(MENAFN- The Peninsula) The Peninsula
Doha: To further boost its sourcing operations and to bring in high quality products for its large chain of hypermarkets, GCC based retail giant Lulu Group officially opened its world-class sourcing, food processing & export hub in Italy yesterday.
Y International Italia, the sourcing division of Lulu Group was inaugurated by Guido Guidesi, Minister of Economic Development of Lombardy Region in the presence of Yusuffali MA, Chairman and Managing Director of Lulu Group. Also present on the occasion were Roberto Rizzardo, Head of FDI Department of Invitalia, Valerio Soldani, Director of Italian Trade Agency, Naser Al Khaja, Charge d'affaires at the UAE Embassy in Italy, Dr. Nasser Al Balooshi, Bahrain Ambassador to Italy, Cesare Trevisani, Chairman of Arab Chamber of Commerce of Italy, Dr. Mohamed Althaf, Director of Lulu Group International, Alessandro Simone, Country Head of Lulu Group in Italy, and other officials.
This move by the Lulu Group will further boost its sourcing operations not only from Italy but also from nearby European countries to ensure uninterrupted supply and price stability of food products.
Ideally located at World Trade Center Malpensa Airport in Milan, the state-of-the-art facility will primarily focus on sourcing, processing, storing, packaging, and exporting of top-quality food products from Italy to more than 255 Lulu Hypermarkets spread across GCC countries, Egypt, India, Indonesia and Malaysia.
The focus categories will be varieties of cheeses, chocolates, fruit jams, sweet and puff pastries, organic pasta, infused extra-virgin olive oil, high-quality sea-salt from well-known Italian brands. Apart from packed food the center will also source and export a wide range of fruits & vegetables mainly apples, grapes, kiwi, olives, etc.
Chief Guest, Guidesi expressed his excitement in having Lulu Group's this new project in Italy and assured highest level of support and cooperation that will further enhance trade tie between Italy and the Arab world.
Speaking at the inauguration, Yusuffali MA, Chairman of Lulu Group said“as a key partner in the“food security” sector in the Middle East, it is our ongoing strategy to set up our own sourcing & food processing units around the world to ensure uninterrupted supply and ensure competitive pricing by eliminating middlemen.
“Italy has some unique cuisines, vast variety of fruits, vegetables and various commodities and we are working closely with the Italian Trade Agency to boost the export of these products to our hypermarkets. We will be working closely with all stakeholders to promote the Italian brands by organizing“Italian Food Festivals” across our hypermarkets” said Yusuffali.
We will be initially exporting worth €50m and expect to reach €200m in 2 years. We are tying up with farmers cooperative societies to source fruits & vegetables, which will surely have a very positive impact on the Agricultural sector of Italy. In addition this project will also generate significant employment in Italy” added Yusuffali.
GCC based Lulu Group has an annual turnover of $8bn and employs over 65,000 people from 43 different countries ranked as the No.1 retailer in the Middle East & North Africa region and as one of the Top 50 fastest growing retailers in the world by Deloitte.
Lulu Group has similar food processing centers in UK, USA, Spain, Turkey, Vietnam, Thailand, China, South Africa among others.