Saudi-based Mrasi Almamoura Group has entered into a strategic partnership with two Malaysian companies, Syed Food Industry Sdn. Bhd., an established food service operator and Fario Holdings Sdn. Bhd, a technology-driven coffee retail provider for the development and distribution of products, including Ready-To-Eat (RTE), Ready-To-Cook (RTC) and beverages that caters to the Hajj and Umrah sector, as well as the growing hospitality sector in the region.
The partnership was firmed during a signing ceremony held at the Jeddah Superdome, in conjunction with the second edition of the Hajj and Umrah Services Conference and Exhibition 2023, organised by Saudi’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah that gathers global entrepreneurs and innovators to showcase advancements in improving the experience of pilgrims visiting the Two Holy Mosques.
In the agreement, Syed Food Industry would provide solutions for Mrasi Almamoura to offer retort packed meals to pilgrims, offering a diverse range of flavours such as South East Asian, Western and Middle Eastern cuisines, while Fario Holdings pioneering digital and automated kiosk under the brand of Coffee Star brings convenience by providing freshly brewed coffee and selected beverages to consumers.
According to Syed Aziz Khan, GCEO of Syed Food Industry, in order to cater to the diverse and large number of pilgrims and tourists performing the Hajj and Umrah yearly, it is important to ensure that food safety and quality is maintained at all times, and one way to achieve that is through retort packed food.
He added, “Our forte has been providing large-scale F&B solutions and now we have implemented Industry 4.0 technology in our food production facilities. The hospitality sector will be the initial focus in this collaboration, but in the future, we are considering expanding these cutting-edge services and innovative food services by working with local partners to fulfil the demands of the transportation, education, health care, and defence sectors as well.
For Raja Ahmad Fauzan, the Coffee Enthusiastic Officer (CEO) of Coffee Star, this partnership represents their maiden step towards bringing an innovative business model to the world. “We look forward to contribute effectively to spurring tremendous convenience for pilgrims through our technology,” he said.
“Truly, it is the beginning of something exciting for both companies as we are poised to offer convenient ways for pilgrims to enjoy their coffee. We also appreciate and recognise the leading efforts by MATRADE and other government agencies involved in providing instrumental support to make this possible.”
Fouad Morsi, CEO of Mrasi Almamoura said, “It is a pleasure to be partnering with both companies as they both share our vision and values in offering innovative and convenient food services for the benefit of pilgrims. This is also aligned with the Saudi government’s vision to deliver safe and quality food for public consumption”.
The Trade Consul of the Commercial Section (MATRADE) of the Consulate General of Malaysia, Jeddah, Faizalkhan Jaafar who was present to witness the ceremony, commended efforts made by the Malaysian and Saudi counterparts to leverage on the strength and expertise each company has.
“In Malaysia, retort food technology started to gain traction in the mid-1980s and throughout the years various researches and development has been made to improve the quality, taste and sustainability of retort packed products. Besides preserving the shelf life of exported food, it also reduces food surplus, especially in the hospitality and food service sector, which is in tandem with Saudi’s Vision 2030 to reduce wastage of agri-food resources”, Mr. Faizalkhan commented.
Under Saudi Vision 2030, the Kingdom aims to increase the number of pilgrims to 30 million by improving the delivery of services in logistics, healthcare, technology and tourism sector amongst others.