The plans follow the inking of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) yesterday between the Malaysian company and UAE-based importer Shokri Hassan Trading Company, reported Bernama.
“Through Shokri Hassan Trading, we’re delighted with this opportunity to explore and establish our brand presence in the vibrant and lucrative Middle East market,” said MAFC’s senior vice-president of marketing Amiruddin Zainal Abidin.
“We hope this MoU will become a stepping stone for a stronger relationship leading to other new and exciting undertakings for both parties and, in turn, present a good model of mutual cooperation between Malaysia and the UAE.”
MAFC’s tomatoes will initially go to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, retailing in chains such as Carrefour, Spinneys and Coop.
The company’s ‘Lushious’ tomato brand has actually been entering the UAE market since May in increasing volumes. So far RM500,000 (US$142,000) worth of tomatoes have been shipped.
“We followed through in June with the weekly dispatch of 20 tonnes of tomatoes to Dubai and in August, we increased this quantum to 30 tonnes per week or 120 tonnes per month,” Mr Amiruddin said.
“God willing, by October this year we would be able to achieve our target of 200 tonnes per month.”
In 2008 Malaysia ranked 8th in the UAE’s tomato import market, which brought in 32.29m dirhams (US$8.5m) worth from countries like India, Holland, South Africa and the Middle East.