Turkish woman’s dried fruit hobby turns into major export business

ISTANBUL (Dailysabah): Female entrepreneur Merve Anıl from Turkey’s Aegean province of Uşak, who entered the dried fruit sector with the two drying ovens she bought for her home, increased her production capacity with a workshop she opened in April last year and started exporting her products.

Mother of one Merve Anıl, who initially produced dried fruit at her home in Banaz district to prevent waste and sold her products over social media, established a workshop equipped with a cold storage unit in April last year.

Adding noodles and pasta colored with vegetables to its product range, Anıl started to export products to the United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, the United States and France.

Her success comes on the heels of all-time highs of Turkish agricultural exports.

Anıl told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the demand for dried fruit is quite high, and those who want to adopt healthier eating habits are increasingly turning to dried fruit and similar products.

“I am happy I am providing employment for women”

Touching on her aim to increase her business’ capacity by 30% and to process 500 tons of products next year, Anıl said: “We can process 250-300 tons of products at the moment. When the demand for our products increased, I couldn’t keep up with the work on my own. I have three other women working with me in the winter season, and eight-nine people in the summer. I feel very happy to be able to provide employment for women. My next goal is to provide employment to more women and to do better things with them.”

Explaining that she fulfills incoming customer orders by courier, Anıl continued as follows:

“We have reached 81 provinces of Turkey. The demand for natural products is increasing day by day. Health nutritionists support us in this regard. Therefore, we have become a unique opportunity for our citizens who prefer natural products. We have started to dry vegetables as well as dried fruits. We also produce vegetable powders.

“Since there is not much fresh fruit in winter, the demand for dried fruit is quite high. In summer, there is not much demand because the amount of fresh fruit is quite high. Therefore, we produced vegetable powders to be used in natural colorings to be used in yogurts and cakes and put them on the market. At the same time, we started to produce noodles and pasta with vegetables by steaming them before drying them. We also offered them for sale.”

Anıl explained how she started to send her products overseas. “The happiest development for me this year is that my products are also in demand abroad,” she said.

“I first started on this path to prevent waste, and now tons of my products are sent to countries. I am honored to be able to process tons of products,” she proudly said.

Anıl said her biggest goal is to increase her exports. “Being a female entrepreneur, I am very happy that our products are sent to the whole world,” she added.

Her wish is to introduce her products to the entire world.