Al Islami Foods sets up European hub to reach $16 billion

Al Islami Foods sets up European hub to reach $16 billion halal food market

Posted: 26-09-2007 , 15:25 GMT

Islami Foods, a leading halal food producer in the Middle East, today
announced a strategic joint venture with 3663 First for Foodservice, a
leading foodservice distributor in the UK, which will cater to the
British, German and the Benelux markets for Al Islami’s range of
healthy halal products. The joint-venture signing ceremony was held in
Manchester, UK.

The halal market in Europe is worth US$ 16 billion
(AED 58.76 billion). Al Islami Foods, with the start of operations at
year-end, expects US$80 million sales in first year (2008) and
estimates US$600 million (AED 2.22 billion) in next five years. Al
Islami-3663 joint venture, on a later stage, will cater to Muslim
communities in the continental Europe in a bid to create Al Islami’s
“Real Halal” benchmark in the industry

Al Islami UK has already set up a processing unit in
Manchester which is expected to start the production in November 2007.
The unit will be capable of producing 600 tonnes of fresh and frozen
meat a month.

Saleh Abdullah Lootah, chief executive officer of Al
Islami Foods, stated: “In today’s sophisticated world, halal has become
a global phenomenon, which is creating unprecedented demand for halal
products. Adhering to the social responsibility standards, Al Islami is
committed to providing Real Halal food to the people of all religions
across the world.”

3663 First for Foodservice is the UK’s leading
foodservice company with sales of over US$2 billion (AED 7.36 billion)
a year. The company delivers quality ingredients, finished products and
equipment to the food industry. In all, over 6,800 people manage 1.84
million square feet of storage in 40 depots across the United Kingdom.
A modern fleet of 1,100 vehicles delivers to over 50,000 customers in
the UK.

The British company said it had chosen Al Islami
because of its strong credentials. It hopes to avoid the controversy
over UK’s domestic halal standards, which have come under fire from
Muslim groups across the United Kingdom.

“Al Islami has strong business credentials,” said
3663 chief executive Fred Barnes. “It has been producing halal meat
ranges since the early 1970s and the company conforms to the exacting
standards we demand from our business partners.”