RIYADH: Saudi Coffee Co. is planning to ramp up production by more than 700 percent within five years, according to its CEO Raja AlHarbi.
The firm, solely owned by the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, currently produces 300 tons of coffee a year, but is aiming to hit 2,500 tons, the executive told Arab News on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh on Oct 25.
AlHarbi said the company also has plans to open 25 coffee shops globally as he revealed details of a strategic plan comprising five pillars to elevate the coffee production industry in Saudi Arabia.
He said: “We start at the beginning of the value chain, which is the agriculture part. We started our first model farm in Jazan to support small farmers and resurrect Saudi bean farming. The second step of the value chain is roasting and packing.
“We will build an open platform factory to enable private sector, global and local brand names to utilize this factory and not necessarily invest into having their own facilities.”
He further said that building an open platform is a major investment, making use of all the technologies, to enable all the brands to have the solution.
AlHarbi added: “The third (pillar) would be having a Saudi coffee brand that tells the story of Jazan beans to the globe. The fourth pillar is opening a chain of coffee shops.
“The last pillar is to lift up the standards of the coffee industry through trainings and certification by having academies in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Jazan.”
He further noted that the company will give adequate training to Saudi youths on agriculture, roasting, grading, and cupping of coffee.
AlHarbi added that Saudi Coffee Co. is not competing with other suppliers outside Saudi Arabia as no other companies are producing Jazan beans.
He pointed out that PIF is supporting the Saudi Coffee Co. to achieve the targets.
“PIF is targeting to help in the diversification of the Saudi economy. Agriculture and coffee play a major role in this diversification. Coffee is the second biggest product globally after oil. So, imagine one day Saudi Arabia is the major oil producer, and one of the major coffee producers,” he added.
He also noted that the development of the coffee industry in the Kingdom will help create jobs, and open businesses; both small and medium.