Al Islami Foods, a leading halal food producer in the Middle East, today announced a strategic joint venture with 3663 First for Foodservice, a leading foodservice distributor in the UK, which will cater to the British, German and the Benelux markets for Al Islami’s range of healthy halal products. The joint-venture signing ceremony was held in Manchester, UK.
The halal market in Europe is worth US$ 16 billion (AED 58.76 billion). Al Islami Foods, with the start of operations at year-end, expects US$80 million sales in first year (2008) and estimates US$600 million (AED 2.22 billion) in next five years. Al Islami-3663 joint venture, on a later stage, will cater to Muslim communities in the continental Europe in a bid to create Al Islami’s “Real Halal” benchmark in the industry
Al Islami UK has already set up a processing unit in Manchester which is expected to start the production in November 2007. The unit will be capable of producing 600 tonnes of fresh and frozen meat a month.
Saleh Abdullah Lootah, chief executive officer of Al Islami Foods, stated: “In today’s sophisticated world, halal has become a global phenomenon, which is creating unprecedented demand for halal products. Adhering to the social responsibility standards, Al Islami is committed to providing Real Halal food to the people of all religions across the world.”
3663 First for Foodservice is the UK's leading foodservice company with sales of over US$2 billion (AED 7.36 billion) a year. The company delivers quality ingredients, finished products and equipment to the food industry. In all, over 6,800 people manage 1.84 million square feet of storage in 40 depots across the United Kingdom. A modern fleet of 1,100 vehicles delivers to over 50,000 customers in the UK.
The British company said it had chosen Al Islami because of its strong credentials. It hopes to avoid the controversy over UK’s domestic halal standards, which have come under fire from Muslim groups across the United Kingdom.
“Al Islami has strong business credentials,” said 3663 chief executive Fred Barnes. “It has been producing halal meat ranges since the early 1970s and the company conforms to the exacting standards we demand from our business partners.”