Dutch dairy giant FrieslandCampina and Egypt’s Arabian Food Industries plan to explore joint opportunities in the African cheese market.
The two parties have signed a memorandum of understanding to investigate cooperation in Africa, Domty, as Arabian Food Industries is better known, said in a filing with the local stock exchange on Sunday (6 September).
Cheese is Giza-based Domty’s mainstay business with a portfolio under its namesake brand consisting of feta, cream cheese, mozzarella and local varieties, although the company has more recently branched out into bakery. It exports to around 46 countries. Last year, Domty revealed aUS$4m investment in its bakery capabilities.
The company’s other brands include Damo, Gebnety and Bravo, produced for local consumers and for export to the Middle East, Europe, North America and Africa.
FrieslandCampina generated revenue of EUR11.3bn (US$13.38bn) in 2019 and, according to the co-op’s annual report, EUR1.08bn was made across Africa and the Middle East, although the company does not provide specific figures for Africa. It reported “strong growth in sales volume” for its consumer brands, “particularly in Nigeria”.
Earlier this year, it emerged the Dutch co-op was looking to acquire the Nigerian dairy business Nutricima from UK consumer goods firm PZ Cussons.
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Again in Nigeria, FrieslandCampina extended its partnership with International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) in 2019 through its local subsidiary FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria to “transform” milk production in the country and to make “quality dairy nutrition” more affordable and accessible.
A spokesperson for FrieslandCampina said the company has nothing to add at this stage, but acknowledged the co-op was in discussions with Domty.