Food and agribusiness planning

Strategic agribusiness planning for your enterprise’s growth

Food and agribusiness planning

Food and agribusiness planning

Strategic agribusiness planning is essential for those looking to set themselves apart from their competitors and meet long-term operational and commercial goals. An effective business plan is more than just a blueprint for startups. It is a long-term, ongoing commitment that aligns visions with goals, and provides a road map for how to achieve them. Sound agribusiness planning can guide organisations through periods of growth and change while helping to seize opportunities and overcome challenges.

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Creating sustained value by translating strategy into a frontline activity.

Benefits of business planning

Agribusinesses who fail to establish a clear strategic direction often underperform and fail to reach their true potential. A sound agribusiness plan offers invaluable benefits, including:

Strategic decision-making:

A comprehensive business plan provides a solid foundation for making informed decisions. It aligns every aspect of your food or agribusiness, ensuring that you make choices that support your long-term goals. This strategic approach helps organisations to navigate market uncertainties and adapt to new trends.
With a well-structured business plan, you gain a clearer understanding of your financial needs and projections. This aids in budgeting, forecasting future income, and managing cash flow. It also becomes easier to secure funding or investments, as lenders and investors have more confidence in businesses with a clear financial strategy and a demonstrated understanding of their market and revenue streams.

Market positioning:

Business planning can help food and agribusinesses identify unique selling point and target markets. It assists in developing marketing strategies that resonate with your target audience, consequently increasing market share and brand recognition.
With thorough planning, you can streamline operations, identify areas for cost reduction, and optimise resource allocation. This leads to improved productivity and enhanced efficiency, allowing your food or agribusiness to run more smoothly. It also enables your organisation to scale in response to emerging opportunities.

Confidently inform your next transaction with our expert due diligence consulting services.

Malachy Mitchell

Our expertise

At Farrelly Mitchell, we work closely with our clients on every stage of the business planning process. Our strategic insights are founded upon decades of experience in the agrifood industry, and countless strategic planning projects around the globe. Our agribusiness specialists can quickly assess and understand your business’s unique challenges and market dynamics and provide a strategic road map tailored to your capacity and specific goals.

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Frequently asked questions

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Halal products market: How Dubai is seizing the initiative

At Farrelly Mitchell, we believe that the growth of Halal products will be driven by the UAE along with expansion throughout the western world, resulting from the increase in Muslim populations in these countries. This growth will also be supported by the ethical and healthy values associated with Halal products.

There is value for Halal in the UAE and beyond. In Europe, for example, the growing Muslim population is driving the popularity of Halal products in the region, which means more focus for unified global standards is a priority.

The United Arab Emirates is positioning itself as the centre of the global Halal food industry, taking advantage of its strategic location, while also assuming a leadership role in defining international quality standards and processes for this growing food category.

The proof is in the initiatives

The Halal Expo takes place every year and centres around a tagline which showcases Dubai as ‘The heart and hub of the Halal food and beverage market’, clearly signifying the UAE’s strong focus in the area.

Dubai is home to an international centre for the testing and accreditation of Halal food, focusing on increasing the range of Halal-certified raw materials, and ensuring the uniformity of the global guidelines for Halal produce.

Dubai has also allocated millions of square feet of land in the Dubai Industrial City for the development of a ‘Halal Cluster’ for manufacturing and logistics companies that deal in Halal food, cosmetics and personal care items.

Standards for all

In our research, we found that consumers do not associate Halal with quality, and we believe that Dubai wants to address this.

The Emirate is set to become the world’s leader on unified Halal food standards and procedures, focused on updating existing standards, drafting new ones to fill any legislative gaps, and harmonising regulations across the globe.

Unified Halal standards will also help to expand production of Halal products among major food multinational corporations, such as Mondelez International, Nestle and Unilever PLC.

Challenges still to overcome

Expanding demand, especially by creating new products aimed at the younger generation

Changing the perception of Halal to a healthy option to attract non-Muslims

Key Findings of the report

The market share for Halal products and services will increase in line with the growth in Muslim populations across the world

Europe and the US will be a major attraction for the Halal products and services given their expanding Muslim communities

Dubai is a major hub for Halal and will capitalise on its well-developed infrastructure to attract more F&B businesses and related services to the region

Different scholars have identified different regulations; however, the recent adoption of the Halal guidelines by the Islamic Chamber of Commerce in UAE is a significant step towards unifying standards

Dig into the full analysis and outlook in the full Halal Products Market: How Dubai is Seizing the Initiative Farrelly and Mitchell report.

The strategic positioning and innovation demonstrated by the UAE, particularly Dubai, are pivotal for the future of Halal products and services worldwide. At Farrelly Mitchell, we leverage our expertise in food safety, market entry & development, policy and regulations, supply chain optimisation, and sustainability and esg, to support businesses navigating the complexities of entering and expanding within the Halal market. Our services are tailored to meet the needs of manufacturers, retailers, and service providers within the food and beverage sector, aiming for sustainability, compliance, and market competitiveness.

