Chairperson of Misr Cafe Moneer Masood said that the company’s exports in 2016 reached $1.5m to African countries, with plans to boost the figure by 25% in 2017. Total exports registered $20m.
Masood told Al-Borsa that Africa is one of the most promising markets for Egyptian food industry companies, as the company aims to participate in all exhibitions to enhance its presence in the African markets, including the Food Africa exhibition.
He added that there are several obstacles that must be solved, such as the difficulty of maritime shipping, especially to the countries in West Africa. He noted that shipping accounts for 8% of the final price to Africa; however, shipping to Europe only accounts for 3%.
He explained that African countries impose certain requirements on the packaging of Egyptian products, and this also raises the cost of the product, especially after the flotation of the exchange rate and the price hikes of several packaging materials, which account for 9% of the final price.
Moreover, Masood said that lack of shipping lines to many African countries also hinders exporting to them, urging the government to sign trade agreements and waive customs tariff between the countries of East and West Africa with Egypt to lower the prices of Egyptian products and raise their competitiveness.
As for the company, Masood said that Misr Cafe increased its production capacity to 9,000 tonnes in 2016.
He added that the company is seeking to expand in packaging lines this year to increase their capacity by 50%, with investments of EGP 150m.
Misr Cafe is specialised in producing instant coffee products, including Instant Coffee, 2×1 Coffee, 3×1 Coffee, Ginseng Coffee Mix 4×1, Ginger Coffee Latté 4×1, flavoured instant cappuccino, and iced cappuccino.
Masood said that the food industry is one of the most promising sectors in the Egyptian market, adding that the Agricultural Export Council is working to remove obstacles for exporters.
He pointed out that the flotation of the pound in November enhanced the competitiveness of Egyptian products throughout all markets, which contributes to the provision of foreign currency.
He expected the coming period to see more investments being pumped into the food sector, especially as the turmoil in several countries stopped their production and increased the need for imported products.
He pointed out that the company exports to 40 countries around the world, including Malaysia, the US, Japan, and Canada, besides the Arab countries, with plans to enter new markets in Poland, Armenia, and all over Africa.
He highlighted the need for taking part in food exhibitions to communicate with importers in other countries.
Masood said that the company participated in the Gulfood exhibition and that it will be taking part in the Food Africa exhibition.
He noted that the company’s market share is 10-15% in Egypt, noting that, in a bid to offset losses, priority is given to exports, especially following production cost hikes by 35%.
The company did not raise the prices of its products following the pound’s flotation at the same rate the exchange rate increased, Masood pointed out.
He added that the Egyptian market has huge potential, especially in the field of food industries. Additionally, factories aim to expand and find more opportunities following the government decisions to limit imports, which gives local products a chance to replace imported goods, he stated.
Masood furthermore explained that the company is working on the development of production and on the use of the latest technology in manufacturing and improving the product-delivery process, as well as increase spending on research and development.
Finally, he stressed the need for technical training in the coming period to improve the quality of labour in all fields.
Founded in 1984, Misr Cafe is the number one company in Egypt and the Middle East for producing instant coffee from a blend of Robusta and Arabica coffee, with three brands on the market.