The pasta, which every society has easy access, eliminates the misconception that healthy foods must be expensive. Turkish people consumed 700 thousand tons of pasta while the world consumed 15 million tons of pasta in the last year. On pasta’s production and its export, Turkey has been in competition with Italy. Because of the quota imposed across the European Union’s market on Turkish products, Italians managed to have a monopoly. The prioritization of pasta in the modernization of the Customs Union will help to solve this problem. Turkey is very rich about durum wheat used to make pasta. However, because of lack of support in recent years, the cultivation area for durum wheat has been getting smaller. It is of high importance to increase the agriculture incentives and to plan wheat cultivation in order to prevent any raw material shortcoming.”
CEO of Turkish Pasta Industrialists’
The pasta industry is very strategic and crucial production area. The production capacity of twenty-four biggest pasta producers in Turkey is 2 million tons, and in 2017, they produced 1 million 754 thousand tons of pasta. Thanks to this production capacity, Turkey is the third biggest producer and the second biggest exporter in the world. While Turkey has the assertive position in the global pasta production and export, the past sector contributes to production, employment, and exporter of this country.
Turkey’s pasta industry has employed 30 thousand people either directly or indirectly; through the production of durum, which is the basic component of pasta, it supports agricultural employment and has supported tens of thousands of farmer families.
In 2017, the exporter was 1 million 55 thousand tons and the domestic consumption was 703 thousand tons. In the same year, the world’s pasta production was 14 million 6 thousand tons, and the pasta trade was USD 9 billion.
Italy has the top spot as the biggest producer in the world’s pasta production while Turkey has the third place in the list. Italy and Turkey, who has the prominent place in the production, have export-oriented production. Generally speaking, the rest tries to meet its domestic consumption. Turkey produced more than 10 percent of the whole pasta production in 2017.
Geographically, the pasta facilities are situated close to the Southeast Anatolia, the Central Anatolia and western Anatolia where durum wheat is mostly cultivated. In contrast to other producing countries, all pasta facilities in Turkey produce their own semolina.
ITALY HAS MONOPOLY AT THE EU’S MARKET
The penetration of Turkish pasta producers to the European Union’s market was limited with tariff customs that is 20 thousand tons as a result of Turkey-European Economic Community Association Council. Turkey has the capacity for pasta production in the quality demanded by the European Union market. The 20-thousand-tons of tariff customs opened in January, 1st are quickly met.
The European Union’s total pasta production is 4.6 million tons while its consumption is 3.4 million tons. The Union’s import for all pasta types is 2.4 million tons. Twenty thousand tons of pasta export remains at a very low level to the wide domestic market of European Union, which Turkey has customs union relation older than twenty years and realizes the half of its export. The European Union not only supports its pasta production but also protects actively its 28-membered domestic market with high import tax.
Italy utilizes from these incentives and protection measures as it carries out more than 70 percent pasta production of the EU, and thus, this country has the monopoly over the EU market. In the last five years, the EU-28 has limited the import of “uncooked and eggless” to 35-40 thousand tons. Although it seems as if Turkey has the privilege to carry out the half of this export, the domestic market of the Union has imported 1 million 25 thousand tons of “uncooked and eggless,” and it is obvious that EU is not very generous to Turkey.
PASTA SHOULD BE PROIRITIZED IN THE UPDATE OF TURKEY’S EU CUSTOM UNION
We believe that the pasta tariff quota should be discussed as a priority during discussions on the processed agricultural productions in the update of Turkey’s EU customs union, and the penetration of pasta sector to the European Union will be easier through strong support to our pasta producers in all Turkey-EU commercial discussion platforms.
Turkey is the gene center of durum wheat that is the fundamental raw material of pasta production and the biggest expense item (85 percent). Turkey has the fourth spot in the durum wheat production in 2017 and produced 3.9 million tons. Unparalleled to other countries’ durum wheat, Turkey has wide-gene base wheat material in line with this country’s ecology, thanks to the selection of nature and Turkish people for years.
Durum wheat is the raw material of bulgur and semolina that we are at the top of the world in consumption and exports.
DURUM WHEAT’S CULTIVATION AREA IS GETTING SMALLER
Durum wheat’s cultivation area has been getting smaller because the parity of durum and bread wheat is kept low in support buying in recent years, and the production support for cotton, corn, lentil and similar production are high while these supports are decided without taking into account of industry’s needs. In Southeastern Anatolia, which is particularly suitable for high-quality wheat growing, the cultivation area has decreased year by year.
