just-food.com has just learned that Fromageries Bel, the major French dairy group, has started having jar cheese produced in Saudi Arabia. Fromageries Bel has hooked up with SNZMP, the local New Zealand Milk Products subsidiary.

The news comes as a number of Western food manufacturers step up their investment in the markets of the Middle East. Factors including the liberalisation of import regimes and investment laws for foreign companies and a boom in advertising are fuelling the interest of foreign majors. Just last week, for example, Danone announced the acquisition of a controlling stake in Saudi Arabia’s second largest fresh dairy, Al Safi.

Read more in today’s feature: Milking the Middle East – Danone spearheads Western involvement in the Saudi Dairy Market