AL DAHRA HOLDING
Al Dahra Holding is a prominent leader in the agribusiness sector, specializing in the cultivation and production of animal fodder and essential human food commodities. Since its inception in 1995, Al Dahra has witnessed an unmatched growth fuelled by an active and determined foreign investment strategy.
Launched in a region experiencing a decrease in both farming operations and cultivable land, Al Dahra spearheaded the United Arab Emirates government agenda to preserve, sustain and ensure long term water and food security. In 2010, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (“ADFCA”) awarded the company a five years period fixed contract for the supply of alfalfa hay and other fodder varieties, reaching a volume of roughly one million metric tons in 2014. Similarly, the company entered into a fixed contract with the Farmers Service Centre Abu Dhabi (“FSCA”) for the supply of feed pellets. Given Al Dahra’s demonstrated track record in sourcing and supplying needed quantities from various origins with consistent quality and at fixed price, the ADFCA and FSCA contracts have been renewed for a new period (starting in 2015).
Building on its commitment to contribute to the execution of the UAE Food Security program, the company started in 2012 supplying high quality Basmati rice from Pakistan to various UAE municipalities and government bodies based on long-term contracts.
Undoubtedly, the strategic vision of the UAE government has generated multiple business opportunities and has always been the key driver for the company’s success.
Following a similar growth path, Al Dahra has established a strong presence in the international commercial market offering its products and services to a wide and diversified global customer base. In about two decades, the company has transformed from a local Abu Dhabi based company to a multinational organization with presence across four continents and an international mindset to growing the commercial agribusiness. Today, the company operates two main business divisions; the Animal Feed Division and the Human Food and Services Division (serving both government and commercial customers).
Animal Feed Division
Al Dahra’s Animal Feed division has the largest share of the company’s current business and revenues. Its service offering includes a wide variety of high nutrient forage and roughage products with an annual production capacity of 2 million metric tons catering for the needs of the dairy industry and cattle growers. Through its subsidiaries including Al Dahra ACX Global and Al Dahra Fagavi, the group owns and operates a large portfolio of cultivation lands and processing, baling and packing facilities in the United States of America and Spain. To complement the production activity, Al Dahra operates a major forage sourcing, trading and distribution hub out of Italy through its subsidiary Al Dahra Bio Agri, serving a large number of markets with a main focus on the Middle East and Africa. In addition, Al Dahra has set up its own forage cultivation projects in Pakistan and Egypt to grow its own production capacity and reduce reliance on spot markets. It has further created a strong presence in South Africa to diversify its sources of supply and execute on its strategy of all-year supply.
Human Food Division
When it comes to the Human Food Division, Al Dahra has made considerable investments in the grains production, packaging and retail marketing business. Al Dahra Brukfield, the company’s subsidiary in Pakistan, owns two advanced rice processing and milling facilities producing a large variety of rice for different market segments. More recently, the group has acquired a stake in Kohinoor Foods, a leading rice producer and trader based in India with a wide international market presence. In addition, Al Dahra is a shareholder in Loulis, a company with more than 230 years history in the wheat milling and flour production sector and a leading player in the flour industry in Europe.
In terms of Fruits and Vegetables cultivation, Al Dahra has made greenfield investments in Egypt where it owns large areas of land for the cultivation of wheat, potatoes, corn and various citrus fruits. The group has also recently acquired cultivation lands and plants in Serbia with a special emphasis on apples production through its subsidiary Al Dahra Rudnap. The group has also entered into a Joint Venture with Bartlett, the renowned producer of potatoes and has created a new entity named Al Dahra Bartlett which will be involved in the cultivation, sorting, grading, storing and marketing of potatoes. Similarly, Al Dahra Agriculture has made investments in Namibia for the cultivation of palm trees and grape trees where it produces a large variety of dates and table grapes. Moreover, Al Dahra has acquired Oliva, a company in Morocco involved in the cultivation of olives which will give it entry into the olive oil production industry.
In the United Arab Emirates more particularly, Al Dahra is involved in dairy production, cattle rearing and fertilizers production. Al Ain Farms, a subsidiary of Al Dahra, produces milk and cheese for the local market.
Al Dahra has a unique value proposition and service offering that sets it apart from competitors in the market place. Unlike common traders and importers, the company owns and operates its own lands, production facilities and factories which allows full control over the operations and ensures high quality of end-products offered to consumers.
Al Dahra has built over the recent years strong logistics capabilities with a highly specialized warehousing and distribution infrastructure and network that supports the delivery of its products’ seamlessly to customers wherever they are located at the most competitive prices. Supply chain management is viewed as an integral part of the company’s operating model and there are constant investments being made in upgrading the movement of goods and commodities to ultimately benefit the end-customer.
For instance, Al Dahra has acquired majority shares in Agility Abu Dhabi, a leading logistics player in the United Arab Emirates market.
Moreover, Al Dahra is focused on diversifying its investment strategy by attracting new capabilities and areas of know-how to the United Arab Emirates. It has established a Joint Venture with WR Grace, a leading player in the Chemicals industry. The partners are currently jointly building a fluid catalyst plant in Abu Dhabi which will supply the main refineries domestically and in the wider GCC region with their needs of catalysts.
Al Dahra has become a pioneer in making significant investments in research and development and the implementation of the latest technology when it comes to farming and irrigation equipment and processing and production systems, technologies and machineries. Today, the group has a land bank of more than 200,000 acres of land in various geographies, manages about 14 business entities across four continents, operates 8 forage plants, 2 rice milling plants and 2 flour milling plants and has an international workforce of more than 2,000 employees who are highly specialized in the agribusiness.