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DFS Gıda was founded in 2011 in Manisa, Turkey's Aegean Region, by Hami Özer and Irfan Ertekin. The company's name comes from the abbreviation for 'Dried Food Solutions', reflecting that it specializes in processing dried tomatoes and semi-dried frozen tomatoes.
DFS Gida exports its products to 13 countries around the globe, including the USA, some Asian countries and Australia, with some 60 percent of its output going to Europe. To meet the high product standards demanded by these markets, the company uses TOMRA Food's sorting solutions.
Turkey is the leader in exporting dried and frozen semi-dried tomatoes, with some 15 companies here selling to export markets. DFS Gıda is one of the biggest companies, with a 10,000 square-meter indoor facility dedicated solely to the production of semi-dried frozen tomatoes. These are grown locally, as are the tomatoes the company sources for dried products. DFS Gida began using TOMRA's Blizzard sorting machine in November 2021, investing in this technology to maintain and strengthen its competitiveness.
DFS co-founder Hami Özer explains: "Depending on the harvest, we produce about 3,000 tons of semi-dried frozen tomatoes annually, and between 500 and 700 tons of sun-dried tomatoes. The Turkish domestic market seldom buys dried tomatoes and never buys semi-dried frozen tomatoes dried in ovens. Therefore, we export all of our production. All the countries we export to expect the highest food safety and quality standards. This is why we rely on TOMRA's sorting technology, to achieve standards not possible with hand-sorting."
Sun-dried tomato production began in Turkey 30 years ago and semi-dried frozen tomato production dates back to 2000.
DFS co-founder Irfan Ertekin says: "For example, in 2021, Turkey's total exports of dried processed tomatoes is around 40,000 tons. Some 17,000-18,000 tons are semi-dried frozen, and some 22,000-23,000 tons are dried and processed tomatoes. No country other than Turkey exports these products. This is because producers in other nations sell exclusively to their domestic markets.