São Paulo – The Arab importers currently in Brazil to attend São Paulo food industry show Anufood got in touch with several prospective suppliers, including small businesses, and were pleased with the pricing. Executives from five Arab companies were welcomed to the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce headquarters this Thursday (14), the last day of the expo.
Anufood is held by Koelnmesse – which also organizes the famous Anuga show in Germany – and had its first-ever edition this week. The coming of the Arab importers was made possible by Anufood in partnership with the Arab Chamber. They sat down for B2B meetings arranged by Anufood, where they spoke with Arab Chamber member companies.
One of the many Arab enterprises attending Anufood and whose delegates visited the Arab Chamber offices is Qatar Meat.
A major food processing company, it deals in products including beef- and poultry-based sausage, mortadella, hamburgers and meat balls, It has a plant in Doha and sells both domestically and abroad.
General manager Ahmed Samir said Brazil has been a supplier to Qatar Meat for four years now. The company currently imports 35 shipping containers’ worth of poultry, 25 of beef and 35 tons of soy from Brazil. During his ongoing trip, the manager got in touch with current suppliers and spoke with prospective new ones. He claims he has encountered good pricing and quality. Ahmed Samir warned that Qatar Meat is looking for both.
Dukan’s expansion manager Wassim Al Nassan is also attending Anufood. He told ANBA he believes he’ll eventually do business with the companies he found out about in Brazil. Dukan owns 115 affordability-oriented supermarkets in western Saudi Arabia. The stores offer high quality, aggressive discounts and a limited number of brands.
Nassan said the trip to Brazil was positive. He met several executives and found prices to be appealing. However, he believes goods with shorter shelf lives take too long to ship – 30 to 35 days. Dukan sells all kinds of supermarket items, from detergents to frozen product and fresh fruit. This was the company’s first time in Brazil
Another Qatari business at Anufood is Al Tahaful Food Stuff & Trading. Operations director Ashraf Hassan said the company distributes product by Qatar Meat as well as by its own company, Agrico, in addition to importing from around the world to sell in Qatar. Agrico grows organic hydroponic vegetables. Regarding the trip to Brazil, where he had been before, Hassan noted that he met many potential suppliers.
Also attending the expo and visiting the Arab Chamber were Samir Moussalem, owner of the UAE-based Number8, and Feras Rifai, a trader for Saudi Arabia’s Vortex GB. The executives were welcomed to the Chamber’s offices by director William Atui and CEO Tamer Mansour, as well as Egypt’s commercial consul to São Paulo, Mohamed Elkhatib. Also present were government relations manager Fernanda Baltazar and international business analyst Thiago Ramires.
Most of the importers said they thought the expo would be larger but noted that it has the potential to expand in years to come. They also said they were able to meet alternatives to major suppliers, including small businesses. “I was able to locate up-and-coming producers, and the advantage of working with this kind of company is you can grow along with them,” said Nassan of Dukan. Almost all of them said they made contact with a large amount of companies.
William Atui and Tamer Mansour said the Arab Chamber is at the Arab importers’ disposal. Atui called on them to invest in Brazilian companies and be a part of their businesses. “The companies need investments and partnerships,” he said. Elkhatib mentioned some of the Chamber’s latest actions to spur Brazilian-Arab relations – including the launch of an Arab Chamber office in Dubai – and wished all of the Arab companies luck in their deals in Brazil.
Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum