After making inroads in Asian market, Global Fresh International (GFI) from The Netherlands is planning to expand its global footprint in the Middle East by launching its operations in the UAE next month.
GFI will open its office in Dubai to serve retail and wholesale customers in the Middle East and Asia. Arie van Helden, one of the GFI founders, will also be relocating to Dubai from The Netherlands to oversee the company’s activities in the Emirate.
The new GFI management will be represented by Tarek Bedir, who is well known in the Fresh Produce industry, as CEO together with Arie in his capacity as CCO. “We have made great presence in recent years on the Asian continent even though we have been operating out of The Netherlands. Now it is the time to expand and relocate our operations so we will be closer to our targeted markets and clients” says Arie.
Middle East Has the Potential
“Given the potential we saw in the Middle East, relocating GFI to the UAE is the best option. With this new office in Dubai, we want to become a significant partner for Gulf countries. GFI’s focus has always been Asia and it will certainly remain, only the Middle East is now added,” Arie added
Tarek Bedir’s experience as a partner on board – active for many years in the Middle East for various large fruit and vegetable companies as well as the connection with the founders for more than 20 years – ensures a high quality combination to this new opportunity.
“We will start in Dubai with a small but dedicated team. Our worldwide cultivation partners have more and more product available. This growth fits in with our strategy to add together with our partners even more value to them. The support from the Dutch mother company and colleagues will remain,” Tarek said.
Apples After Citrus and Grapes
Citrus and grapes remain the main products for GFI. In addition, apples are an important product for the Middle East and Asia.
Tarek further said: “We are committed to supply these main products year-round. About 60% of GFI’s sales goes to retail. Everything revolves around permanent availability at the right quality, which we will provide through our reliable worldwide network of partners. Our network from the Northern Hemisphere, such as Egypt, Morocco, India and Eastern Europe is supplemented by the southern hemisphere, such as South Africa, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Australia.”
“From our new office in Dubai, we are ideally located to also serve neighbouring GCC countries. We are convinced that our knowledge, both on the European and Asian market will help to be successful in the Middle East,” he added.
“Despite all the limitations of recent years, we have made huge presence in Asia. Countries such as China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, but also India are booming. The potential is enormous, given the population alone, and we see that purchasing power of the middle class is taking a huge spurt. We expect to see even faster growth and expect that in five years’ time, 50% of GFI’s business to be in Asia and 50% will be in the Middle East,” GFI said.