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Sun World Expands Footprint in Egypt and Italy Grants Eight Licenses in Key Markets Targeted for Growth

Sun World Expands Footprint in Egypt and Italy Grants Eight Licenses in Key Markets Targeted for Growth
Press Release

Palm Desert, Calif.Sun World International LLC (Sun World), the global fruit genetics and licensing company, today announced it has granted six additional licenses to Egyptian table grape grower/marketers, bringing the total Egyptian licensees to seven. Two new Italian table grape grower/marketers have also been appointed as part of the company’s strategy to extend its reach in these high-potential gateway markets, bringing the total Italian licensees to ten.

One of the primary motivations for this expansion is to satisfy the growing market demand for newer and improved table grape varieties for the fresh market globally. The expansion also reflects the transition taking place in these regions as public table grape varieties are replaced by superior proprietary varieties, such as those Sun World breeds at their Center for Innovation in California. Having an expanded portfolio of innovative table grape varieties will give the new licensees greater access to domestic and international markets and the opportunity for meaningful new revenue streams.

“We have been eager to announce this group of tremendous new licensees,” said Garth Swinburn, Sun World’s Vice President Licensing. “A hallmark of Sun World’s many years as an international fruit breeder and licensor is the longevity of our relationships with our licensees. We make the decision to grant a license with deliberation and care, so this is an important move for our company.”

The new marketers have been granted rights to distribute fruit from existing and new varieties developed by Sun World, marketed under the company’s powerful brands, such as AUTUMNCRISP®, MIDNIGHT BEAUTY®, SABLE SEEDLESS®, ADORA SEEDLESS®, SCARLOTTA SEEDLESS®, and SOPHIA SEEDLESS®.

Joining Sun World’s existing Egyptian licensed table grape and stone fruit marketer, PICO Modern Agriculture, the company’s newly appointed licensees in Egypt are as follows:

Agrostar for Modern Agriculture has been in business since 1998 and specializes in table grapes. Its 400 hectares of table grapes are marketed by its daughter company Egyptian Fruit Exports, owned & managed by Mokhles Harraz and his family. The company currently grows public table grape varieties and is eager to satisfy its customers’ varietal needs by adding new and innovative table grape varieties from Sun World.

Belco is a family business owned by the El Beltagy family which has been growing table grapes since 1958. The export business was established in 1993 and today it cultivates around 3,000 acres producing and exporting a wide range of crops including table grapes, strawberries, stone fruits, mangoes, raspberries, and various vegetables to the largest retailers in the UK, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Daltex, established in the ’60s, is a major exporter of potatoes with 42% market share and also occupies a significant share of the Egyptian citrus market, followed by substantial table grapes exports. “There is nothing more delightful and exciting to us than finally shaking hands and joining such a great family of breeders. It is an absolute pleasure to be part of Sun Worlds global licensing community. This is the start of a new chapter into growing our businesses together to achieve the most optimum fruitful results for both ends,” noted Mohamed Abd El-Fattah, Daltex Marketing Communication spokesman.

El Roda Company for Agricultural Development, established in 1987, was one of the first Egyptian commercial table grape farms to shift its sales focus to the export market in the early ’90s and has since maintained a leading role in the industry managing the largest flame seedless vineyard in the country. El Roda adds noteworthy table grape supply and distribution capacity to key markets such as Europe, Middle East, Far East, and Africa, with the majority of their production being exported to the UK market.

Fayed Horticulture Export Ltd. Co. (FATA), was established in 1995 and joined the Sun World licensing community in 2018 as a stone fruit grower and marketer by its sister company FayedEx, and today the company expands its Sun World portfolio to include table grapes. FayedEx / FATA has received numerous accolades and global accreditations for its operational excellence, premium quality fruit and ethical farming practices.

Magrabi Agriculture SAE (MAFA), is Egypts largest table grape grower and packer, producing over 100,000 tons of fruit yearly and exporting globally to 61 countries. In addition to table grapes, the company also grows and exports citrus, pomegranates, dates, mangos, strawberries, lettuce and capsicum.

