What type of natural/organic products/services do you sell in the Middle East?
We are organic growers of fruits vegetables and Dates. We grow more than 10 varieties of dates in Dubai. During winters we produce a wide range of vegetables, herbs, local fruits. All our crops are grown using certified organic and Non GMO seeds. We also grow free range poultry. Broilers, Country Fowl, Guinea Fowl, Mallard Ducks are some of the birds which are used for eggs and meat purpose. Poultry feed is free from hormones, antibiotics and made from GMO grains. They primarily feed on organic greens in the farm. Deena Dairy is a recent addition which produces a range of locally made cheese from our goat’s milk. We operate in Dubai and Sharjah. Our products can be found at select branches of Union Cooperative Society Hypermarket. We take online orders (www.deenafarms.com) and do home delivery as well.
In your opinion, how popular is the organic industry in the UAE and the Middle East?
UAE is becoming much aware about the importance of healthy lifestyle and food. Thanks to various agencies / organizations who are religiously working towards building up a healthy community in the different Emirates. Organic food is becoming very popular and there are many players promoting organic foods in the local market.
Why, in your opinion, do people prefer buying organic nowadays?
People are more aware these days regarding harmful health effects of pesticides, hormones and GMO foods. Secondly, organic options are available as locally grown food, not only reducing the cost of the product but also the carbon foot print as well. Locally grown products are fresher than the imported ones hence customers get the best quality on affordable prices. Organic Raw foods such as salads and baby foods are the most safe to consume.
How do you determine the products to sell in this market?
The demand is assessed based on market trends and the farm calendar is planned on the basis of popularity and nutritional value of the food. We also promote some organic imported fruits.
Any other facts you might want to add about the natural/organic industry?
Organic farming and the retail sector has a promising future in the UAE. Government and agencies are very supportive to local farmers. Regulatory bodies are vigilant, strict and transparent. This creates a healthy and friendly environment for this industry to grow.
Interviewed by Menaka Ramakrishnan, Buyer Manager