Local premix coffee producer penetrates Middle East market

Bloomberg filepix for illustration purpose only

Bloomberg filepix for illustration purpose only

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KOTA BHARU (Oct 18): Homegrown premix coffee producer Akifcafe Coffee Industries Sdn Bhd has secured 10 unit stock keeping units (SKU) for markets in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait.

Agriculture and Food Industries Deputy Minister II Dr Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh said the SKU orders involved 20-foot (ft) containers for the UAE market and 40-ft containers for Kuwait.

He said the SKU procurement was through the company's participation in Gulfood Exhibition 2021 which was held in Dubai, UAE in February this year, the first trade mission for the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).

"Through this participation, FAMA led four Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the agrofood business and assist in promoting and expanding their export markets," he told a media conference after a flag-off ceremony for Akifcafe Coffee product export to the Middle East here on Monday.

Elaborating further, Nik Muhammad Zawawi said this was an effort by FAMA to formulate plans to intensify and strengthen export activities for local agrofood products under the 12MP.

"Among the approaches taken are via forging strategic cooperation with marketing agents in foreign countries, equip the SMEs with export knowledge, provide logistics grants, and upgrade packaging for export markets," he said.

Hence, he hoped local entrepreneurs would be prepared to participate in various international trade exhibitions in order to meet more prospective buyers for their products.

"Besides enabling them to introduce their products, the entrepreneurs will also be able to have business discussions in the aspects of quality, export themes and the potential overseas markets that they want to explore.

"It's important for entrepreneurs to firstly build business networking as the business culture in every country is different and when they have the skills to attract buyers, business transactions would be easier and can be maintained," he said.

Meanwhile, Akifcafe Coffee owner, Asharuddin Arifin said some 40% of the company's products are for exports currently, namely to China, Hong Kong, Thailand, and including UAE and Kuwait.

"As a rural entrepreneur, I am grateful to the government departments and agencies specifically FAMA which has assisted greatly in providing the platform for local entrepreneurs to explore and open up market opportunities, locally and overseas," he said.

Asharuddin also said that Akifcafe Coffee had produced 23 premix coffee products since it was established in 2011.