Pakistani food company National Foods is setting up its first overseas manufacturing facility in Sharjah, UAE, to increase its exports of its popular seasonings, pickles, dessert mixes and ready-to-eat meals.
National Foods manufactures and sells 100 different products internationally and the UAE is its biggest overseas market. The company was founded in 1970 and is based in Karachi. It started out selling spices and now offers more than 250 products. National Foods has developed food products based on convenience and fast preparation, to match the modern lifestyles of its consumers, yet it has not lost its traditional culinary values, keeping hungry families full of spice.
National Foods expands with first overseas manufacturing facility in UAE
After the textile sector, food and beverage processing is the second largest industry in Pakistan, which contributes 27% of the value-added production and 16% of employment in the manufacturing sector.
“The food sector faces challenges in processing and value addition,” said Waheed Ahmed, Vice-President of All Pakistan Fruit & Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association. “These challenges stem from the absence of processing facilities, a shortage of skilled workforce and a lack of innovative technology. About 30% of fruits and vegetables go to waste due to negligence and the absence of processing facilities, presenting a significant hurdle to exports of food products.”
Because the Pakistani diaspora is growing in Gulf countries, so is demand for Pakistani food items. National Food’s total turnover showed that its share of exports was 20%.
National Foods DMCC, the Dubai-based subsidiary, was set up in 2012 for the Middle East market, which has grown the company’s customer reach. Now, it has been granted a manufacturing licence in the UAE, National Foods is ready to get to work.
“We will start manufacturing with the purpose of better access to the market particularly, the Middle Eastern markets. This will be the first overseas manufacturing facility,” said Abrar Hasan, CEO of National Foods.
Advancing sustainable agriculture to end hunger
National Foods is on an upwards trajectory, after recently entering into another agreement. Salaam Takaful Limited and National Foods agreed to commence a strategic partnership to provide Parametric-based Crop Takaful coverage to farmers. A pilot programme will run first, which offers weather-related risk coverage for tomato farmers.
“We are excited to join forces with National Foods. By combining our expertise, we aim to provide farmers with comprehensive and accessible Islamic insurance coverage, safeguarding their livelihoods and enabling sustainable growth in the agricultural sector,” said Rizwan Hussain, Managing Director & CEO of Salaam Takaful Limited. “This is in line with our vision of creating a robust ecosystem to make farmers resilient against climate change under UN Sustainable Development Goals 2, 3, 8, 11, 13 and 17.”
The second Sustainabl;e Development Goal is to reach a world free from hunger by 2030. Food inequality has increased since 2015, with 9% of the world’s population in a state of chronic hunger. This partnership between Salaam Takaful Limited and National Foods will help those facing hunger, including 20% of Pakistan’s population, which is undernourished.
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