SAUDI ARABIA – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has achieved 120% self-sufficiency in dairy products and their derivatives, less than half a century since the industrial production of milk was first launched in the Kingdom.

With production exceeding local demand, Saudi Arabia is one of the leading dairy exporting countries not only in the Middle East but also in the world.

The milk comes from large commercial farms that have thrived under an economically friendly climate punctuated by easy access to loans and subsidies.

The Kingdom’s Al-Safi Dairy Farm is a great example of the length and breadth that the kingdom has gone to achieve dairy sufficiency.

The dairy firm, partly owned by French dairy producer Danone, is the largest in the world. It is as large as the largest American dairy farm and houses 37,000 cows that produce more than 58 million gallons of milk a year.

To achieve produce sufficient milk in a Desert, Al-Safi and other dairy companies in the Kingdom work according to the integrated production chain model, starting from raw materials until the final product, a model only implemented in a few countries in the world.

The operation process of these companies includes bringing the best breeds of milk-producing cows, which guarantee high production and quality.

This is in addition to securing the best and finest types of green fodder and grains from several reliable international sources.

Dairy companies in the Kingdom apply strict control procedures in several aspects, most notably in preserving, storing, transporting and distributing fresh milk.

A National food security affair

With milk being on high demand, the dairy sector comes on top of the national food security list. It also helps that the white liquid is of nutritional value as well as a great contributor to the Kingdom’s GDP.

According to the report noted by Société Générale (SG)- Agencies consumers in Saudi Arabia prefers healthier foods which include milk as one of the constituents for the day- to – day consumption.

Over four decades the consumption of dairy has changed, from only consumption of milk to milk products like cheese, processed yoghurt, low-calorie butter, cream and many more.

 Milk has been the most preferred choice as the country is not a producer of commodities. Milk is considered to be a highly nutritional food by the people.

Better infrastructure, cold storage and an increase in the retail store have led to the easy accessibility of dairy products across the region.

The developments are a result of balanced development plans and policies, especially in the agricultural and livestock sectors.

According to the current statistics revealed by the National Committee of Dairy Producers in the Federation of Saudi Chambers (FSC), the volume of dairy consumption has recorded an increase during the holy month of Ramadan by 15%.

Milk production in Saudi Arabia reached more than 7 million litres per day, or more than 18 million bottles daily. The sector contributed more than SR7 billion to the national economy, according to a report by Zawya.

The number of trucks that transport and distribute dairy products daily reached more than 10,000, while the number of retail stores that receive dairy products daily is 38,000.

Regarding workers, the statistics showed that the number of Saudi workers in dairy companies reached more than 10,500.

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