Baladna Eyeing Global Footprint Expansion

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) deepak john | The Peninsula

Doha: Qatar's leading food and dairy producer, Baladna is eyeing to export model outside of Qatar and is looking to expand its footprint in the international market, said an official.

Speaking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of AgriteQ 2023, Francis J Higgins, Head of Sustainability and Communications, Baladna said,“Baladna is currently looking to expand into Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Algeria, and Uzbekistan. Malaysia is in the advanced stages of discussions.

“We have completed our due diligence and feasibility studies there and hopefully we will be able to break ground on the site in Malaysia within this year. Malaysia is currently 97 percent import dependent and only produces 3 percent of their own fresh milk. The government to Malaysia is talking to Baladna to replicate that business model there.”

“Baladna is unique in a way because we have been able to create a dairy industry in a high humidity environment which is quite similar to the temperatures and the climate in South East Asia. We hope very soon we will be able to provide them fresh milk and dairy for their own country,” he said.

Higgins explained that Baladna was born in 2017 and“we had to fly 4,000 cows to provide fresh milk to a country that was 90 percent import dependent. Since then, we have grown exponentially as we have 25,000 cows which provide 70 percent of Qatar's dairy demand. We are now the only fully integrated dairy farm that is in conversation with foreign governments to export model outside of Qatar which is one of the most interesting things,” he said.

Baladna is constantly working to improve efficiencies.“We are trying to approach it from a circular economy perspective whereby everything we do is recycled back into the system. All the waste from the cows is sorted and the liquids are separated from the solids and the solids are turned into compost which is used as organic fertilizer which is then sold to local farmers, nurseries, and schools. So, it's a full circular approach,” Higgins noted.

He added,“It reduces the need for synthetic fertilizer and because of this we get carbon credits for this. We receive 30,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent carbon credits per year, 130,000 of which we have donated to the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy to offset against the carbon neutrality of the FIFA World Cup. We also recycle our wastewater, so we reduce our water consumption by 50 percent. These are all sustainability initiatives that we have integrated into our aim and these serve as a model for our farms that we will do as we expand internationally,” he added.

During the World Cup we saw increase in demand, in the hotels and the restaurants and Baladna was able to provide that demand to satisfy all the customers and people who were visiting from outside and provide healthy and nutritious products to all visiting people.“We provided juices on board to Qatar Airways flights, so lot of people from outside tried Baladna products and we are proud of the Qatari brand, it's the pride of our nation. This is a real success story.”

He further said,“Going forward we hope to be an inspiration to other countries seeking to provide dairy security for their nations and hopefully in the future we will see more of this kind of model throughout the world.”

The pavilion of Baladna attracted large number of visitors to the agricultural exhibition which was characterised by high-quality products. The exhibition provided an important platform for Baladna to participate, exchange experiences, and highlight its role as a leading company in dairy and food production.


The Peninsula

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