Egypt may be experiencing a challenging period, one marked by political and economic uncertainty, leading to a significant devaluation of the currency, but the fresh produce business continues to advance regardless. Demand for new varieties and packing innovations do not cease when a revolution commences.
“We are always trying to develop the business to the satisfaction of our clients,” said Hamdy Fayed, chairman of Egyptian producer FATA Farms. “This means we have to continue travelling the globe looking for the latest developments that suit our particular soil and climatic conditions. This is a non-stop process. In today’s fresh produce industry, we must invest in order to develop and innovate.”
In 2015, FATA signed a contract with Farm Agriculture on behalf of Volcani for the Star Light grape, an early season red seedless variety. It also introduced two new varieties, the Arra 15 white seedless and the Arra 18 black seedless. This year, new developments are afoot.
“In 2017, we will introduce the Arra 29 red seedless and the Arra 30 white seedless,” said Fayed. “We are also doing some experiments with new early varieties of stonefruit, which are currently under development.”
To keep up with such varietal developments, FATA is also working to update and expand its facilities.
“We are permanently working to upgrade our facilities in order to add value to our products and fend off the intense competition in this field,” said Fayed. “We have extended our coldstores by increasing the pre-cooling capacity by 58 per cent and the coldstorage capacity by 27 per cent.
“We have also added three packing lines for punnets, boosting our punnet-packing capacity by 28 per cent. We offer our clients a total service, having established a complete chain, handling everything from production, through packing and coldstorage, to logistics, utilising our FATA brand name throughout.”