Sorting is the process of arranging and grouping items with similar characteristics. In fact,
fruit sorting is arranging fruit according to physical appearance, color, size, and some other
factors and taking out spoils. Most of the time sorting is a prelude to packing agro products.
Fruit packing is providing fruit healthy and appropriate for use and it can help producers to
attract more customers and long-term preservation of fruit.
In this study, we consider categorizing fruit in two groups (high-class and second-rate). Highclass fruit will be sorted and packaged to export and second-rate fruit, is distributed in
domestic market and used in conversion industries.
In recent years, price of exporting fruit has decreased because of inappropriate
packing/unpacking exports. Hence, Iran Customs Administration promulgated that exporting
fruit must conform to Trade Promotion Organization of Iran's packing standards and only
transfer to refrigerated containers. For instance, in Afghanistan and Iraq which are Iran's
major exporting destination markets, main agro product exporting countries like Turkey tried
to achieve these markets by offering their agro products in appropriate packing and
minimizing the waste of their products.
Advantages of Establishing a Fruit sorting and Packing Factory:
Aras free trade zone region has great potential for expansion regarding the statistics and
variety of industries, especially in the agriculture industry.
The agriculture industry in Aras region has a growing trend and will exceed so that this
region is a hub of greenhouse-fruit growing in the country due to the sufficient water
resources and good climate.
Establishing sorting and packing factories with a high level of standards can increase the
export of such products especially to the Russian market.
East-Azerbaijan and three other North-Eastern provinces of Iran (West-Azerbaijan, Zanjan,
and Ardabil) have 17% of total fruit production share of the country. So establishing sorting
factories with high-level standards can influence export of such products from these
Easy access to best raw material, fast distribution, free trade zone rules, proximity to Turkey,
Russia and CIS region countries, the existence of the biggest greenhouse to produce fruit and
agro products have given Aras the potential to establish sorting and packing factories in Aras
Advantages of Investment in Aras Free Zone:
Unique Geo-economic location (Silk Road), proximity to European free zones and CIS
countries, Caucasian countries and Russia, access to international markets, transit and reexport of foreign goods, enhancing appropriate discharge and loading infrastructures based
on WTO standards, and 20-year tax exemption on incomes according to free zones law are
among advantages of investment in Aras free zone.
In addition, granting part of the costs for the carriage of goods, discharge and loading,
customs clearance and contract costs, transit and export of foreign goods have made a very
suitable condition for a variety of economic activities in various fields in Aras free zone.
According to reports, operational capacity of sorting in Iran is 244 thousand tons of which
West Azerbaijan province’s share is 14 thousand tons.
Jolfa-Tabriz railway, that connects Aras Free Zone with independent countries and the
common wealth of independent states, Caucasian countries, Russia, Turkey, Black sea,
Europe, Persian Gulf and Oman in the South, is one of the most important railways in Iran
that has a great influence on development of the country. Moreover, Tabriz-Jolfa railway
links Jolfa, Noordooz and Khoda Afarin with Nakhjavan, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
In addition, construction of Aras Free Zone airport is on the planning stage due to the 120-km
distance between Tabriz international airport to Aras Free Zone and the 35-km distance from
Nakhjavan airport to Aras Free Zone.
Due to the investment in Goordian Desert (1800 acres), Arj Gulf (25100 acres), Khoda Afarin
(more than 70,000 acres) and greenhouses (350 acres) in the last decades, production capacity
of agro products in these regions is about 70,000 tons in a year. However, Aras Free Zone
enjoys multiple transportation (roads, railways, air) and Development plans that will provide
the tropical and subtropical products of the country to the north east countries especially
Russia and Europe.
As it is indicated by the evidence, Aras Free Zone has a great potential to be a leader in
enhancement and development of industrial and agricultural sectors besides exportation of
Top products in Aras Free Zone:
- MDF and HDF sheets
- Automobile batteries
- PVC and Aluminum products
- Nuts and dried fruits
- Baby accessories
It must be noted that the government will support any kind of activities that help to boost the
economy and investment in the region.
Aras Free Zone by enjoying convenient weather and sufficient water resources has the
potential to be a hub for agriculture industry. Also, construction of the biggest fruit garden of
the country in Ghasre Shirin (4 Acres which includes Dates, citrus, grapes and tropical trees)
can have a great influence on the economy of the region.