The Turkish flower industry did not start as an industry at all. The flower sector in Turkey, initially, was nonexistent, or to say, very small at the least. One of the most important people to help create and elevate the industry is Lütfi Göbüş. He is the godfather of the Turkish flower industry and is one of the main drivers for the founding of the Turkish Flower Group, the TFG.
Lütfi Göbüş has an Amazing Network
To do something like Lütfi Göbüş did, you must know some people. Lütfi had, and still has an amazing network within Turkey. The foundation for his network was laid out while attending the best university in Turkey, the Middle East Technical University. At the university, Lütfi made friends with future CEOs and future high governmental officials. Friends who later turned out to be very important for the creation of a flourishing flower industry.
Seeking New Opportunities
Lütfi Göbüş did not start in the fields growing flowers, although he was from Antalya - the place in Turkey where most flowers are being grown nowadays. In the early 1980’s he was a technical engineer and advisor to different branches of the government, working 16 hours a day with network-based computers. A stressful job. After successfully doing this for some years, he wanted to do something else. Seeking new opportunities.
“What can I do now?” Lütfi asked himself.
He quit his advisory job in 1988 and started to grow flowers! Carnations. He owned some land, he came from a family of farmers, so working with dirt was not unknown to him.
Seeking New markets Outside of Turkey
Growing carnations professionally also meant that Lütfi had to look for new markets. New opportunities. Outside of Turkey. One of the main markets was in the Netherlands. Lütfi decided to export his flowers to the Netherlands. To make export easier, different farmers from the area started to work together. A new floral industry was born, and in 1996 The Turkish Cut Flower Association was founded. Lütfi was asked to be the chairman because he was not only the front-runner for this new industry but he also had the knowledge, capability, and network. The total export in ’96 was 10 million (now it’s around 120 million).
Lütfi Göbüş Was the Driver for a New Industry in Turkey; the Flower industry
Lütfi Göbüş turned out to be the main driver behind the large expansion of the Turkish flower industry. He had the vision and the people around him to help develop a new industry. Because the flower industry was initially so small, it did not get the recognition and did not have the needed regulation as a separate industry, as for example, the vegetable, or automotive industry had. Lütfi Göbüş used his influence within his network to help create the Cut Flowers Exporter Union in ’99 which led to much more possibilities due to clear regulation from the government. A big achievement. A new sector was introduced in Turkey: the flower industry.
After this important success, Lütfi Göbüş was at the foundation of many more projects to grow the industry to the 120-million-dollar industry that it has become today.
Lütfi Göbüş - An Icon in the Turkish Floral Industry
The most important ‘project’ Lütfi was involved in after that was the creation of the Turkish Flower Group out of the Export Union. The Turkish Flower Group became a joint venture of many different private flower-producing corporations. With many advantages. For Turkish flower producers, and for their customers.
Joining the TFG turned out to be more cost-effective for its participants, who profit from all kinds of synergies, such as a combined larger assortment, risk sharing, joined transport, and standardized quality control, which created a better overall quality standard for Turkish flowers.
The cooperation between Turkish Flower Group and Royal FloraHolland reached a higher level with the “Letter of Intent” signed by Royal FloraHolland, Çiçek A.Ş., and Central Anatolian Exporters Union in October 2017 with the attendance of the Minister of Economy. By signing the “Letter of Intent” all parties committed themselves to the project aims stated above. Lütfi Göbüş is 3rd from the right.
See, Smell, and Feel Turkey With Flowers From the Turkish Flower Group
With 60 daily connections to Europe today, trucking and air freight, the Turkish Flower Group is a powerful player within the flower industry in Europe. When you see carnations, dianthus barbatus, solidago, veronica, limonium, gypsophila, ammi visagna, craspedia, and even eustoma (lisianthus) and ranunculus, when buying Turkish flowers in Europe you see, smell, and feel Turkey.
And then realize it all began with one computer guy from Antalya: Lütfi Göbüş.