Dieageo CEO: Raki output down by 20 million tons; farmers’ losses escalate

The reduction of 20 million tons  in production of raki over the last 15 years has led to revenue losses for farmers of grapes and anise. While 250 million Turkish liras worth less grapes and anise are now bought from the farmers, the annual loss of the farmer is 500 million liras.

Diageo, the world’s largest alcoholic beverage producer, bought Turkey’s dominant distiller Mey İçki in 2011. Levent Kömür, CEO of Mey Dieageo, met with a group of journalists at the “agriculture meeting” to review the results of the acquisition during the week.

Levent Kömür stated that 250 million Turkish liras less grapes and anise were bought from the farmers with the decrease of production by 20 million tons in the last 15 years.

Stating that the alcoholic beverage industry is focused on issues such as taxation, penalties for open liquor sales and moonshine, Kömür said that agricultural production, which is the background of the business, has been ignored.

Kömür, announced that three varieties of anise plant were registered for the first time as a result of the studies carried out with Ege University for seven years, Kömür said:

“Speaking on behalf of our company until now, our main subject has always been alcohol, such as our products, the quality of our products, price increases triggered by SCT increases, unlicensed liquors distillation.  How far we can talk about them is another matter of discussion. Today we want to talk about the background of our production.  In fact, we are an agricultural  company. We are registered with Elazığ Chamber of Agriculture with a farming certificate numbered 4025.  We are one of the top five companies in the agriculture-based industry in our country, we rank first in fresh fruit and vegetable exports. We are in an industry based on agriculture, that is, we take our power from the soil.  When we define ourselves as an industrial company based on agriculture, besides good news, there are also negative issues that upset us”

Levent Kömür stated that farmers producing grapes and anise lost 500 million liras annually as production decreased and imports increased. “The state is losing  TL 2.5 billion of tax revenue every year since the increase in taxes increases smuggling and basement distilleries. ”

First commercial registration in anise

Emphasizing that anise is the locomotive product for the raki sector, Kömür said: “I always say, if there is no grape, anise and water, we won’t exist.”

Kömür stated that they have registered patnets 3 varieties for the first time as a result of their work on anise for 7 years and continued as follows:

We have reached a very important point last week in our research that we have been carrying out for years for anise, a plant the history of which dates back thousands of years.   Together with Ege University, we applied to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to patent the seeds we obtained in our anise seed breeding studies, which have been going on for 7 years.  Thus, we will be able to produce better quality anise with our farmers since 2022 with the first registered anise seeds that can be traded.  This year we will sow with a small amount of these seeds, but we have devoted a significant portion of them to next year.

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Published By: Atilla Yeşilada

GlobalSource Partners’ Turkey Country Analyst Atilla Yesilada is the country’s leading political analyst and commentator. He is known throughout the finance and political science world for his thorough and outspoken coverage of Turkey’s political and financial developments. In addition to his extensive writing schedule, he is often called upon to provide his political expertise on major radio and television channels. Based in Istanbul, Atilla is co-founder of the information platform Istanbul Analytics and is one of GlobalSource’s local partners in Turkey. In addition to his consulting work and speaking engagements throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East, he writes regular columns for Turkey’s leading financial websites VATAN and www.paraanaliz.com and has contributed to the financial daily Referans and the liberal daily Radikal.