We assist clients ranging from SMEs to large corporations, guiding them through the intricacies of regulatory compliance, market analysis, and strategic planning, ensuring their success in the dynamic Halal industry. By aligning our comprehensive suite of services with the unique demands of the Halal market, Farrelly Mitchell empowers businesses to seize growth opportunities, enhance their operational efficiencies, and contribute to the ethical and sustainable development of the global food industry.

IPO – a journey of value creation for food companies

Key Takeaways

  • IPO must be benchmarked against other alternatives
  • The Process is Challenging, but when Executed Properly, Can be Very Rewarding ….
  • Pre IPO, IPO Stage, Post IPO: Checklists
  • A Three Staged Journey:A Journey of developing & executing value creation
  • Why You Need Us? We provide a portfolio of services tailored to the food and agribusiness sector, to successfully implement an IPO

Get in touch

At Farrelly Mitchell, we guide our clients through transformative strategy, leveraging our expertise in business planning, mergers & acquisitions, market entry and development, and financial modelling to ensure a seamless transition to the public markets. We support a diverse range of clients, from industry startups to established enterprises, offering services that encompass due diligence, risk analysis, and value creation & implementation.

Our team is dedicated to fostering sustainable growth and maximising value for our clients, navigating the complexities of IPOs with a focus on long-term success. Whether it’s preparing for the pre-IPO stage, navigating the IPO process, or managing post-IPO transitions, our comprehensive approach ensures that our clients are well-equipped to meet their strategic objectives and capitalise on the opportunities that an IPO presents.

Middle East focuses on food security following Covid-19

The UAE, who import 90 per cent of their food, under the auspices of the country’s Food Security Council set about taking every possible measure to meet the challenge.

The country has minimal water reserves to facilitate agriculture and so early warning systems were applied to monitor sufficient strategic food items such as cereals, rice and vegetables were available, overseas diplomatic missions were engaged to check host countries positions on export restrictions, and a serious effort was made to diversify for new alternative markets for essential foodstuffs.

Mariam al-Mheiri, the UAE’s Minister for Food Security, who will speak at the UN FAO/ Climate Action’s World Food Day on Friday 16th October, said citizens were reassured that ‘food and medicine is a red line for us, we will take every measure to ensure you always have access to what you need.’

All Gulf States are acutely conscious of their potential food vulnerability, especially in how global food supply chains have evolved to this point. The virus is a test of how vulnerable nations prepare for disruption to the chain and all have been particularly busy in protecting its food security.

Multi-layered approach to agriculture investment

Take the UAE as a case in point. It has made considerable investment in agricultural resources and technologies or Agtech. ADQ, the Abu Dhabi investment holding company, bought a 50 per cent stake in one of the region’s biggest agribusinesses, Al Dahra — which specialises in the cultivation of animal feed and production of rice, flour, fruits and vegetables — and already operates in more than 20 countries.

Gulf States are also acquiring externally to bolster food and agriculture resources. Take the recent Saudi acquisition of Hummingbird Technologies, the UK drone firm, whose machines specialise in monitoring crop growth.

Perhaps the most visible expression of their food security motives is the ongoing overseas farming projects these nations are developing, with land acquisitions in Africa, particularly in Sudan and Ethiopia.

Gulf States are also actively developing food and agriculture operations in Canada, Ukraine, Brazil and Australia, involving grain, arable land, meat processing and livestock farming respectively.

Balanced approach key to water resource protection

There is a definite strategy of targeted overseas agriculture investment and application of technology-back production domestically to that end. Strategic food reserves, investments in mills, logistics and production facilities are all part of a comprehensive strategy, which is anything but complacent.

The urgency is based on the country’s very limited water resources, and policy missteps in the past which aimed to resolve food security, without paying enough heed to water limitations.

Governments in the region are fully behind the food security imperative with, as one example, Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) backing Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC) in the latter’s objective of providing 30% of KSA’s food requirements by 2030. $800m has so far been set aside for that task.

Get in touch

The recent efforts by the UAE and KSA to enhance their food security underscore the critical importance of strategic planning and investment in agriculture and technology. By investing in agriculture and leveraging advancements in technology and innovation, these nations demonstrate a proactive approach to securing their food supply and managing limited water resources efficiently.

At Farrelly Mitchell, we specialise in supporting the growth and resilience of the food and agriculture sector through services such as sustainability and ESG, supply chain optimisation, agtech, digitalisation, and water management strategies. We assist governments, private sector players, and investors in navigating the complexities the industry and ensuring sustainable and resilient food systems. Our approach is tailored to address the unique challenges faced by regions with limited natural resources, focusing on innovative solutions and strategic investments to enhance food production capabilities and ensure long-term sustainability and security. Contact us today to build a resilient agricultural industry that is well-equipped to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Farrelly Mitchell advises Al Wazeen on sale to Ornua (Irish Dairy Board)

The Farrelly Mitchell Agri-Food Roundtable – hosted in association with Enterprise Ireland – outlines the many other opportunities that exist for agri-food investors in Ireland and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“Farrelly Mitchell welcomes Minister Simon Coveney’s timely visit to the region at this important juncture,” said Malachy Mitchell, managing director of Farrelly Mitchell.

