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Jun 01, 2020 PRINT EDITION
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IAC to set up fruit & vegetables retail chains

Leading Pakistani fruit and vegetable export firm Iftekhar Ahmed & Company (IAC) has announced an investment of Rs 250 million in establishing the country's first fresh-produce retail brand.

December 20, 2019

Leading Pakistani fruit and vegetable export firm Iftekhar Ahmed & Company (IAC) has announced an investment of Rs 250 million in establishing the country's first fresh-produce retail brand.
Waheed Ahmed, Director Marketing, IAC said the company, established in 1960, has decided to utilise its 59-year old supply chain expertise in delivering fresh fruits, vegetables and fruits pulp to domestic and global markets and expand its business by opening fresh-produce retail chains to aid the local market and to meet the changing lifestyle requirement of people of Pakistan.
The company has established a new brand called "Go 4 Fresh", which will be available in domestic and foreign markets. "Go 4 Fresh" is the chain of retail stores that will expand to other cities after Karachi and then to the Middle East and the UK. The company is also planning to export the "Go 4 Fresh" brand for fresh and value-added products to an additional 30 countries in the second phase.
He said IAC's total investment in Pakistan has reached $21 million in last 5 years. IAC is one of the largest companies in the country with 9 plants dedicated to fresh mango, citrus and potato processing, along with pack houses, value-added products, processing of aseptic mango, apple, guava, tomato, and other fruit pulp and concentrates.
"We believe in giving back and in re-investing earnings in the society to create greater employment opportunities. This is right time to invest in Pakistan as the country needs revenue and employment to get out of its economic downward spiral," he added. The total daily capacity of the company's processing plants for mango, guava, and peach is 1,240 tons. However, for apple juice concentrate and tomato paste, the capacity is 600 tons. The company also has the country's largest state-of-the-art storage facility to store fresh produce and value-added products.
Waheed said the company's annual turnover is more than Rs3,500 million for fresh produce and value-added products. Major multinational juice manufacturing companies are among the primary buyers of the company's products.
The first store of IAC's subsidiary brand has been established in DHA, Karachi and will be inaugurated on Saturday, December 21. More than 8 to 10 stores will be established in Karachi, including complete outlets and dedicated ice cream and juice outlets, he added.
The company will further expend its countrywide retail network in the next 4 years while a wide range of food products will be launched under this brand which will also export to IAC's established foreign markets spreading over 30 countries.
Waheed hoped that the new brand "Go 4 Fresh" will be a new concept in the retail sector and will benefit both consumers and farmers in Pakistan. Local and imported fruits include energy-rich and refreshing smoothies, fresh milk, synthetic ingredient-free ice cream, fresh fruit juices, dried fruits, and fruits and vegetables. The company's ice cream and juice brands will be promoted nationwide while more products, including palm value-added products will be introduced in coming years.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019