Emirates Food Industries (EFI) has enlisted the help of Israel’s largest food maker, Tnuva, to expand its range of dairy products, starting with a new facility to produce the popular Mediterranean cheese Labneh, Tnuva said on Sunday.
Under a licensing agreement, Tnuva will help build a production line in Dubai in return for royalties. It is the first such deal between food companies in Israel and the United Arab Emirates since the countries normalized ties a year ago, Tnuva said.
Labneh is a tart, creamy cheese often made locally across the Middle East.
Tnuva said its formula is unique since it is able to mass-produce while using a traditional “drip bag” method and that EFI found its product to be better than anything available in the UAE.
“Later on the activity will include support in the development and production of additional products,” Tnuva said.
The was no immediate comment from EFI.
The licensing agreement is for 10 years with an option to extend and Tnuva said it potentially will bring “millions of dollars of revenue in the coming years.”
Tnuva has been controlled by Chinese food conglomerate Bright Food since 2015.
Founded in 1926, Tnuva is a major player in the Israeli food market and is the largest food manufacturer in Israel. Its sales account for 70% of the country’s dairy market as well as sales of meat, eggs and packaged food.
The company’s social media page states that it employs 6,000 workers, sources 80% of its raw materials from the local agriculture market, produces 900 million liters of milk a year, has 11,000 points-of-sale, and operates 32 operational, logistics and R&D centers nationwide.