Analysis of quality problems of geographically marked agricultural products in Türkiye: Malatya apricot example

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Today, it has gained great importance to determine the food safety and quality parameters of local products and to solve quality problems for these products to increase the number of consumers who attach importance to food safety and adopt a healthy lifestyle, to prefer local products first and to protect local products against imitations and not to expose them to unfair competition. Türkiye is a very rich country in terms of the diversity of local products. Malatya apricot, one of these products, is a local product that has the highest export share in Türkiye and meets 48.7% of Türkiye's total apricot production. It is also one of the first agricultural products to receive geographical indication in Türkiye and the European Union. Agricultural products such as Malatya Apricots have special characteristics determined by geographical factors originating from their production areas. In addition to preserving these qualities, structuring the production and processing activities of these products under controlled conditions regarding food safety and quality is of great importance for all interested parties, especially manufacturers. In this research, Malatya apricots, which are grown in and around Malatya province and are a geographically indicated product, are purchased as dry or fresh to preserve the characteristics determined during the registration process and to determine the quality problems that arise in the production, processing and storage processes, taking into account these features and other necessary conditions. A questionnaire was conducted with an equal number of businesses that have and do not have a geographical indication contract that receives and processes geographical indications, their awareness level, use, quality problems in the production, processing, storage and marketing processes of Malatya apricots, audits and whether there is a need for a certification program. According to the results of this research, it is recommended to implement a product certification program to solve the quality problems experienced for agricultural products that receive geographical indications, to ensure compliance of our local products with quality criteria and to provide safe and high-quality products for consumers in domestic and foreign markets. The quality problems and suggested solutions for Malatya apricot will also provide data for the quality problems and certification activities of other geographically indicated agricultural products in Türkiye.

geographical indication, Malatya apricot, quality problems