Cargill and ARASCO JV to boost ingredient production for Gulf beverage, confectionery and bakery firms

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

The JV marks Cargills first investment in Suaid Arabia.
The JV marks Cargills first investment in Suaid Arabia.

Related tags United arab emirates

Cargill has made its first investment in Saudi Arabia with the opening of a joint-venture corn milling facility to increase supplies to the Gulf’s food and beverage firms.

The company joined forces with ARASCO (Arabian Agricultural Services Company) to create The Middle East Food Solutions Company (MEFSCO) Corn Milling Facility.

The plant was inaugurated last week, with Cargill stating the  investment marks the company’s commitment to the Middle Eastern economy and support for the region’s food and beverage manufacturers.

The MEFSCO facility was built to serve the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC), which include Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar.

With the new plant, the joint venture is able to double its glucose and starch production capacities, triple total production volume and expand its product portfolio to include high fructose corn syrup to meet the growing demand across the confectionery, juice, bakery and catering segments in the region.

Fast-growing market

Julian Chase, global leader for Cargill starches, sweeteners and texturisers said: “The Middle East food industry is one of the world’s fastest-growing markets. The MEFSCO facility gives regional food and beverage manufacturers access to high quality, innovative products produced specifically for them. ARASCO’s local knowledge and supply chain infrastructure were crucial in our ability to design a facility that best serves local market needs."

The expansion allows MEFSCO to offer enhanced, market-specific solutions for Middle Eastern customers, he added.

Ziyad Alsheikh, chief executive officer of MEFSCO, added that consumer awareness around food safety and hygiene is growing steadily.

“Cargill’s expertise in processing agricultural commodities into high-quality sweeteners and starch-based products will provide our regional customers with an edge in making products that respond to this consumer trend. Customers will be able to serve the market’s demand with products that MEFSCO will manufacture to the strictest food safety and hygiene standards in our state-of-the-art Al-Kharj facility.” 

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