Elite Agro is state-of-the-art fruit and vegetable production farm in the UAE since 2010.
Elite AgrElite Agro was set up as a corporate farming business in the UAE in 2010 with a vision of promoting self-reliance and food security in surrounding society and the wider region via new benchmarks in the production of high quality and safe agricultural products.
Its sustainable agriculture policy is designed to contribute towards environmental health, economic profitability and social equity. “Stewardship of both natural and human resources is of prime importance to us,” said Saeed Al Bahri, Managing Director of Elite Agro LLC. “It’s crucial to realize that each small decision we take makes a big difference and helps move the whole system toward sustainable agriculture. Our key to moving forward is the will to take the next step and keep diversifying our products, which increases both our economic and ecological resilience. The efficient management of every product is our aim,” he said.
Food safety is a high priority on all Elite Agro Farms. Consumer and buyer confidence in, and perception of, Elite Agro products is further enhanced by its safety program for prevention of any kind of contamination risk. Proof of its investment in all the necessary steps to guarantee very high quality and safe products are its certifications with Global G.A.P., BRC, HACCP and ISO22000.
Water management – making the most of each drop
Mr Saeed stressed the importance of judicious usage of water not just for Elite Agro but for the UAE’s agriculture sector as a whole. “We allocate our water resources via a smart mix of agricultural production systems to ensure water is used strategically and sustainably. More crop-per-drop: that’s our philosophy in optimizing the ratio of a crop’s yield to the water required to produce it. Our sophisticated water management, sensing and distribution systems are applied to achieve maximum efficiency. Indeed, this year we are converting all our vegetable and fruit production to soilless culture in a closed system where we will recycle a large amount of our water and nutrients and use a media that can hold more water than sand. Thus, converting to soilless will reduce groundwater contamination and make our methodology even more environmentally-friendly.”
Homegrown product: Elite Harvest
“We have gained the know-how to bring top-quality vegetables to the market through our well-known Elite Harvest brand, which has performed well for us in the last year,” said Sales and Marketing Manager James Varghese. “This season, our products ripened into a successful line that we will nurture and expand each year. We produce and sell Tomatoes, Bell Peppers, Eggplants, Strawberries and Lettuces throughout winter and spring (November-June). Strict appearance standards are applied upon their inspection and they are packed to the highest standardsfor retail and wholesale chains. We are in the process of establishing another site so we can also produce in the hotter months and thus supply these products to our clients year-round,” he said.
Keys to success
Mr Saeed said a dedicated team had fuelled Elite Agro’s fast-paced growth in the last three years. “We provided the environment for innovation and productive hard work and they spared no effort in proving that everything is possible and that the sky’s the limit,” he said.
Elite Agro sees the following as keys to its continued success:
– to further strengthen its expertise and enrich its accumulated knowledge;
– to exceed consumer and customer expectations in terms of quality health products; and
– to increase its production efficiency in the use of limited natural resources by introducing state-of-the-art innovative technologies and methodologies.
Precision farming is the next generation of farming, Saeed said. “It will allow us to focus on achieving the highest possible quality yields with minimum input. So we are continuously investigating in how our products, tools, net house structures and greenhouses can be improved to achieve our goals without wasting our resources. We will keep collaborating with all our suppliers to achieve the most sustainable cultivation,” he said.
Targeting foreign markets
Mr Saeed said Elite Agro has what it takes to enter existing and emerging foreign markets, namely sufficient land, resources, water usage efficiency, growing structure and systems, and specialized equipment for growing, harvesting and packing, and cold rooms. Similarly, it has reliable infrastructure, efficient commercial and financial services, different production intervals, and high standard global certifications.
From farm to fork – Elite Agro’s produce tracking
“We use a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) to provide traceability for all our products, with another lot or batch number specifically identifying where the produce came from and the harvest and packing dates. Delivering safe food products is our primary focus,” Mr Varghese said.
Reducing its carbon footprint
Among Elite Agro’s key initiatives for reducing its carbon footprint are to reduce and recycle waste; ensure most of its lighting, equipment and motors are energy efficient; and to use better logistics for all deliveries that calculate the most efficient truck routes and combine customer orders where practical.