At Dansko, it’s important to us to stay ahead of the game, and we recently attended the government led Bord Bia trade mission to Algeria and Egypt to leverage further opportunities to meet the rising demand for dairy products in the region.
Did you know that the demand for dairy products in Africa is growing? A fifth of Africa’s 1.2 billion people reside in North Africa and consume 40% of all the dairy products imported into the continent. Algeria and Egypt are not self-sufficient in dairy production and have a combined import requirement of 730,000 tonnes of dairy per year to satisfy a total population of 138 million people. The deficit in domestic dairy production alongside the projected rise in population and the growing consumer demand for dairy products makes these markets strategically important for dairy exports from Ireland.
As the trade mission began in Algiers, Tara McCarthy, CEO of Bord Bia, told us,
“Bord Bia is increasing its focus on Algeria and Egypt, markets which offer growth opportunities at a time when our food and drink industry is energised by unlocking potential in diverse locations. By 2030, both countries are estimated to have a combined population of some 164 million people and a requirement for close to 800,000 tonnes of dairy ingredient products, indicating a significant opportunity for Irish dairy companies, particularly milk and protein powder manufacturers and suppliers, to further their commercial success.”
During the trade mission, Board Bia hosted a series of seminars and meetings between Irish exporters and potential customers in Algeria and Egypt. This was a key opportunity for us to meet key trade importers and buyers in both Algiers and Cairo, introducing Dansko as a top quality dairy importer from Ireland.
There is very little domestic dairy production, with only some niche cheese products, such as brie and camembert, being produced locally. The market differs from our Irish market in that there are only 4 large supermarkets in Algeria, and shopping is centered around much smaller shops, which are more cost effective for consumers. A small amount of Irish butter and cheese is available in the supermarkets, but most of the dairy produce stocked is for further processing. In total, the Algerian cheese processing factories produce 60,000mt of processed cheese per year, and we visited a factory that produced processed cheese triangles for distribution throughout the country. Dairy produce in Algeria is largely supplied by New Zealand, with 80% of butter coming from New Zealand as well as 36% of whole milk powder. 33% of skim milk powder, however, is supplied by Poland, and 38% of the cheddar imported in Algeria comes from Irish suppliers.
The picture is very different, with much greater domestic production of cheese and its own export market. There is no whole milk production, however, and very limited skim milk production, with 64% of whole milk supply imported from New Zealand, and skim milk mainly imported from Germany and France. Cheese is mostly supplied from Holland and New Zealand, and New Zealand is also responsible for most of the butter imported into Egypt. The Carrefour supermarket we visited in Cairo supplied a large range of Irish white and coloured cheddar, as well as Emmental and butter. We visited Obourland, a production plant for processed cheese and dairy drinks, which is the largest white cheese producer in Egypt, and noted that 418 vehicles deliver on a daily basis, but this accounts for only 30% of their business while 70% is carried out through wholesalers.
Visiting production plants and stockists around the world gives us a great insight into how our products fit into the global market. We are proud to share our top quality Irish produce with the world, and events such as this are an excellent way to build stronger networks and create enthusiastic new markets for our products across the globe.