Ofi has opened a new herb processing facility in Beni-Suef, Egypt to enhance its customer offering in herbs.
Consumers are driving demand for herbs either for cooking at home or a wide range of savory and culinary category solutions, including ready-to-eat meals, processed meats, sauces and flavorings and as standalone condiments.
Egypt is one of the biggest markets for the processing, exporting, and growing of herbs, with Upper Egypt providing the ideal growing conditions. The new ofi facility is expected to process 3,000 metric tons (MT) of herbs every year (basil, fennel, marjoram, parsley and dill) sourced directly from local farmers and will also work closely with Ofi’s global innovation centers to create solutions for its international customer base.
Brijesh Krishnaswamy, president for spices by Ofi says, “Herbs play an important role in contributing to food’s color, fragrance, and taste, and potentially as a flavor replacement to sodium and sugar. With careful processing, dried herbs often retain a deeper, spicier flavor than their fresh counterparts, providing a convenient, shelf-stable ingredient for bulk buying. As such, choosing the right herbs—and where you acquire them from—is crucial in terms of retaining integrity and vibrancy. Our Egypt teams are focused on maintaining strong relationships with the farmers in our supply chain, advising on quality, while our innovation teams can demonstrate to our CPG, retailer and food service customers the savory and culinary opportunities available, including in combination with our wider spices, nuts and dairy product portfolio.”
The new facility will operate under Dehydro Foods, a subsidiary business of ofi, and is expected to create 75 direct full-time jobs and source from around 1,000 farmers. The new site will work towards Ofi’s sustainability goals of greenhouse gas emissions reduction, prosperous farmers and thriving communities.
Ofi produces dried garlic, dried onions, chiles, pepper and tropical spices. The company maintains oversight of growing practices and operates facilities for ingredient manufacturing. It works directly with farmer partners, helping ensure sustainable spice solutions for reliable supply.