Through a joint venture between Cargill and ARASCO, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has a new corn milling facility to meet the growing demand of the region’s food and beverage industry. The Middle East Food Solutions Company (MEFSCO Corn Milling Facility), inaugurated today in Al-Kharj, is Cargill’s first investment in KSA.
The MEFSCO facility was built to serve the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC), which include Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar. With the new plant, the joint venture is able to double its glucose and starch production capacities, triple total production volume and expand its product portfolio to include high fructose corn syrup to meet the growing demand across the confectionery, juice, bakery and catering segments in the region.
Julian Chase, global Leader for Cargill starches, sweeteners and texturizers said: “The Middle East food industry is one of the world’s fastest-growing markets. The MEFSCO facility gives regional food and beverage manufacturers access to high quality, innovative products produced specifically for them. ARASCO’s local knowledge and supply chain infrastructure were crucial in our ability to design a facility that best serves local market needs.”
Responding to consumer trends
Ziyad Alsheikh, Chief Executive Officer of MEFSCO, said: “In the Middle East, consumer awareness around food safety and hygiene is growing steadily. Cargill’s expertise in processing agricultural commodities into high-quality sweeteners and starch-based products will provide our regional customers with an edge in making products that respond to this consumer trend. Customers will be able to serve the market’s demand with products that MEFSCO will manufacture to the strictest food safety and hygiene standards in our state-of-the-art Al-Kharj facility.”
The MEFSCO joint venture was established by Cargill and ARASCO, a leading food manufacturing in KSA, in 2013. The new starches and sweeteners facility marks the joint venture’s first investment in KSA.