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Saudi Arabia’s food factory count rises to 1,300

Over 400 global food brands are taking part in the SaudiFood Manufacturing show in Riyadh this month SaudiFood Manufacturing
Over 400 global food brands are taking part in the SaudiFood Manufacturing show in Riyadh this month
  • Food industry’s localisation push
  • SaudiFood show in Riyadh
  • Saudi sector valued at $60bn

The total number of food factories operated by the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (Modon) has reached 1,300, across 36 cities.

The increase signifies the growing capacity of the domestic food industry and its localisation efforts, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported.

Food industry companies have recorded a growth rate of more than 31 percent in recent years, Modon said, reflecting its ambition to become the preferred hub for both local and international food industry firms.

The state-run entity is a strategic partner of the inaugural edition of the SaudiFood Manufacturing Show, which will be held from April 30 to May 2 in Riyadh. Over 400 global food brands in the field of processing, and packaging and ingredients are taking part.

Established in 2001, the areas overseen by Modon include six industrial oases.

Saudi Arabia is the largest and fastest-growing market in the Middle East’s food and beverage sectors, currently valued at $60 billion and growing at four percent per year, according to the show organisers.

To boost food security and create job opportunities for locals, the kingdom invests in initiatives such as acquiring and leasing land abroad to ensure food supplies.

Saudi-listed Tabuk Agricultural Development Company last week signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Neom Food Company (Topian) to develop, construct and operate a hydroponic greenhouse to produce fruits and vegetables in Tabuk.

Tabuk Agricultural will source 100 hectares of agricultural land to construct a mid-tech hydroponic vegetable facility as part of the agreement.

Saudi sovereign Public Investment Fund (PIF) invested in Brazilian food processor BRF in July 2023 as part of its drive to boost food security in the kingdom.

Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company acquired 180 million equity shares in BRF, representing 10.7 percent of the company’s outstanding shares, for SAR1.27 billion ($338.77 million). 

Earlier this year, the kingdom launched a National Biotechnology Strategy to become the region’s biotech leader by 2030 and a global leader by 2040, contributing 3 percent, or SAR130 billion ($35 billion), to non-oil GDP. 

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