Sun World’s existing Italian licensed grape marketers include Giuliano, Di Donna, Orchidea Frutta, Peviani, Salvi Unacoa, and Unifrutti, while Agrintesa and Apofruit Italia are licensed marketers of Sun World’s table grape and stone fruit varieties. Joining this select group of Sun World licensed marketers in Italy are:

AgriMessina is a family-run business and one of the oldest leading growers and exporters of table grapes out of Puglia, Italy. “Having been one of the first Italian licensees for SUPERIOR SEEDLESS®, Agrimessina is extremely delighted to finally become a Sun World licensed marketer. By adding Sun World’s AUTUMNCRISP® branded grapes to our portfolio, we are able to prolong our green grape season and provide flavorful varieties like SABLE SEEDLESS® to our valued customers,” Sales Manager Francesco Messina noted.

Agricoper’s ancient family tradition started in 1938 in Puglia, the heel of Italy’s boot, where its vineyards have found their ideal habitat, perfectly embodying, through their colors and aromas, the essence of the Mediterranean values. “Our business is constantly growing, thanks to the efforts and knowledge of the Liturri family and their experienced team, that led Agricoper to became one of the biggest Italian growers and exporters of table grapes,” Sales & Marketing Manager Domenico Liturri stated.

“Everything we do, and every aspect of our breeding and genetics program, is done with the success and prosperity of our growers and marketers in mind,” continued Swinburn.  “I’m delighted to welcome these impressive new marketers to the global Sun World Community.”




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Al Dahra expands in Egypt, Serbia and the UAE

Al Dahra expands in Egypt, Serbia and the UAE
Photos: Al Dahra

Al Dahra’s fresh produce business is in constant growth. The past few years have seen the group invest in technology, build new facilities, expand its cultivation, optimise all of its processes and enter new markets.

“We provide a premium end-to-end service to our customers in our home country, the UAE, and around the world,” said Tarek Bedir, chief commercial officer of Al Dahra’s food division. Following the success of the packing lines in Egypt installed in 2019, Al Dahra’s fresh produce team has taken the same approach in Serbia to develop a state-of-the-art grading and packing line for apples. The plant is equipped with a Maf Roda sizer, the latest grading and sorting technology from Globalscan and an organic waxing line. The objective with this development is to increase market share in the UAE and penetrate new markets such as India, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.

New citrus varieties

In recent years, Al Dahra’s team in Egypt has mainly cultivated, packed and exported Navel oranges. The firm’s constant work to optimise the entire process has helped position its premium brands Solea and Jana in the Asian market. This year the expansion programme has included the cultivation of other citrus fruits such as grapefruits, lemons and mandarins.

Other Egyptian production

5,000 tons of potatoes and 4,000 tons of onions were cultivated this year in Egypt. Al Dahra’s own production is sold locally and also exported to the UAE and Russia.

Dairy farm reconstruction

With the objective of bringing back dairy products that were once a must in every Serbian household, Al Dahra has turned its dairy production line into a cutting-edge facility.

“Food Crowd” e-platform

Al Dahra joined the e-commerce world in July 2020 after only 6 months of planning. The platform is aimed at bringing Al Dahra’s just-harvested products directly to end consumers. A community page has also been created to engage with people and food on a more personal level. The page provides a “shop all ingredients” feature to enhance the customer experience. Food Crowd is currently operational in the UAE, and serves all of the Emirates with same-day deliveries and no extra fees.

New orange juice vending machines

In partnership with Oranfresh, Al Dahra has launched the Solea vending machines project to bring freshly squeezed, 100% natural, orange juice to the UAE population. The machines are replenished on a daily basis with Al Dahra’s own Egyptian Navels and the machines are in line with the strictest sanitisation standards.

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Egypt’s orange exports set to recover

Egypt’s orange exports set to recover
Photo: Agreen Egypt

Egypt has become a major citrus export in recent years. After a difficult 2019/20, the country’s fresh orange exports are set to rise 9% in 2020/21 compared to the previous campaign. The total volume is projected at 1.5 million tons, according to FAS Cairo data. The increase is the result of a larger crop due to favourable weather conditions. The main export markets remain Saudi Arabia, Russia, the Netherlands, China, and the UAE, as well as New Zealand, Japan, and Brazil. However, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a 20% reduction in 2019/20 orange exports compared to the previous marketing year. Egypt has opened new markets in recent years thanks to the setting up of a traceability system. All of these developments support a positive outlook for Egyptian orange exports as well as encouraging agribusinesses to invest in establishing new facilities or expand capacity. Orange is the major citrus species crop in Egypt, representing about 80% of the total cultivated citrus area. 



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Egypt remains world’s top orange exporter

Australia’s orange exports are expected to reach a record of 230,000 tons in 2016/17.

