Al Rawdah (Emirates Modern Poultry) is targeting the horeca segment with its range of fresh chicken products, including cold cuts, sausages, grill marked chicken breasts, mortadella and smoked turkey breast among other products.
The company, which already has wide penetration in the retail market, works with Marriott International, Nandos, More Café and Emirates Flight Catering, and is looking to expand its reach in the food-service industry further.
Speaking to Catering News at Gulfood, which took place at Dubai World Trade Centre last week, Al Rawdah general manager sales and marketing, Jeanette Alhaider said: “We’re making our own sausages, hams and burgers from fresh chicken, not imported meat.
“Some chicken is not suitable for the market, it might be bruised or have some blood on it so we cut these pieces off and send it to the processer and they make all of these products from the fresh chicken – this is different from what everyone else does.”
Al Rawdah was established just outside of Dubai, 21 years ago and raises free-range chickens on 100% natural feed, which are halal slaughtered at 30 days and normally weigh around 900 grams.
The company is looking to expand, and has plans to open a second farm near the Saudi Arabian border within the next 12 months.
Paul Farhat, head of food service at Al Rawdah explains that the company is targeting chefs to do sampling sessions and facility tours.
“We take our products out to the chefs often and we’re getting known through word of mouth. Chefs are always focused on quality but with finished products like mortadella or sausages, these products can taste similar else but the price is different.
Farhat said that while most chains use frozen items to keep costs down, chefs that prefer better quality like to use fresh products “regardless of the price”.
“It’s about relationships – we try to build partnerships with our customers. We don’t just want to be another supplier on the list, we want to add value,” he explained.
Alhaider added that chefs can drive out to the farm and see the particular chickens they are going to be using.
“They can see where the chickens are living – even from the egg if they are lucky. They can see [the chicken] in the farm, see it getting slaughtered and from there it gets delivered; it helps a lot for them to visualise the product.”
Already exporting frozen produce to Qatar, Bahrain and Oman, and once capacity is increased, Al Rawdah will look to deliver its fresh products to these markets also.
The only poultry farm in the UAE accredited by Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA), AL Rawdah plans to continue evolving its technology to support expansion, with the next step automisation to improve efficiency.