Gouda for Agricultural Products aims to inject EGP 80m to expand its agricultural land and establish a potato sorting terminal with investments worth $4m.
Hassan Elbeshbeshy, commercial director, said that the company is working to establish a new terminal for the sorting and packaging of lettuce and potatoes with investments of $4m, which is expected to launch at the end of this year with a capacity of 600 tonnes of potatoes and 50 tonnes of lettuce per day.
The company also aims to add 4,000 feddans to its land portfolio for its total area to reach 11,000 feddans, up from 7,000, with investments of EGP 80m.
He pointed out that the company has invested about $15m for the development and expansion of production lines, packaging, and refrigerators in recent years, including $6m for the production and sorting of frozen vegetables and fruits last year.
The capacity of refrigerators increased to accommodate 1,500 additional containers, bringing the total capacity of 4,500 containers with $1.2m in investments.
The company’s developments also included pumping $5m to increase its orange packaging terminal to three stations with a production capacity of 1,050 tonnes per day, up from 700 tonnes, in addition to a new station for packaging grapes at a cost of $3.5m. Moreover, the company has a station for packaging mandarins and another for onions and garlic.
Gouda for Agricultural Products was founded in 1986 and now exports to 20 different countries.
The company’s products range include vegetables and fresh fruits such as grapes, pomegranates, potatoes, onions, garlic, tomatoes, strawberries, and peaches, as well as oranges, which account for the largest proportion of the company’s products, in addition to frozen and canned vegetables and fruits, such as pineapples, pomegranates, and strawberries.
According to Elbeshbeshy, Gouda aims to increase its exports during the current year to 92,000 tonnes, including 42,000 tonnes of oranges. This also includes 13,000 tonnes to the Middle East.
He added that the company’s total exports in 2017 reached 62,000 tonnes, including 28,000 tonnes of oranges, while the value of canned and frozen exports reached a similar quantity.
He said the company plans to export 20,000 tonnes of frozen and canned vegetables and fruits this year to meet the demands of the US and European markets.
In the coming period, the company seeks to expand in the Chinese market and the East Asian market in general, as it is one of the biggest consumer markets for Egyptian products, in addition to the Russian, Ukrainian, American, and European markets.
The company plans to enter the Korean market to become the first Egyptian company to export to this promising market.
Elbeshbeshy said that the company signed a protocol of cooperation with the Korean Embassy in Egypt through coordination with the concerned authorities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Agriculture Export Council (EAC) to allow the entry of Egyptian exports to their markets.
The company intends to produce new kinds of canned and frozen vegetables, including onions, frozen garlic, canned corn, and dried tomatoes, with the aim of exporting them to the American and German markets and a number of other European countries.
Moreover, he said that some of the economic decisions taken recently by the government, including the decision to float the pound and the subsequent fluctuation in the currency exchange rate, has negatively affected the sales of companies operating in the agricultural export sector over the past year, as contracts were cut down as the prices of Egyptian goods increased.
He pointed out that Egyptian exports began to return to normal rates at the beginning of this year. Exports to the Russian market increased by 25% compared to the same period of 2017, while other markets returned to buying Egyptian products.