Highest quality is key for Arasco

Saudi processor is proud of premium Entaj Products


“We’re one of the fastest growing chicken producers in Saudi Arabia, caring for the safety and quality of our products,” says Abdulaziz Aldharrab, President at Arasco Foods. Naif Aladhyani, Vice President Operations at Arasco, adds, “For Arasco the quality of the product is key. We want to offer only premium products, such as our Entaj chicken.”

In Saudi Arabia, the government has strong regulations for keeping the economy stable and for becoming self-sufficient by 2030. The poultry sector will play a big part in this vision for the country. Since 2017, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has been trying to reduce its imports of Brazilian chicken. Before 2017, KSA imported 70 to 75% of its poultry products. Today, 60% of Saudi’s poultry consumption is produced locally. This should increase to 80% by 2024.

‘Slaughterhouse palace’

When Arasco’s state-of-the-art plant was completed in 2004, people called it the ‘slaughterhouse palace’, featuring the latest technology in a beautiful building, when compared to the existing basic slaughterhouses. The plant started at 8,000 bph [133 bpm] and was one of the first companies in KSA to include air chilling. “At that time, Marel and AACE* helped us achieve our aim to become the best in the market; not just with equipment from live bird handling to cut-up line but also with essential support.” Arasco upgraded to 12,000 bph [200 bpm] in 2012, installing a complete secondary process including AMF breast cap filleting, ACM cut-up and Innova software, followed by a SpeedBatcher, TargetBatcher and four Custom Graders.

Entaj Supermarket

Exponential growth

Now in 2020, Arasco has upgraded to 13,500 bph [225 bpm], being the first processor in Saudi (and one of the first in the region) to produce at this capacity. “We’ve experienced an exponential growth in volumes over the last three years. We’re not going to stop at 13,500 bph. We have big ambitions. We are continuously upgrading our processing plant, as we grow with the market. That’s why we’ve always invested in Marel equipment, such as SmartWeigher and IRIS, to make sure the quality of our products is the best in the market,” says Naif Aladhyani. “In line with that, Marel’s evisceration and giblet harvesting machines are making all the difference for Arasco. Product leaving the Nuova eviscerator is of a better quality when compared to other suppliers. We see Marel as being the top.”

‘Bring us Entaj’

Arasco’s brand name Entaj is famous in KSA. “We know what Saudi consumers are looking for. They want a relatively small whole chicken in a bag without water in it but not dried out,” says Naif Aladhyani. “With the DownFlow Plus air chiller from Marel, we can adjust the precise settings of the fans and spray cabinets. We don’t add water to the chicken just to give it more weight. This results in a tender, juicy chicken, which is not dried out, has no free water, while retaining most of its natural flavor. That’s why Saudi consumers like Entaj.”


Up in the pandemic

Arasco’s production consists of 85% whole chicken, 10% cut-up and 5% frozen. Only 8% of product goes to food service customers; 92% is retail. Besides supermarkets, the retail market includes many small mini markets, groceries and chicken shops on every corner in the cities, selling mostly whole chicken. Arasco’s logistics system is designed to supply them all. Naif Aladhyani talks about the consequences of Covid-19, “During the pandemic our business only went up. Saudi people stayed in their homes, but they didn’t save on food, which meant that our volumes and market increased hugely.” Albdulaziz Aldharrab adds, “The pandemic has caused our government to ask for more food security and self-sufficiency. In the long term this will benefit the industry.”

Every liter counts

Abdulaziz Aldharrab concludes, “We really focus on sustainability, CO2 emissions and water treatment. We’re even ahead of the regulations. We are in a region where water is scarce, therefore every liter counts. Our entire process, up to wastewater treatment, begun in 2004 with Marel, takes this fully into account. Farmers use purified water from our processing plant to irrigate palm trees.“

*AACE, Arabian Agriculture Consulting & Engineering, is Marel’s agent in Saudi Arabia.

“Products are of a superior quality. We see Marel as being the top.”

Naif Aladhyani

Naif Aladhyani
Vice President Operations Arasco

About Arasco

Arasco was founded in 1983 and has since become an umbrella company for many subsidiary companies. The biggest one is Arasco Feeds, where it all began in 1987 with the first feed mill in Al Kharj. In the 90’s it expanded into many other branches. One of them is logistics. Arasco owns a fleet of 550 trucks, 150 railcars and 5 bulk vessel ships. Arasco Food started in 2000. This company includes hatcheries, farms and the processing plant. Since 2004 Arasco Food is among the most significant poultry producers in the KSA. Production volumes reach over 40 million birds annually. All products are halal.

Go to the company website: arasco.com

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