Meet our melon grower in Turkey
Last week our colleagues travelled to Adana in Turkey, where Fikriye Kaya Narenciye Isletmesi, named after the grower’s mother, grows Caribbean King cantaloupe melons for Levarht. This is a special cantaloupe variety cultivated for consumers in the Middle East.
The Kaya family has a rich history of growing and has cultivated melons and citrus fruit since 1805! During the time of the Ottoman Empire, they grew produce in what is currently Iraq. Drought forced the family to continually move west, and after years on the move they finally settled in their current home in south west Turkey. The seventh generation now runs the family company.
What makes Fikriye Kaya Narenciye Isletmesi’s approach to growing so special?
Contrary to common practice of most growers in Turkey, the melons are placed in pallet bins as soon as they leave the field. As the melons are not loaded loose in a trailer or other vehicle, there are no damages. Due to the high temperatures in Turkey, as soon as they are full these pallet bins are immediately transferred to a cooled trailer. This trailer then transports the melons to a temperature-controlled packing station. On arrival, the melons are washed in a cool bath, dried and packed in boxes. The melons then stay at the temperature-controlled facility for at least 24 hours until the inside of the melons has reached the right temperature.