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The Entrepreneurs Seizing Global Opportunities With Saudi Coffee

By Taarek Hinedi | July 20, 2023

As Saudi Arabia’s coffee industry gears up to go global, we explore how SMEs can leverage logistics to scale their business and unlock new opportunities.

For centuries, coffee has had deep roots in Saudi Arabian society, where traditional coffee ceremonies symbolize hospitality and friendship. This cultural heritage, known as qahwa, not only represents the country’s coffee drinking tradition but also holds great potential for economic growth.

The recent approval for Saudi Arabia to join the International Coffee Agreement marks the Kingdom’s strategic move towards enhancing its economic diversification. To fully realize this potential, targeted investments and support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are crucial, as they can stimulate growth within the coffee industry and create a nurturing environment for entrepreneurs and businesses. By seizing opportunities within the European coffee import market, which accounted for over half (57.6%) of the global purchases of imported coffee valued at $36.05 billion in 2021, Saudi Arabian SMEs can pave their way to success on a global scale.

For SMEs in the coffee industry, logistics providers can provide invaluable support in streamlining the entire process – from sourcing raw materials to delivering the final product to customers around the world.
Café owner stands in front of a coffee shop

Unlocking global coffee markets through customized logistics

By using customized logistics solutions, SMEs can ensure the proper transportation of fresh and well-preserved coffee to coffee enthusiasts globally. These solutions include temperature-controlled and flexible shipping options, consolidation services for smaller shipments, and packaging solutions that comply with international standards.

Moreover, the logistics sector can contribute significantly to the global expansion of Saudi SMEs in the coffee industry by providing access to new trade routes to reach untapped markets and customers.

Saudi Arabia’s strategic location between Europe, Asia, and Africa offers an ideal position for the Kingdom to export coffee to these regions. However, factors such as navigating new markets, logistics coordination and language barriers, supply chain disruptions, and limited market knowledge can be overwhelming for SMEs. A reliable logistics provider with a well-established global air and ground network, that has a bird’s eye view of global supply chains and trends, can connect coffee SMEs to a world of possibilities and help drive the country’s economy forward.

Boosting efficiency through digital tools and value-added services

Additionally, digital tools provided by logistics providers offer end-to-end visibility of shipments, real-time tracking and monitoring, and online trade-document management, ensuring the integrity of coffee beans throughout the supply chain. These tools help SMEs in the coffee industry save time and money on shipping through optimal route planning, shipment consolidation, efficiency gains, and transparent cost management.
Business owner smiling at her personal computer while drinking coffee

Logistics providers can provide value-added services such as product labelling, packaging, and quality control. These services help SMEs in the coffee industry enhance the overall quality and presentation of their products. By strengthening their brand image and meeting international quality standards, SMEs will be able to differentiate themselves from competitors and capture the attention of consumers.

Additionally, SMEs should take advantage of available training as well as logistics and supply-chain management expertise to navigate the complexities of global trade. These resources will help set their foundation for international expansion.

Driving coffee SMEs to new heights with logistics support

As Saudi Arabia's coffee industry gears up to go global through its inclusion in the International Coffee Agreement, logistics providers like FedEx are set to play a critical role in helping the country’s coffee SMEs scale up and unlock new business prospects.

By taking advantage of the efficiency supply chain management, customized digital tools, and market access that logistics providers can offer, SMEs can capitalize on the growing demand for Saudi coffee and compete effectively in new markets.

A version of this article first appeared on Entrepreneur Middle East on June 22, 2023.

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About the Author
the author bio

Taarek Hinedi

Vice President,
Middle East and Africa Operations, FedEx Express

Taarek is responsible for the air and ground operations in the Middle East and Africa region. Having previously spent 12 years as Managing Director, FedEx Express in India and a key member of the Express Industry Council of India (EICI), he has been instrumental in representing the Indian logistics and express industries. Taarek is now based in Dubai.

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