UAE - Bolstering food security, Abu Dhabi-headquartered retail giant LuLu Group International has opened its world-class sourcing, food processing and export hub in Italy.

The facility located ideally at World Trade Center Malpensa Airport Milan will further boost LuLu Group’s sourcing operations not only from Italy but from nearby European countries thereby ensuring uninterrupted supply and price stability of food products. The group aims to export food products worth 200 million euros in 2 years.

Y International Italia, the sourcing division of Lulu Group, was inaugurated by Guido Guidesi, a Regional Minister for Economic Development, in the presence of Yusuffali MA, chairman and managing director of LuLu Group.

Guidesi welcomed the UAE-based group’s new project in Italy and assured the highest level of support and cooperation that will further enhance trade ties between Italy and the Arab world.

Yusuffali noted: “As a key partner in the food security sector in the Middle East, it is our ongoing strategy to set up our own sourcing and food processing units around the world to ensure uninterrupted supply and ensure competitive pricing by eliminating middlemen.”

The state-of-the-art facility will primarily focus on sourcing, processing, storing, packaging and exporting 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, and high-quality sea salt from well-known Italian brands. Apart from packed food, the centre will also source and export a wide range of fruits and vegetables mainly apples, grapes, kiwi, olives, etc.

“Italy has some unique cuisines, a 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 work closely with all stakeholders to promote the Italian brands by organising ‘Italian Food Festivals’ across our hypermarkets,” Yusuffali said.

The new project will target food exports worth 200 million euros in 2 years and create jobs in Italy.

“We will be initially exporting worth 50 million euros and expect to reach 200 million euros in 2 years. We are tying up with farmers’ cooperative societies to source fruits and vegetables, which will surely have a positive impact on the agricultural sector of Italy. In addition, this project will also generate significant employment in Italy,” Yusuffali added.

The group has similar food processing centres in the UK, the US, Spain, Turkey, Vietnam, Thailand, China, and South Africa, among others.

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