“Investors have an opportunity to build a solid business in the rapidly-growing GCC market.”

“Not only does this region provide a significant market for Irish dairy commodities, but the strategy to manufacture value-added products locally supports the Kingdom’s food security and water conservation initiatives,” he continued.

Farrelly Mitchell, which is based both in Dublin, Ireland and Riyadh, provide specialist agri-food advisory, M&A, technical and project implementation services.

Get in touch

By engaging in such initiatives, our consultants not only bolster food security and sustainable practices in the region but also demonstrate our commitment to fostering international agri-food partnerships. At Farrelly Mitchell, we specialise in mergers & acquisitions, sustainability and esg, market entry & development, and much more.

Our expertise caters to a broad spectrum of stakeholders, from smallholders & SMEs to multinational corporations, ensuring that sustainable growth, innovation, and strategic expansion remain at the forefront of their ventures.


Global agri-business M&A, 2013 sector review

According to a report released by Dealogic – which tracks financial-sector sponsored M&A – activity in the agri-business sector reached $42.3 billion in the first eleven months of the year, more than double the previous record of $18.1 billion established in 2007, when the sector started to attract attention, as food prices spiked around the world.

One notable deal was the decision by Joh. A. Benckiser – the investment arm of the billionaire Reimann family – to buy D.E Master Blenders for €7.5 billion euros ($9.8 billion).

DE Master Blenders is the Dutch tea and coffee company which owns the Douwe Egberts brand. Deals like those illustrate that global financiers no longer regard the agri-business sector as a plodding counter-cyclical investment.

In our experience, Irish agri-business companies are becoming increasingly active in the M&A space, driven by the imminence of the EU milk production cap being lifted in 2015.

On the one hand, Irish companies are well-positioned to expand, because of the highly-competitive nature of the dairy industry in Ireland and the world-class expertise within our leading food and food ingredients companies, such as Glanbia and Kerry.

However, the flip-side of the equation is that Irish companies must expand in this brave new world, or risk being swallowed up by international competitors.

The advantage that Irish companies enjoy – an advantage shared by our Dutch and Danish neighbours – is that for many years, the requirement to produce traceable high-quality food has been a disadvantage to our producers.

We believe that this requirement constituted a “factor disadvantage,” whereby disadvantages in the home market can make a national industry more competitive internationally.

For example, a lack of space led Japanese manufacturers to develop the concept of just-in-time inventory management, which gave Japan an international competitive advantage when applied internationally.

Equally, even though our food producers have been hamstrung by traceability and food quality standards for years, we are now seeing the rise of a global consumer – in countries like India, China and the Middle East – who demand the same level of quality and traceability as a European consumer.

We have found that this discerning new middle class also demands dairy products, meat and high-quality processed foods of a kind that local manufacturers cannot satisfy.

The Irish Dairy Board has responded to the needs of these global consumers, by acquiring 75% of the shares of Al Wazeen Trading, in October of this year.

Al Wazeen Trading Company is a Saudi Arabian dairy importer sales and distribution business, which supplies dairy products to food service and wholesale customers.

The Irish Dairy Board –an Irish dairy co-operative, with annual turnover of more than €2 billion, which promotes the Kerrygold brand worldwide – acquired Al Wazeen as part of its strategy to establish a manufacturing hub for its products in the Middle East and North Africa.

The Middle East, with its rapidly increasing population and increasingly sophisticated urban middle class, provides a significant market for Irish dairy commodities.

The strategy to manufacture high-quality dairy products locally using imported milk commodities also supports Saudi Arabia’s food security and water conservation initiative.

The lessons of the Al Wazeen acquisition can be extrapolated to agri-business investments in other parts of the globe, where the introduction of high-quality products through a strong local partner is a requirement for success.

However, Irish companies will not have it all their own way in emerging markets, because international players such as Danone, Arla and Fonterra are also forming joint-ventures to gain a strong foothold in these markets.

Nor will investors in emerging markets shy away from acquisitions, as the Saudi market-leader Almarai has shown through its acquisition of Argentinian corn and soya producer Fondomonte SA in 2011, for over $75 million.

The burgeoning activity in the agribusiness sector, as depicted by recent mergers and acquisitions, underscores the global shift towards recognising agriculture not only as a vital industry but also as a lucrative investment opportunity.

At Farrelly Mitchell, we support clients in navigating complex agribusiness projects, offering expertise in identifying and executing strategic investments, enhancing supply chain efficiencies, and ensuring sustainability practices. Our services cater to a diverse clientele, including corporations looking to expand their footprint in the agri-business sector, SMEs seeking growth opportunities, and investors aiming for sustainable returns. By leveraging our deep industry knowledge and global network, we empower our clients to make informed decisions, capitalise on emerging market opportunities, and achieve long-term success in the evolving landscape of agribusiness.

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Despite arid conditions and a rise in inflation rates, Saudi Arabia agriculture is growing rapidly. Read our summary on the . . .

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Farrelly Mitchell’s business planning consultants can support both nascent and mature food and agribusinesses with strategic guidance. Whether you’re seeking growth, recovery, or general improvement, contact our food and agribusiness specialists today.

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