New ofi herb processing facility to meet growing demand and expand innovation capabilities
ofi has opened a new herb processing facility in Beni-Suef, Egypt to enhance its customer offering in herbs.
Consumers are driving demand for herbs either for cooking at home or a wide range of savoury and culinary category solutions including ready-to-eat meals, processed meats, sauces and flavourings and as standalone condiments.
Egypt is one of the biggest markets for the processing, exporting, and growing of herbs, with Upper Egypt providing the ideal growing conditions. The new ofi facility is expected to process 3,000 metric tons (MT) of herbs every year (basil, fennel, marjoram, parsley and dill) sourced directly from local farmers, and will also work closely with ofi’s global innovation centres to create optimal solutions for its international customer base.
Brijesh Krishnaswamy, president for spices by ofi noted the important role herbs play in contributing to food’s colour, fragrance, and taste, and potentially as a flavour replacement to sodium and sugar.
“With careful processing, dried herbs often retain a deeper, spicier flavour compared to their fresh counterparts, providing a convenient, shelf-stable ingredient for bulk buy,” Krishnaswamy said. “As such, choosing the right herbs – and where you acquire them from – is crucial in terms of retaining integrity and vibrancy. Our Egypt teams are focused on maintaining strong relationships with the farmers in our supply chain, advising on quality, while our innovation teams can demonstrate to our CPG, retailer and food service customers, the savoury and culinary opportunities available, including in combination with our wider spices, nuts and dairy product portfolio.”
The new facility will operate under Dehydro Foods, a subsidiary business of ofi, and is expected to create 75 direct full-time jobs and source from around 1,000 farmers. The new site will work towards ofi’s sustainability goals of greenhouse gas emissions reduction, prosperous farmers and thriving communities.
ofi is the world’s number one producer of dried garlic and dried onions, as well as a global leader for chiles, pepper and tropical spices.