ISIK Tarim S.A. is our exclusive partner for hazelnuts and dried fruits (mainly figs, sultanas/raisins and apricots) for many years.
Varistors Dried Fruit and Nut Team has been visiting ISIK to receive the harvest news directly from the fields.
The harvest period as such takes about 2 month. The fig variety used for dried figs is called Sarilop. Only the female trees are carrying the eatable fruits. The fruits of the male fig trees are sourced from the markets and are fixed in a small bag for pollination on the female trees.
There is a difference between valley and mountain figs. Valley figs are a bit earlier in the harvest period. The Turkish Aegean Exporters Union is announcing an official export date for the figs in order to avoid disadvantage to the mountain farmers. This year’s export date is September 26th.
The dried figs are picked-up by ISIK Tarim S.A. and further processed at the factory. The process includes: cleaning with water, oven drying, repeated control of aflatoxin in the dark room, minimum 2 times x-ray (glass, ceramic, steel), visual controls, magnets – and according to customers requirement - cutting to dices, paste or also forming whole figs to Protoben (drop form) or Lerida (flat circular).
As last process step the product undergoes metal detection.
The figs are fully ripening on the trees and when they fall off, they are sun dried on nets or grids or in drying tunnels. ISIK Tarim S.A. is continuously supporting the farmers with trainings and stays in close communication via an online network. Currently they are testing a new approach for harvesting the valley figs with some farmers. They stretch out a net just underneath the fig trees (see picture). Therewith the figs will not touch the ground, which also reduces risk on aflatoxin and foreign bodies, additionally it is less effort for the farmer to collect the fruits.
Drying period is about 4-5 days.
Fig harvest won’t be as good as the previous year, as they had a very dry winter in Turkey, also heavy rain beginning August, during the time, when the figs are ripening. The prices are slightly higher, due to the reduced output, but also due to growing demand in China, US and Japan.”