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Tunisian cheese producer Land’Or passes through Morocco to reach West Africa

The company Land’Or, leader of cheese products in Tunisia, is banking on its new Moroccan factory, scheduled to take office in the first quarter of 2021, in order to consolidate its position in the Moroccan kingdom and conquer West Africa.

With a processing capacity of 5000 tonnes, the site will increase the total production of the group – which already has a plant in Tunisia – from 20 to 25%. It will make fresh cheese, melting cheese and canned cheese. Most of the products will go to the Moroccan market, which represents 28% of Land’Or’s turnover.

While Tunisia appears as a saturated market and the situation in Libya remains unstable, Morocco appears as a safe export value for the company led by Hatem Denguezli. But ultimately, it is West Africa that is targeted.

More than a third of the turnover made for export

“Because of its geographical proximity to the region, its developed logistical infrastructure and its possible entry into ECOWAS, Morocco was a logical place to settle,” Land’Or explains. Management, however, identifies two obstacles to overcome in order to conquer this new market: the respect of the cold chain during transport and storage, and the low purchasing power of consumers. The company is thinking of developing products adapted to these constraints.

The cost of the plant, 23.8 million dinars (10.7 million euros), will be paid 60% of own funds. A strategy made possible thanks in particular to a restructuring plan that provides for the conversion of a large part of the debt – 6.1 out of 7 million dinars – into a credit repayable over seven years (3.1 million dinars) and the abandonment of 3 million dinars of debts. However, this plan must still be approved by the Central Bank.

In 2018, Land’Or achieved a consolidated turnover of 110.3 million dinars, of which 38.3% was exported, an increase of more than 20% compared to 2017.

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