Dutch dairy business FrieslandCampina has set up a joint venture with Egypt-based peer Arabian Food industries Company (Domty) to market cheese in Africa and the Middle East.

FrieslandCampina will hold a 51% stake in the venture business, with Domty the remaining 49%. The venture will export cheese from Egypt to other markets in the region.

Last September, the two companies announced they were exploring the possibility of working together.

Mohamed Damaty, vice CEO of Domty, said: “We have been seeking this venture as a company for a long time. We believe that our products can fit well into the African market and joining forces with FrieslandCampina will help us a lot to do so. We are optimistic about the venture and its ability to grow in the future.”

Dustin Woodward, managing director of FrieslandCampina’s consumer dairy business in Africa, said: “We are very excited about the joint venture with Domty. Combining our joint expertise, capabilities and footprint will allow us to nourish more African families than ever before.

“Over the next few years we will bring exciting innovations that will create new cheese propositions that are more healthy, affordable and accessible to consumers across Africa and the Middle East.”

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Domty is one of the biggest cheese manufacturers in Egypt. Established in 1989, it now has an annual turnover of more than EUR100m (US$119.1m) based on the sales of produce including feta-style cheese, mozzarella and cream cheese. It also manufactures fruit juices and bakery products.

FrieslandCampina’s hard cheese brands Frico and Kroon have been sold in north Africa for decades.

It said the deal with Domty will allow it to “enter bigger, more affordable and faster-growing cheese categories and better serve consumers across their breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacking occasions”.

A FrieslandCampina spokesperson told just-food the name of the new JV company will be announced next week

The spokesperson said FrieslandCampina’s involvement “goes beyond supply and involves marketing, sales, innovation and distribution of the full portfolio – leveraging also existing infrastructure and footprint in relevant countries”.

A Domty spokesperson said the JV will be targeting Middle East countries as well as Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Ghana and Morocco and said the cheese to be sold in these countries will be manufactured in Egypt by Domty.

In 2020, FrieslandCampina generated revenue of EUR1.16bn from its businesses in Africa and the Middle East. The co-op’s total revenue was EUR11.14bn.