Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has announced that it is launching a coffee company in an effort to promote Saudi coffee beans globally and develop its national industry.
In a statement by the PIF, the Saudi Coffee Company is set to boost and support the Kingdom's coffee industry and promote its coffee beans as a global product. The launch "aligns with PIF's strategy, which focuses on developing and enabling 13 promising sectors, including food and agriculture, as part of broader efforts to diversify sources of income for the local economy".
The coffee company and its entire supply chain will also play a "vital role" in developing sustainable coffee production, specifically from the Kingdom's the south-western Jazan region – from where the coffee Arabica plant species and khawlani coffee reportedly originates from – near the border with Yemen.
Over the next decade, the Saudi Coffee Company plans to invest almost 1.2 billion Saudi riyals ($320 million) into Kingdom's national coffee industry, in an aim to increase the country's production of coffee from 300 tonnes per year to 2,500 tonnes per year.
According to the PIF, an academy will be established for the purpose of training entrepreneurs, local talent and coffee plantation owners and farmers with the focus on creating opportunities for start-ups and small businesses.
This academy, which will have branches in different locations within the Kingdom, will also introduce the latest technology relating to the planting, harvesting and roasting of coffee, as well as the marketing aspect and methods to be applied in Saudi Arabia's coffee industry. Locals in the varying regions will also reportedly benefit from the opportunities the initiative will bring, allowing them to contribute to the growth of the national coffee industry.