The political situation in Egypt had caused the hold back of the factory opening, a spokesperson for the company told DairyReporter.com.
However, she said this did not have any impact on the business,as the company was able to supply the market via its France-based Valence plant in the meantime
The spokesperson said Agrana was still supplying to manufacturers in Egypt.
“Due to the changes in the political framework, some challenges regarding administration issues have been faced,” she added.
Despite the situation in Egypt, Agrana said it was optimistic in terms of growth, with an increase in popularity for dairy products in the Middle East and North Africa due to a general rise in prosperity and health consciousness.
Johann Marihart, managing director of Agrana Beteiligungs-AGsaid the Egyptian facility gave the company customs-free access to these markets.
“In this way, we can reinforce our market position in this region and use this as a basis for further expansion,”he said.
With an annual production of around 5,000 tonnes of fruit preparations, the facility will largely supply international dairy companies that operate production sites in Egypt, as well as neighboring countries of Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Morocco.
In the milk industry the fruit preparations are usually put in yoghurts, yoghurt drinks, mixed milk products (such as strawberry milk) and sour milk products.
Agrana Nile Fruits is a joint venture with the Egyptian company Nile Fruits. Agrana is the majority stockholder in the joint venture with 51 per cent.
According to Agrana, Nile Fruits Group is the largest independent fruit ingredients manufacturer in the Middle East and North Africa region.
The group offers a variety of aseptic and frozen fruit purees, fruit concentrates, IQF fruits, fruit for beverages, fruit preparation for dairy products, fruit filling for bakery and pastry, and fruit syrup for ice cream.
In addition to its already existing South African plant in Cape Town, Agrana plans to open one further plant in Johannesburg in autumn 2011, according to the spokesperson.