Dairy products in Lebanon will see a new chapter in a collaboration between France and Lebanon’s dairy giants, whereby Lactalis has acquired majority stake of Hanilor, the latter being the “Lebanese distribution company”.
Recently, the UNIDO, or the “United Nations Industrial Development Organization” partnered with the “Ministry of Industry and the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences of the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik”, in short USEK, to conduct a workshop concerning the “potential hazards” of dairy products in Lebanon. The said workshop held at Beirut examined the safety regulations and measures in the region.
Furthermore, the above mentioned sessions part of a project, namely “Supporting host communities in Lebanon affected by the high influx of Syrian refugees”. The aim of the project is to improve production of dairy products in the local communities, whereby empowering them to meet the market demands timely, by keeping a check on the safety measures at the same time. The project, however, receives its funds from the government of Italy.
In the words of the director of “Italian Agency for Development Cooperation” in Beirut, Sandri:
“The importance of this project does not only lie in the direct assistance provided in terms of specialized equipment and construction works, but also in providing technical training and coaching to the industrialists and cooperatives”.
The Hanilor and Lactalis deal comes timely as the Lebanese market is tightening safety measures over its dairy products markets. In fact, the above mentioned workshop, attended by dairy sector’s representatives at Lebanon as well as Lebanese students, also addresses the issues faced in the “agro-industries” concerning “safety requirements”. While, the “Minister of Industry”, Hajj Hassan, stated:
“The most important capacity that we need to maintain and develop is the food safety and quality of the Lebanese industry and priorities should be given to the unemployed Lebanese since the unemployment rate in Lebanon has reached 35%”.
The Lebanese company’s specialisation lies in the cheese products distribution under Smeds-brand of Lactalis. Among other dairy products sold by the distribution agent are “butter, cream and powdered milk”. Amid the growing concerns of food safety in Lebanese dairy market, Hanilor’s market reach extends even to “Syria, Jordan and Iraq”, whereby strengthening the French company’s presence in the Middle Eastern markets.
However, both the companies have been in a working relationship for the past fifteen years. DLA Piper, a “corporate finance law firm”, advised Lactalis to enter into the above mentioned deal. With every deal bagged by Lactalis, it increases its healthier exposure in the dairy products sector.