Egypt’s orange exports reached 1.398 million tons up to October 14, according to data released by the country’s Central Administration for Agricultural Quarantine. This places Egypt as the world’s top exporter of oranges for the second consecutive year. According to the report, The Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation also played a role in opening new markets for Egypt’s agricultural products by tracking the cultivation and packaging processes to ensure they meet safety criteria. In addition, no products are allowed out of the country unless they are up to standard. Last season, Egypt exported 1.68 million tons of oranges, 70,000 tons of lemon, 35,000 tons of mandarin, and 15,000 tons of grapefruit, according to Finance Brokerage.

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World orange crop slumps

World orange crop slumps, Source: USDA FAS


The world’s total orange production for the 2019/20 season is projected to drop 11% to 47.5 million tons due to unfavourable growing conditions in Brazil, Egypt, the European Union, and Morocco, according to USDA data.  As a result, consumption, fruit for processing, and fresh exports are also expected to plummet.

Brazil’s production is forecast to fall 22% to 15.1 million tons due to weather-related problems (warm temperatures and below-average rainfall after the first two blooms and fruit set). Oranges for processing are down 3.9 million tons to 10.4 million, while fresh orange consumption is lowered to 4.7 million tons, the lowest in 4 years. 

In contrast, China’s orange crop is estimated to climb slightly to 7.3 million due to favourable climatic conditions. Imports are up 3% as consumer demand is rising for premium, high-quality oranges.  Egypt and South Africa are the top suppliers to China, accounting for over 70% of imports.

US production is forecast to rise for the second consecutive year, albeit only by 1% to 4.9 million tons. Consumption, exports, and fruit for processing are all expected to be up in line with the larger crop.

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Russia bans imports of Egyptian fruit and veg

Representatives of the Rosselkhoznadzor and their Egyptian counterparts have agreed that Egyptian experts will visit Russia to discuss the concerns about violations involving Egyptian exports.

Due to continuous deliveries of food considered unsafe from a phytosanitary point of view, the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, the Rosselkhoznadzor, has imposed a provisional embargo on Egyptian horticultural products as of September 22, according to a press release issued by it.

The embargo will end after Egyptian authorities have taken efficient measures to ensure the phytosanitary safety of the goods it supplies to Russia, it says.

Representatives of the Rosselkhoznadzor and their Egyptian counterparts have agreed that Egyptian experts will visit Russia to discuss the concerns about violations involving Egyptian exports.

According to the Rosselkhoznadzor, there have already been 47 occasions this year on which customs officers have prevented deliveries of horticultural products posing a quarantine risk.

Taking into consideration the fact that Egyptian exports to Russia have significantly grown – totalling 500,000 tons in the first half of this year – phytosanitary policy and the ensurance of food safety are vital, it said.


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Marco – Rostom Group: Egypt’s biggest importer and exporter

In 1985, Mohamed Rostom established Marco for imports and exports as one of the Rostom Group’s companies.

The Rostom family business was established in 1887. In 1985, Mohamed Rostom established Marco for imports and exports as one of the Rostom Group’s companies.

It exports agricultural products from Egypt and imports fresh fruit, died fruits, nuts, spices, pulses and foodstuffs from Europe, Arabic countries, Africa and the Americas.

The company imports around 75 containers of fresh fruit a month: apples from Washington, Italy, France, Spain, Greece, Belgium, etc.; kiwis from Italy, Greece and Syria; stone fruit from Greece, Spain, Italy, etc.; dried fruit from Turkey, Argentina, Syria, etc.; and 45 containers of bananas from Ecuador, Costa Rica, India and Mexico.

Its distribution channels are big retailers such as Carrefour, Lulu, Metro, etc., as well as other markets and hotels.

As for its logistics strategies, they are pioneers in Egypt.

“We supply our customers with the best, freshest, first class quality products at competitive prices by growing, preparing, packing and exporting our range of agricultural products in big quantities,” said Marco director Mohamed Rostom.

The Marco Group currently exports fresh fruit (oranges, lemons, grapefruit, watermelons, grapes and pomegranates), vegetables, pulses, seeds and medicinal herbs. It has a packing house and farms to improve its qualifications and capabilities, and via FTAs (Free Trade Agreements) can export to Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and Europe.

