August 20, 2010

Turkey's Tek Sut to export "labne" to Iraq



Tek Sut, located in the Gonen district of Balıkesir province, has invested nearly 1.5 million Turkish Liras (US$0.99 million) in the production of "labne," a kind of mild cream cheese, to be shipped to Iraq.

The dairy firm decided to begin labne cheese production because of the demand from Iraq, said Cevdet Arınık, the company's board chairman.

"We have invested 1.5 million liras in labne production. We are now in the last phase of our studies. We will begin production in September this year. We will process eight tonnes of milk into cheese daily and then send it to Iraq," Arınık said.

Tek Süt, which first began white cheese production in 1950, still continues growing along its path. Noting that the company has been producing cheese with modern techniques since 1990, Arınık said Tek Süt produces white cheese, kashar and cream cheese, butter, yogurt, ayran (a drink made of yogurt) and regional cheeses including mihaliç, çeçil, dil, çerkez, otlu, urda and örgü cheeses.

"The company processes nearly 200 tonnes of dairy daily. We send our products almost everywhere around Turkey. We make our distribution network with storage in İstanbul, İzmir, Samsun, Bursa and Antalya," Arınık said.

The company is actively working to expand its presence in foreign countries, Arınık said, adding that they have reached some countries such as the US, Canada and Japan with their dairy exports.

"In addition to those countries, we have also exported dairy products to Macedonia, Kuwait, Albania, Lebanon and Uzbekistan," he said.

Arnik said that the US generally demands white cheese produced from sheep milk and kashar, adding that Iraq has a great demand for regional cheeses as well as labne.