Last 20 July 2014, I, some friends, and colleagues were given a chance to visit Almarai Company’s (Almarai) biggest plant—Central Processing Plant (CPP).
Almarai, which means pasture in English, operates dairy farms and processes food, in addition to marketing dairy products and fruit juices. In 2013, Almarai brought their massive efforts to bring connection with its customers to a whole new level when it started its visit program by offering the general public the privilege to visit their processing plants–most notably the plants and farms in Al Kharj. Almarai welcomed 500 visits including a total of more than 24,00 visitors during said year. It has been a popular destination for plant visit in the kingdom’s capital city ever since.
The Central Processing Plant is considered the heart of Almarai’s operations. It has about a hundred kilometer distance from the capital city and a walking distance from Western Bakeries’ swimming pool where we spent the first part of this weekend getaway. Here is the blog post’s link in case you want to know what happened during our visit there: “A Perfect Weekend Disport for White Collar Workers”.
The plant not only boasts a number of state-of-the-art facilities but a wide area of green foliage. We were able to check two of the former attraction: the juice and dairy processing factory and bakery facility.
The factory above shows how dairy liquid products, such as flavored milk, are being packed into cartons on one side and how the 18 different fresh fruit flavors are being made on the other. Unfortunately we were not able to check in because of time constraints. Nevertheless, we were blessed to get a feel of the bakery facility below.
Within the facility’s vestibules, there is a children gallery that is actually more of a children entertainment center. This part not only brandishes an array of play elements including playhouses and traditional playground equipment designed most especially for photo opp but impressive trivia about Almarai products (e.g., Almarai produces more than 380,000 pieces of waffles in a day), which are all written on the walls.
We managed to get a few photos.
The trivia will acquaint readers with how truly remarkable Almarai is. It had undoubtedly stood the test of time since 1977. To date, it holds the world’s largest dairy foods company in the world by market value, with an unquestionable reputation in bringing out quality products that anyone could trust.
It should also be noted that Almarai became the first company in the Middle East to be featured at the “Megafactories” documentary episode of National Geographic Abu Dhabi–the Middle East’s leading factual entertainment television channel. You can check the video of the documentary by clicking on the photo below.
After enjoying the gallery/amusement center, we got back in the car and prepared to head back to Riyadh.
This tour gave us the opportunity to get a glimpse of how a super company demonstrates that relentless pursuit of providing quality and nutritious food and beverages—firsthand. There is no stopping Almarai from expanding its business territory when it entered into a joint venture with drinks giant PepsiCo—known as International Dairy and Juice—investing in dairy and juice processors in the Middle East, South East Asia, and Africa. Subsequent to that is its $173m investment to building a baby-formula food plant. The company has already started selling baby-food products last year (“Almarai Company – Saudi Arabia” at arabianbusiness.com). A super company indeed.
For booking purposes, please visit the Almarai website or click here to get straight to the page in the screenshot below.
(Location Map/Direction is here; Exact Address: Almarai Central Processing Plant, Al Kharj, 10 16675; Telephone No. +966-11-470-0005)
- Almarai premieres at “Megafactories” (saudigazette.com)
- A Dairy Farm in the Desert (nzpounamu.com)
- Almarai Company – Saudi Arabia (arabianbusiness.com)
- Almarai Dairy Farm and Factory Visit (pixelsforfour.blogspot.com)
- A Tour of Al Safi Day Farm (thepinktarha.com)