The production of durum wheat has failed to meet the consumption although the durum has that much of consumption, and the country imported durum wheat to use this in export. When considering the current situation in the export of pasta, bulgur, and semolina and the targets, it is of high importance to increase the agricultural purchases and wheat’s plantation so that Turkey does not meet with the raw material shortage.
PER CAPITA PASTA CONSUMPTION TARGET: 10 KILOGRAMS
Pasta is healthy and filling food material and does not contain any additive. The pasta is prepared through adding water to semolina, which is extracted from durum wheat; this mix is kneaded with the appropriate technique without human’s touch through hygienic methods at computer-controlled and high-tech facilities; then, this dough is dried.
Since the pasta is perceived as the main dish in our food culture, the domestic consumption has increased day by day. Thanks to our association’s works, per capita consumption of pasta in 2018 has gone up to 8.7 kilograms, and it is aimed to increase this further to 10 kilograms within five years.
Within the framework of creating awareness among consumers, the Turkish Pasta Industrialists Association – active since 1993 in Turkey and abroad at social and economic areas- put emphasize on the adequate and balanced diet at all its activities in order to prevent obesity and metabolic sickness.
Pasta is a source of energy and exceptional nutrition since it is in the complex carbohydrates groups and has the low glycemic index and also contains minerals and vitamins because of the durum wheat. Pasta contains vitamins A, B1, and B2 and also iron, calcium, phosphorus and is also a good source of protein.
The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that persons should meet their carbohydrate needs from complex carbohydrates and said that since pasta is an important food for nutrition, it is an economical source. Pasta is one of the most important nutrition options for athletes. Even in diets accepted for diabetes and cardiovascular disorders, pasta can be consumed in the appropriate amounts and at frequent intervals.
I submit to your information the Scientific Agreement signed by 28 scientists from Turkey, USA, Argentina, Brazil, France, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, and Russia. This agreement on pasta is prepared by Oldways, non-profit food and nutrition training institution which is founded with the mission to inspire healthier diet with cultural nutrition traditions and lifestyle:
HEALTHY PASTA MEALS
1. Scientific research increasingly supports the importance of total diet, rather than individual foods.
2. Pasta is a key component of many of the world’s traditional healthy eating patterns, such as the scientifically-proven Mediterranean Diet. Most plant-based dietary patterns help prevent and slow progression of majör chronic diseases and confer greater health benefits than current Western dietary patterns.
3. Many clinical trials confirm that excess calories, and not carbohydrates, are responsible for obesity. Diets successful in promoting weight loss can emphasize a range of healthy carbohydrates, protein and fat. All these three macronutrients, in balance, are essential for designing a healthy, individualized diet anyone can follow for their whole life. Moreover, very low carbohydrate diets may not be safe, especially in the long term.
4. Pasta is satiating and keeps you fuller longer. A pasta meal can be moderate in its calorie content, assuming the portion is correct and the dressing-topping is not calorie-rich.
5. At a time when obesity and diabetes have a high prevalence around the world, pasta meals and other low-glycemic index foods may help control blood sugar and weight especially in overweight people. Glycemic index is a factor that impacts the healthfulness of carbohydrate-rich foods. There is a beneficial effect in the way pasta is made. The process of manufacturing reduces its glycemic response. Whole grain pasta, which provides more fiber, is also a good choice.
6. Pasta is an affordable, healthy choice available in almost all societies. Promoting the affordability and accessibility of pasta meals can help overcome the misperception that healthy foods are too expensive.
7. Healthy pasta meals are a delicious way to eat more vegetables, legumes and other healthy foods often under-consumed. Pasta is a way to introduce other Mediterranean diet foods (other cultural traditions), especially for children and adolescents.
8. Pasta meals are enjoyed in cultural traditions worldwide. As they are like a canvas, they are versatile and easily adaptable to national/regional seasonal ingredients.
9. The general population can eat pasta and should not choose a gluten-free product if not affected by a gluten-related disorder correctly diagnosed. For those with gluten sensitivities or allergies, or celiac disease, there are gluten-free alternatives.
10. Pasta is a simple plant-based food, and has a low environmental impact.
11. Pasta consumption is suitable for people who do physical exercise and particularly in sports. Pasta, as with other cereal foods, provides carbohydrates and is also a source of protein. Pasta may be used alone or lightly seasoned before training or combined with other foods after training, in order to improve physical performance. High protein and low carbohydrate diets are discouraged in active people.
12. Doctors, nutritionists and other health professionals should educate the consumer to choose varied and balanced pasta meals for good health.