This article first appeared in edition 143 (May/June 2016) of Eurofresh Distribution magazine.
Read more from that issue here:

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Egypt showcases its export capacity at Fruit Logistica 2016

Egypt’s agriculture catapulted to international success at FRUIT LOGISTICA 2016

More than 90 Egyptian companies supported the Egyptian Agriculture Export Council by exhibiting under its banner at Fruit Logistica 2016, covering a total exhibition area of more than 1,700 m2.

The official Partner Country for Fruit Logistica 2016, Egypt held more than 700 business meetings during the trade show as the country gears up to expand its agricultural exports beyond its current loyal partners. “We have put our trust in this show since 1999 and this year we’ve broken all participation records,” said Egyptian Agriculture Export Council chairman Ali Eissa.

Egypt boasts vast swathes of new land untouched by pollution or disease. These new areas are ideal for the cultivation of high quality produce and Egypt is now maximising this potential by expanding its agricultural area through major reclamation projects. Furthermore, its unique geographic location is conducive to high quality production, which employs more than 32% of the country’s workforce.

In 2014/2015 the country exported over two billion dollars’ worth of agricultural products, not including rice. Egypt is the world’s largest exporter of oranges, second largest producer of artichokes, fifth biggest producer of tomatoes (specialising in sun-dried and sun-blush tomatoes) and the world’s sixth largest producer of strawberries. Its product portfolio also includes pomegranates, dates, herbs and spices.

Read more about Egypt here:

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Rush of investment in Egypt’s retail sector

There’s a significant surge of investment in Egypt’s retail sector as the shopping habits of the country’s consumers’ increasingly move towards modern retail.

The shopping habits of Egyptian consumers are increasingly shifting towards the modern retail sector, resulting in a significant surge of investment in this sector, reports the USDA.

In its report ‘Nile Nuggets for January 2016’, it says the Al-Bustan Real Estate Development Company will invest LE (Egyptian pounds) 3 billion to build four new “HyperOne” branches in New Cairo, Shorouk City, Badr City and Assiut.

Also, the Fathalla Gomla Market Group will invest LE 70 million to establish a 10,000 m2 supermarket in Borg El Arab.

Furthermoe, UAE- based Spinneys is said to be “aggressively expanding” with plans to open 23 new branches in the Delta and Upper Egypt governorates in the next two years with a total investment of LE 5 billion. [$1 = 7.83 LE]

According to the report, the company currently owns six branches in Cairo, the Red Sea, and Qena and retail manager Mahmoud Meawad has stated that Spinney’s has the goal of achieving 35% market share in Egypt’s retail market.

Source: USDA, Nile Nuggets for January 2016
Image by: Alma E. Guinness [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons 

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Egypt develops GM tomato varieties resistant to leaf curl

Despite a moratorium on the commercialisation of genetically engineered (GE) crops in Egypt, biotechnology research and development continues there and tomatoes and potatoes are among the crops being focused on.

Despite a moratorium on the commercialisation of genetically engineered (GE) crops in Egypt, biotechnology R&D continues there and tomatoes and potatoes are among the crops being focused on.

According to the USDA GAIN report ‘Egypt: Agricultural Biotechnology Annual’, tomato varieties have been engineered that are resistant to tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV). The disease has spread to all of the main vegetable-producing regions of Egypt where it has become the limiting factor for tomato production, causing up to 100% yield loss, the report says.

But TYLCV-resistant tomato varieties have been engineered through collaboration between Cairo University, the Agricultural Genetic Engineering Research Institute (AGERI) – which is Egypt’s premier biotechnology research organisation – and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. They used the “siRNA strategy to block the viral life cycle in the plant and prevent it from spreading, thus acquiring virus resistance.”

“If successful, the plants will enable the economic production of high quality tomatoes while reducing the need for chemical protection methods,” the report says. Approval to conduct field trials on the tomato varieties is needed from Egypt’s National Biosafety Committee (NBC). On September 7, 2014, the former Minister of Agriculture Dr. Adel El Beltagy issued a decree to re-establish the committee, but it has yet to convene a meeting. Also, a biosafety bill has been drafted in Egypt and awaits submission to Parliament for ratification.

On potatoes, the report said there has been work on the following:

  • Genetic transformation of potato cultivars for resistance to bacterial pathogens Ralstonia solanacearum,
  • Overexpression of potato β-1, 3 glucanase gene to enhance resistance to late blight disease,
  • Insertion of chitinase gene to attenuate early blight disease in some potato virus resistant lines.

Image: “Vallee fertile du Nil a Louxor”. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons