Al Islami eyes $4b UK halal market


Al Islami Foods, a leading halal food producer in the Middle East, is banking on its ongoing talks with an English food distributor to tap the $4 billion UK market for halal and nutrient products.

In a statement, Al Islami yesterday said it is on the "final stage" of closing a deal with First For Foodservice, UK's $3-billion foodservice distributor. "On a later stage, the joint venture will cater to Muslim communities in the continental Europe in a bid to create Al Islami's 'Real Halal' benchmark in the industry," it said.

Saleh Abdullah Lootah, CEO of Al Islami Foods, said: "Scientifically proven health benefits of halal food have attracted an unprecedented demand across the world, from both Muslim and non-Muslim consumers." The statement said the complany's market-share had increased two points while its net sales grew 59 per cent in the UAE by the end of July. "Above-target growth raises company's standing in the local and international markets," it added.

Describing Al Islami's sales growth as a "marked success" in the local market, Lootah said: "We are confident that we will win the trust of growing Muslim communities in international markets as well."

Al Islamic had signed some agreements with various institutions to consolidate its presence here and abroad. These include the Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for Young Business Leaders in the UAE and the Halal Industry Development Corporation, which is wholly owned by the Malaysian government.

It had also signed agreements with the Egyptian food chain, Mo'men, and another joint venture in Iran for the processing and distribution of Al Islami products. Earlier, Al Islami announced a five-year strategic regional and international expansion plan including product development .