JERUSALEM- Emirates Food Industries (EFI) has enlisted the help of Israel's largest food maker, Tnuva, to expand its range of dairy products, starting with a new facility to produce the popular Mediterranean cheese Labneh, Tnuva said on Sunday.
Under a licensing agreement, Tnuva will help build a production line in Dubai in return for royalties. It is the first such deal between food companies in Israel and the United Arab Emirates since the countries normalized ties a year ago, Tnuva said.
Labneh is a tart, creamy cheese often made locally across the Middle East.
Tnuva said its formula is unique, since it is able to mass produce while using a traditional 'drip bag' method and that EFI found its product to be better than anything available in the UAE.
"Later on the activity will include support in the development and production of additional products," Tnuva said.
The was no immediate comment from EFI.
The licensing agreement is for 10 years with an option to extend and Tnuva said it potentially will bring "millions of dollars of revenue in the coming years."
Tnuva has dozens of sites all over Israel. It has been controlled by Chinese food conglomerate Bright Food since 2015.
(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch Editing by Steven Scheer and Elaine Hardcastle) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +972-2-632-2202; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com@reuters.net))