The Zone speaks to Nidal Haddad, Founder & CEO of Al Bayader International about the company’s work on maintaining a sustainable operation in Jafza which sets a model in self-sustainable industry ecosystems. The CEO said that embracing environmental consciousness in all their operations has been a significant step to their commitment to produce a “Green Track” range.
Would you like to throw some light on the company’s growth and expansion plans?
Through our expanded facility in JAFZA, we can serve the entire food packaging supply chain through locally made products. Currently, our overall production capacity across seven manufacturing facilities in the UAE and Qatar stands at 31,000 tonnes per annum. This expansion is part of a significant AED200 million investment by us for major industrial and retail expansion.
Our strategic expansion plans are in line with the industrial strategy of the UAE to create additional in-country value creation and an expanded portfolio of ‘Made in UAE’ products that not only meets the needs of the nation but also are exported to several European, Asian, South American and African nations. The expanded plant in Jafza also completes a self-sustained industrial ecosystem as it has advanced technology to manufacture our own machinery.
We have also opened our flagship retail outlet in Dubai on Sheikh Zayed Road Exit 45, near the Oasis Mall, and our ninth retail outlet in Nad Al Hammar in Dubai. This is part of our plans to open more retail outlets across the UAE as well as grow our business footprint to Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Above that Al Bayader has launched its own online stores in the UAE and Qatar in order to enhance the customer experience and reach out to a wider audience in these markets.
In other expansion initiatives, we launched our dedicated Foodstuff & Beverage Division offering an extensive selection of solutions that developed through extensive research and development. They represent a wide range of organic canned food and beverages that can be offered to customers along with many existing products related to food packaging and cleaning products. The food division extends Al Bayader International’s current packaging business to provide a one-stop solution for the HORECA sector.
Furthermore, we have secured a medium-term financing for setting up the region’s largest food packaging industrial complex in Sharjah’s Al Sajaa Industrial City. Spanning a 450,000-sq-ft area – the size of nearly six football fields – the Industrial Complex will manufacture over 70% of our total product range of more than 4,000 food packaging and cleaning products. The facility will include a dedicated R&D facility to drive product innovation, a large showroom, offices and 500-strong staff accommodation.
What are the key sectors you cater to?
Since humble beginnings, we have emerged today as the market leader in the region for high quality food packaging and cleaning solutions. With a dedicated team of close to 1,000 employees from 30 nations, and the support of over 400 business partners, we deliver unbeatable value to the global food and beverage industry.
With an extensive product portfolio of over 4,000 products, we operate seven manufacturing and nine logistics locations. We also lead several GCC markets with a substantial market share, while steadily increasing penetration into markets further afield, including Europe and Africa.
Our products include disposable tableware, disposable food containers, baking sheets, bags & wrapping systems, cleaning & hygiene products, food decoration items, foil and film rolls, paper products, bottles & jars, and a wide range of organic canned food and beverages.
Can you provide some details on the self-sustained industrial ecosystem set up by the company in Jafza?
Our manufacturing facility in Jafza sets a model in self-sustainable industry ecosystems, and is in fact home to the country’s first and largest solar rooftop within the food packaging sector. We set up the solar system on the rooftop of the plant with high-efficiency photovoltaic panels that have been installed on the rooftop spanning an area of 4,000 square metres and will generate over 1.5 GWh of clean electricity annually. This solar rooftop is part of the Shams Dubai programme and will offset approx. 700 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually, equivalent to planting over 34,000 trees.
This initiative is part of our wider sustainability programme to be a net zero emissions company and aligns with the National Food Security Strategy 2051, which focuses on promoting food safety while conserving the environment. Integrating the solar panels on the rooftop of our advanced manufacturing plant will enable us to make long-term financial savings on energy costs and also conserve the environment, contributing to a more sustainable future. Among other sustainability best practices include a Botanical Garden that has over 20 types of plants and 240+ trees native to the Mediterranean region, which is irrigated using treated sewage water. The garden offsets 2.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
What other technologies have you adopted in your facilities?
Recently, we also strengthened our omnichannel retail offering with the launch of a dedicated eCommerce portal – shop.albayader.com. It serves as a one-stop-shop showcasing the diverse products from the different divisions of the company, including Food Packaging, Cleaning & Detergent, and Foodstuff & Water. By including recycling, water treatment plants, composting and energy conservation in our manufacturing processes, we aim to add value to our market offerings.
What kind of an approach have you adopted in order to be a more sustainable company?
Embracing environmental consciousness in all our operations is of significant importance to us. This commitment includes producing a “Green Track” range and pursuing green initiatives. Our Sukkar range is 100 per cent plant based and sourced completely from sugar canes. The production process emits fewer CO2 emissions, is industrially compostable, and reduces our carbon-footprint.
Our Gaia range is also 100 per cent plant based and is completely biodegradable in both landfill and marine conditions, leaving no microplastics behind in the ground; while our Terra range is plant based, allowing a great look and feel as well as reusability. This material also emits less CO2 during production which further reduces our carbon footprint. Additionally, we have adopted a new technology that allows plastic to biodegrade in landfills.
When it comes to energy-saving initiatives, we use Power Factor Correction (PFC) systems and stretch blow molding machines in our production facilities to reduce electricity costs, increase energy efficiency, and reduce our carbon footprint; as well as switching to the outdoor solar powered LED lamps and indoor motion sensor LED at all our manufacturing facilities and distribution centers.
“This initiative is part of our wider sustainability programme to be a net zero emissions company and aligns with the National Food Security Strategy 2051, which focuses on promoting food safety while conserving the environment”
How does the company’s facility in Jafza enable its growth in business?
Our manufacturing facility in Jafza is central to our growth. In addition to its strategic location that enables us to expand our exports and regional footprint, Jafza offers us a conducive environment to grow sustainably, and enables us to be innovative in our approach.