By Andy Sambidge
BRF says new facility at Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi will employ 1,400 workers
BRF, the seventh biggest food company in the world and responsible for the Sadia brand of frozen foods in the Middle East, has officially opened a new AED588 million ($160 million) factory in Abu Dhabi.
The investment provides Brazil's BRF with a land plot of 162,157 square metres in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad) and will employ 1,400 workers.
The plant will have a production capacity of approximately 70 thousand tons of food products a year including breaded items, pizzas, burgers and other products.
"The new plant represents one of the key foundations of BRF's strategy of commitment and investment to the Middle East region, a fast growing market that is most strategically placed for the internationalization process of BRF products.", said Abilio Diniz, chairman of BRF.
The opening is part of plans by BRF to increase revenues from the Middle East to at least 20 percent of its total income by 2020.
The Middle East is BRF's biggest export market and currently contributes 17 percent of group revenues, helped by its Sadia brand of some halal (food permissible for muslims under Islamic Shari'a) products.
The company said the new production line will amplify its effort "in the continuous improvement of high quality and safe food products in the Gulf region, as well as supporting food producers in the region".
Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, chairman of Kizad, said: "The opening of the food production plant represents a crucial landmark in our continuous efforts to enable development and trade, while diversifying the emirate's economy in line with Abu Dhabi's Economic Vision 2030.
"The fact that BRF is opening its biggest Middle East plant in Kizad confirms the zone's world-class business offerings, innovative logistics infrastructure and unprecedented access to global markets through our flagship deep-water Khalifa Port."
BRF International CEO Pedro Faria added: "The Kizad plant is testament to BRF's commitment to expand our business in the Middle East region.
"Local production of processed food greatly increases our offering flexibility and adaptation of our products to regional demands and expansion of our Sadia product portfolio in the food service channel for the Middle East, providing the best food products to our customers."