Export manager at Caker for Food Industry & Import and Export, Ahmed Fekry, said that the company targets to boost its exports to $30m in 2017, up from $10m in 2016—an increase of 200%.
He added that this increase will be achieved through the development of many new products and by opening new markets.
He noted that Kenya, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, and Palestine are the company’s most prominent markets, since it has distributors and certified agents in all of these markets.
The headquarters of the company’s factory lies in New Damietta. The company works to cover a diverse range of cakes, chocolate, biscuits, wafers, desserts, and snacks across the country, offering 38 different products.
Moreover, Caker aims to sign a new dealership agreement in Saudi Arabia during the current year, along with expanding in South Africa, the Gulf states, and Europe.
Caker produces chocolate and marshmallows, especially since the recent restrictions on imports and the high exchange rate prompted increased demand in Egypt for the company’s products.
Fekry said that Caker channels 60% of its production to the local market and exports 40%—with plans to boost exports to 50% in 2017.
He added that the company aims to develop traditional methods and provide its factories with modern technologies and cutting-edge facilities to increase production. He noted that the company also seeks geographic expansion in Egypt through opening new outlets in Cairo, Tanta, Alexandria, Ismailia, Assiut, Sohag, Minya, and Beni Suef.
Considering the flotation, Fekry said that the decision caused prices of all production inputs to surge—from flour over sugar and butter all the way to packaging materials, it registered increases by up to 200%.
He pointed out that the company is keen on taking part in local and international exhibitions. He expressed his dissatisfaction with the limited spaces available to Egyptian industrial companies at international exhibitions.
Regarding exports, Fekry said that his company was challenged by distributors buying large quantities and exporting the products by themselves in an unprofessional manner, which damages the reputation of Egyptian products.
He warned that selling through unverified distributors may lead many markets to stop dealing with the company.
He urged the government to stop exports that are not officially approved by the company.
In a different context, Fekry said that the Egyptian market is attractive for investments, especially in the sector of food industries, basing his opinion on the large population and the resulting big demand for food products.
He pointed out that the shortages that took over the market previously are unlikely to occur again.
With regards to the most prominent challenges exporters are facing, Fekry said that the high cost of shipping is a main obstacle, especially in cases of countries that do not have decent ports, which makes the shipping costs surge by up to 50%.
Furthermore, he noted that a good market does not close on itself, but should be open to all competing markets through imports and exports in order to stimulate local production to raise the production quality.
He explained that exporting companies ensure high quality products to be able to compete with foreign producers in external markets.
Asked about his opinion on the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trading’s move to oblige companies to price tag their products, Fekry said that the decision will burden the companies with more costs to print new packages with price tags.
He attributed the recent hikes in prices of different food commodities to the rising prices of raw material and shipping fees.
Caker is considered one of the largest producers of food products, distinguished by high quality. The company started operations in 1998.