Ambitious Kılıç forges ahead
Sinan Kiziltan, vice president of Kılıç Holding, one of Turkey’s leading aquaculture and seafood companies, spoke with SeafoodSource about his company’s immediate expansion plans and its long-term vision.
SeafoodSource: How much farmed fish is Kılıç now supplying to the seafood market and what has been the main driver of this growth?
Kiziltan: Combining all the species that we produce – seabream, seabass, trout, meagre and bluefin tuna – our production capacity is now up to 65,000 metric tons (MT). Our success has come from being Turkey’s only fully integrated seafood company – from juvenile hatcheries through to feed factories. We even produce our own fish boxes in order to fully control all phases of the value chain. We believe such an approach is mandatory in order to maintain highest level of operations throughout the business.
SeafoodSource: What are Kılıç’s immediate expansion plans?
Kiziltan: We have a very important project under development at Mersin City, in southern Turkey. There, we are constructing a new sea fish (seabass and seabream) production center, which will have a production capacity of 20,000 MT. Meanwhile, our new farming venture in the Dominican Republic is now up and running, mainly focusing on the production of seabass for the North and South American markets as well as some local, alternative species. In the near future, its production capacity will be 5,000 MT, and in the long-term we expect it to reach around 50,000 MT.
SeafoodSource: Turkey’s farmed fish – particularly its bass and bream – are in high demand in many European markets and beyond. In your opinion, what are the main reasons for this success?
Kiziltan: We have very good production conditions in Turkey. Also, financial opportunities allow us to make investments in technology and R&D studies.
SeafoodSource: In 2015, Kılıç began producing bluefin tuna – what encouraged you to go into this sector?
Kiziltan: Fish is one of the healthiest and most important foods consumed by human beings. Kılıç wants to play an active role in supplying alternative healthy and delicious food for everybody. Besides this, through our respect for nature and the environment, we believe that developing new farmed species is an important contributor to sustainability.
At the moment, we are the biggest bluefin tuna supplier in Turkey, but our vision is to become a company that can provide the whole world with different fish products. We have considerable experience in Mediterranean fish products and would like to reach new markets with different fish species. We have very good relationships with our valued customers and both sides are looking for new product categories that can develop that collaboration further.