Established in 1992, GAAST LLC (Ghassan Ahmed Al Sulaiman Trading LLC) is specialized in importing and distributing products from USA and Europe. Based in Dubai, UAE, all products are imported exclusively, utilizing their own in-house logistics and distribution facilities. They supply to hotels, Duty Free shops, catering companies, petrol stations, supermarket and hypermarket chains, ship handling companies, the military, NGOs and hospitals within the UAE and also re-exports products to Middle Eastern and African countries.
We spoke to Mr. Mazen Khourdaji CEO of GAAST LLC on his thoughts about organic products and where he would like to source more from.
What natural/organic products do you import into the Middle East?
Importing from several countries worldwide, our product list includes:
1. Bioenergie (Austria) Organic Himalayan Salt, Bioenergie Organic Sugar, Bioenergie Organic Flour
2. La Trajana (Spain) USDA Organic Olive Oil
3. Coppenrath (Germany) Organic Cookies
4. Sunny Fruit (Turkey) USDA Organic Dried Fruits
5. Yumkah (France) Organic Popcorn
6. Val de France (France) USDA Organic Sparkling Juices
7. Becks Cocoa (Germany) Organic Drinks
8. Pema (Germany) Bread Organic
Can you tell me about the demand for organic products in the region? What is the latest trend that you see in organic products?
The demand for organic products is growing constantly in our UAE market. The latest trend we see is in terms of organic beauty products (creams) in order to protect the skin from chemicals as skin cancer is growing worldwide tremendously. I think people should go organic according as it provides health benefits and environment protection.
Where do you import your products from, and how much of a role does certification play in your decision?
Our company is currently importing high quality products from the United States of America and Europe. Organic certifications are essential (must be European or American organic certifications) in order to ensure that the products are tested in professional laboratories and certified/genuine organic.
What are your main challenges in sourcing? From where and/or what products would you like to source more?
One of the main challenges is the pricing of affordable organic products for our UAE customers. We would like to continue sourcing from Europe and United States of America – all food and beverage organic products.
Interviewed by Menaka Ramakrishnan, Buyer Manager