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To further boost its sourcing operations and to bring in high-quality products for its large chain of hypermarkets, Abu Dhabi-based retail giant LuLu Group officially opened its world-class sourcing, food processing and export hub in Italy.

Y International Italia, the sourcing division of LuLu Group, was inaugurated by Guido Guidesi, Italian minister of economic development, in the presence of Yusuffali M.A., chairman and managing director of LuLu Group. Also present on the occasion were Roberto Rizzardo, head of FDI department of Invitalia; Valerio Soldani, director of Italian Trade Agency; Naser Al-Khaja, charge d’affaires at the UAE Embassy in Italy; Dr. Nasser Al-Balooshi, Bahrain ambassador to Italy; Cesare Trevisani, chairman of Arab Chamber of Commerce of Italy; Mohamed Althaf, director of LuLu Group; Allessandro Simone, country head of LuLu Group in Italy; and other officials. 

This move by the LuLu Group will further boost its sourcing operations not only from Italy but also from nearby European countries, ensuring uninterrupted supply and price stability of food products.

Ideally located at World Trade Center Malpensa Airport in Milan, the state-of-the-art facility will primarily focus on sourcing, processing, storing, packaging and exporting of top-quality food products from Italy to more than 255 LuLu Hypermarkets spread across GCC countries, Egypt, India, Indonesia and Malaysia. 

The focus categories include cheeses, chocolates, fruit jams, sweet and puff pastries, organic pasta, infused extra-virgin olive oil, and high-quality sea salt from well-known Italian brands. Apart from packed food, the center will also source and export a wide range of fruits and vegetables, including apples, grapes, kiwi and olives. 

Minister Guidesi expressed excitement on the opening of LuLu Group’s new project in Italy and assured the highest level of support and cooperation, which he said would further enhance trade ties between Italy and the Arab world. Speaking at the inauguration, Yusuffali said: “As a key partner in the food security sector in the Middle East, it is our ongoing strategy to set up our own sourcing and food processing units around the world to ensure uninterrupted supply and ensure competitive pricing by eliminating middlemen. 

“Italy has some unique cuisines, a vast variety of fruits, vegetables and various commodities and we are working closely with the Italian Trade Agency to boost the export of these products to our hypermarkets. We will be working closely with all stakeholders to promote the Italian brands by organizing Italian food festivals across our hypermarkets.” 

He added: “We will be initially exporting worth 50 million euros ($53.4 million) and expect to reach 200 million euros in two years. We are tying up with farmers cooperative societies to source fruits and vegetables, which will surely have a very positive impact on the agricultural sector of Italy. In addition, this project will also generate significant employment in Italy.” 

Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, capital of the UAE, LuLu Group has an annual turnover of $8 billion and employs more than 65,000 people from 43 different countries. It is ranked as the No.1 retailer in the Middle East and North Africa region and as one of the Top 50 fastest growing retailers in the world by Deloitte. 

LuLu Group has similar food processing centers in the UK, US, Spain, Turkiye, Vietnam, Thailand, China, and South Africa among others.

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