Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
A consumer market research showed that the Middle East market has an appetite for good quality cheese. Pawan Singh / The National
A consumer market research showed that the Middle East market has an appetite for good quality cheese. Pawan Singh / The National

Cheese inspires Abu Dhabi’s Agthia to boost Irish links

The UAE's Agthia Group is looking to explore options to expand its product range, with cheese being an inspiration. The food producer hosted an Irish trade delegation this week.

A growing appetite for cheese in the UAE and Saudi Arabia has led Agthia Group to explore options to expand its product range.

The Abu Dhabi food producer hosted an Irish trade delegation this week that aimed to build links and increase cooperation between the two countries.

The delegation, led by the country’s minister of agriculture and food, Simon Coveney, included executives from the Irish Dairy Board and the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association.

“One of the things that we looked at is in importation and distribution of high quality value adding food ingredients from Ireland into the UAE and capitalising on the very robust distribution system of Agthia to bring these products to life in the UAE,” said Ilias Assimakopoulos, the company’s chief executive.

Agthia has conducted extensive consumer market research in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East that revealed an appetite for good quality cheese, he added.

“We see that this segment is growing and eventually there might be a point of difference here by bringing better options, more choice and high quality options,” said Mr Assimakopoulos.

Talks also centred on the transfer of technology and know-how in the dairy and animal feed industry in addition to training and development.

“This can be also part of our Emiratisation programme where select Emiratis can be exposed to this developmental and educational skill enhancing opportunities who can come back to the UAE environment with a much wider perspective and understanding of this industry,” he said.

“At the same time there are a lot of Irish companies that want to understand the Middle East better and they want to expand in the Middle East faster and we made ourselves available to partner with the businesses in the private sector if and when they decide to pursue a presence here.”

But Agthia is not only interested in importing its products. It sees potential to export some of the food produced here to Ireland.

“By the middle of next year we will be commissioning a very modern latest technology frozen baked products factory on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi,” said Mr Assimakopoulos.

“This factory has the capacity to meet not only domestic demand but also export. We will see if we can do it both ways.”

Kerry Group, the Irish food company that operates globally, recently opened a regional development centre in Dubai to support sales growth across the Middle East.

gduncan@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Miele coffee maker making Cappuccino at Miele Gallery in Sama Tower in Dubai. The cost of this coffee maker is around Dh 17,000. Pawan Singh / The National

Space-age coffee comes at a price from Miele

Miele have taken the coffee machine to a new level with its Dh17,000 offering that is built into your kitchen.

 The bridge of Seajacks Hydra, as the wind farm installation vessel undergoes finishing touches and testing works at Lamprell’s Hamriyah facility in Sharjah before its planned delivery on June 2, 2014. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

In pictures: Building the Seajacks Hydra

The Seajacks Hydra, a wind farm installation vessel, is undergoing finishing touches and testing works at Lamprell’s Hamriyah facility in Sharjah before its planned delivery on June 2, 2014.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 The rush of new supply of hotel rooms pushed Dubai occupancy rates down to 87 per cent. Sarah Dea / The National

Dubai hotel room rates rise 10 per cent

The rush of new supply pushed occupancy rates down to 87 per cent, a dip of 2.6 per cent from the previous year. Winter months are the strongest for Dubai hotels, with occupancy and prices falling to half their peaks by July.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National