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IDB to Invest €20 Million in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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IDB to Invest €20 Million in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

IDB to Invest €20 Million in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
October 31
15:55 2013

The Irish Dairy Board is to invest €20 million in Saudi Arabia, including the acquisition of a 75% interest in Al Wazeen Trading and the development of a new state-of-art cheese manufacturing plant at the Al Wazeen facility in Riyadh. The investment will further strengthen IDB’s position in the Saudi Arabian market, the fifth largest dairy importer in the world, as well as providing a central hub to access the important dairy growth markets in the MENA region.

The new facility will use dairy ingredients to produce a range of fresh white cheeses that appeal to local market tastes. The cheeses will be made using a pioneering technology developed by the IDB and Teagasc. The technology allows innovative milk protein ingredients to be recombined for fresh white cheese production. Fresh white cheese is hugely popular in the Middle East. The facility will also include an Innovation Hub for the continued research and development of ‘white cheese’ technologies.

The facility will initially supply dairy products to the Saudi Arabian market. It is anticipated that IDB will use Saudi Arabia as a manufacturing hub for the MENA region, supplying the Islamic Halal market segment. Saudi Arabia already imports more than 400,000 tonnes of dairy produce per year. Domestic milk self sufficiency is relatively low and milk production is under stress due to the lack of water for crop growing as animal feed. Despite this, consumption of cheese and other dairy products is growing steadily throughout the region, offering an excellent platform for future growth for IDB.

This investment is a key part in IDB’s strategy to grow routes to market and added value for Irish dairy produce in the run up to the abolition of milk quotas in 2015.

Kevin Lane, chief executive of IDB, says: “This investment is strategically very important as it allows us to expand our business throughout the MENA region. With innovation and new product development being critical to growth, our partnership with Teagasc is an excellent example of how with innovative technologies we can create new ways of producing and selling dairy products for a global audience.”

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