The Food and Agricultural Product Markets Monitoring and Evaluation Committee was established on 9 December 2014 to closely monitor food and agricultural product markets in Turkey. Its secretariat was taken over by the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) on 27 December 2016. The Committee, called the Food Committee for short, convenes under the presidency of the Deputy Prime Minister, with the participation of the Minister of Economy, the Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, the Minister of Customs and Trade, the Minister of Development, and the Minister of Finance. The CBRT plays a leading role in the Committee in the monitoring of food price developments and the identification of priorities. In the scope of its secretarial duties, the CBRT publicly discloses the decisions made in the Food Committee via the press releases posted on the CBRT website.
To prevent the volatilities in unprocessed food prices from worsening the inflation outlook and causing uncertainty in inflation forecasts, the Food Committee has introduced a set of measures. These can be classified as conjunctural measures and structural measures.
In Turkey, high price increases that generally occur outside the harvest periods and are independent of producer costs provide only a limited benefit to the producer and the production. Conjunctural measures refer to foreign trade regulations made to prevent such periodical overpricing of certain food products and speculative movements. These regulations have been made by taking into account the price tendencies and expectations for the related products, supply and demand conditions in the market, and producer costs. They aim to support sound price formation by averting intermediaries’ tendency to stockpile and make unexpected price increases.
On the other hand, the major structural measures introduced by the Committee to achieve lasting price stability can be summarized under five headings:
- Reducing product loss rates in fresh fruits and vegetables by improving the logistics processes for these products, and thus increasing the product supply for final consumption,
- Improving the licensed warehousing system, and thus facilitating storage and trading in a deep market of agricultural products that can be stored for a long time and standardized,
- Preparing an action plan to prevent the role of producer organizations in the supply chain from being restrained by intermediaries performing most of the marketing functions in the supply chain,
- Increasing the number of inspections to prevent imperfect competition in the supply chain of food product markets from elevating final consumer prices,
- Diversifying financial products concerning the agricultural sector, and evaluating the measures to be taken to improve financing conditions.