Octal launches date packaging project
Oman-based petrochemical company Octal said it will exhibit the ground breaking pilot project for date packaging which is envisioned to transform traditional date retailing methods at the Gulfood expo in Dubai. Gulfood is the region’s premier tradeshow for the $300 billion food processing industry and an important launch pad for Octal’s innovative clear rigid packaging solutions, said a senior official. “The date packaging pilot project that is currently underway is a clear reflection of our commitment to support the agricultural industry in the Middle East," remarked Maurice Abou Zeid, business manager (Mena region) at Octal. "Date packaging is a 200,000 ton market in the GCC alone and through our innovations in material science we are unlocking potential and opening up a myriad of value-rich propositions for producers, retailers, consumers and the environment," he added. Octal’s focus on PET responds to converging global trends of consumer lifestyles that increasingly demand convenience packaging and of growing needs for eco-friendly products and improved economics throughout the packaging value chain, noted Abou Zeid. PET is unique in that it possesses an attractive combination of mechanical and optical properties that make it the preferred material for liquids, food, and consumer product packaging, he explained. In date packaging, Octal’s DPET PE Laminate Sheet with its improved barrier properties works effectively to preserve contents from deterioration while providing excellent packaging appeal especially for detailed printing designs in both Vacuum and MAP applications. "By understanding technological gaps and considering the evolution of preferences as a variable driving change, we have developed a superior method for revolutionizing the performance advantages of PET to lead wholesale conversion of global product lines to PET packaging and introduce next-generation applications. PET provides the necessary rigidity and clarity and at the same time offers an environmentally conscious, re-usable and visually attractive packaging solution," he added. According to him, Octal is firmly positioning Oman on the world map as a leading food packaging supplier with an outward-oriented strategic vision. "Its products are suited for packaging baked goods, fresh produce, meat, cheese and yogurt all of which demand superior optical qualities together with strength, flexibility and the ability to maintain form," he added.
Source: TradeArabia News Service
Trust Securities develops agri division
Dubai-based Trust Securities DMCC, a leader in global brokerage, has expanded its agricultural trading division to meet the growing demand of agricultural commodity consumption and re-exports out of the UAE. Trust Securities said that it has recently created two sub offices in India and Sri Lanka, in attempt to cover the entire value chain from production, transportation, refining, storage, and wholesale distribution. Asim Khan, chief executive officer, Trust Securities – Dubai, said: “The commodities market is dynamic and volatile, changing buying habits and trends overnight. We have carefully integrated our risk management expertise with strong supply chain management to offer high quality agricultural commodities at competitive prices within the Mena region. “We have in-depth understanding of the commodity markets and our skilled personnel and systems are able effectively monitor the demands of our customers. Our team now represented across the four continents and has built a strong network of manufactures and transportation specialist to create a sound base for our supply chain management.” Trust Securities’ agro services are set to expand into conventional as well as exotic agricultural commodities over the course of the year to create a “one-stop-shop” for physical agricultural trading such as, grains (corn, wheat, rice), softs (sugar, coffee, cocoa) and soybean complex. Bruce Powers, head of Research, Trust Securities – Dubai, said: “We have carefully monitored the commodities market in the UAE and understand the demand for agricultural commodities is increasing annually. We have observed consumption and re-export statistics over the last five years and understand re-exports have grown 20 per cent analyzed since 2009. We are looking to contribute towards this growing number, by constantly enhancing and expanding our services in the commodity market,” he added.
Source: TradeArabia News Service
Bahrain plans new hydroponic project
A pioneering project to create a center where plants, fruits and vegetables are grown without soil will finally get underway in Bahrain next month. The Green Roof Company, which originally proposed the idea at the end of 2010, is set to carry out the plan with government support. It has already begun working on three centers in Sitra, Tashan and Hamad Town, which are expected to open soon. A row over the project took a new twist last month with two more companies emerging as rivals for the contract. The Green Roof Company had already been chosen by the Manama Municipality to construct a hydroponic gardening center at Salmaniya Garden. It was supposed to open the center early last year, but the project was put on hold due to the unrest. A new agreement was drawn up and it was scheduled to open by April. However, the Manama Municipal Council last month refused to approve the project unless the investor agreed to a five-year renewable deal, which included a fixed annual fee. The investor had originally sought a 25-year lease and guarantees of no fees, in return for providing free training and education on hydroponic gardening to Bahrainis. As a result of the stalemate, the council voted to cancel the agreement and tender out the project - despite objections from council vice-chairman Mohammed Mansoor. However, company managing director Fadhel Sulibi said the firm would go ahead undeterred. 'We have allocated BD60,000 for the first phase of the project and have already acquired the necessary licenses to open three new centers in Sitra, Tashan and Hamad Town,' he said. 'The project is ready to go ahead with or without the support of the council. I want to thank Mr. Mansoor for his support, but things have been delayed enough. 'When I first came up with the idea, I approached the council and they supported me all the way, until they decided to stop my contract and allow others to come despite my efforts. 'I am happy that my idea has brought in competitors because it means that I won and shows that I have come up with something important.' Sulibi said the three plots of land selected for the implementation of the project had been leased from private owners and would be handed over to farmers, gardeners and those interested in unconventional gardening. 'The Sitra branch will open next month, work on the Tashan branch will begin mid-February and work on the Hamad Town branch, which will be dedicated mostly to the Supreme Council for Women, will begin shortly afterwards,' he said. 'There will be two options on the way people can practice in our centers and that's either by leasing parts for gardening and keeping crops or taking parts for free and then we take the crops to sell under our company's name in the market,' he added.
Source: TradeArabia News Service