Turkey (TGDF), we are the umbrella organization of a sector that works hard, produces, earns foreign currency for our country, provides employment for more than half a million citizens, ensures nutrition of our people and food security. We are working with the awareness of the responsibility these factors impose us and we plan the future. Our Federation, which is the biggest player and consolidative of the union of forces in the food and beverage sector, continues its works with an inclusive and holistic approach for the solution of various structural problems that closely concern the sector.
We wish 2022 to pass in a positive atmosphere for our country, our citizens, and our sector...