Official estimates suggest that Turkish chicken and turkey meat production reached 2,226,207 tons last year, up from 2,189,097 tons in 2017, delegates at the 5th International Poultry Meat Congress, taking place in Antalya, Turkey, were told. However, the industry believes that these figures are somewhat conservative.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, congress chairman Professor Necmettin Ceylan noted that the event, which attracted 1,000 participants from 32 countries, would help to integrate the Turkish industry into the international market.

He continued that the industry is tightly regulated, ensuring food safety, and that Turkish producers now concentrate on disease prevention rather than relying on antibiotics.

Dr. Sait Koca, chairman of the Turkish Producers and Breeders Association (BESD-BIR), continued that the Turkish poultry industry is 100 percent harmonized with European Union standards and in many cases exceeds them.

He added that growth in the sector has been rapid due to the high level of integration, and that this level of integration means that each part of the production chain is auditable and can be inspected.

Iraq remains the principal destination for Turkey’s poultry meat exports, and in total it sent products to 81 countries last year. There are hopes that the Chinese market will open to exports this year. Chinese inspections of production sites are expected before the year end.