Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC), one of the world’s largest catering operations serving more than 100 airlines, has signed an MOU with CCL Holdings founded by Ross Kriel, entering a partnership to set up a dedicated production facility for kosher food at EKFC’s premises in the UAE.
The new partnership will be called Kosher Arabia, and production is expected to begin by January 2021.
Kosher Arabia is certified by the Kashrut Division of the Orthodox Union (OU) which will work in partnership with the South African Union of Orthodox Synagogues (UOS) to provide the highest level of excellence in kosher certification to Kosher Arabia.
The experienced culinary team at EKFC will handle all food production, while CCL Holdings will provide certification and production supervision including support for menu development and foodstuff procurement.
Saeed Mohammed, CEO of Emirates Flight Catering said: “We are delighted to enter into an agreement with CCL to provide Kosher food. For many years, EKFC has been offering kosher meals primarily to our airline customers, via an outsourced supplier overseas. We’ve been watching the global trends for kosher food, and with recent developments we expect that demand for kosher food in the UAE and region will grow quickly. Our partnership will cover all food channels and we will also explore opening restaurants across Dubai and the GCC.
“By setting up our own capability at EKFC to produce kosher food, we are confident that we can better serve our customers not only in the aviation sector, but also in the hospitality, F&B, and events sector including the upcoming Expo 2020. Making freshly prepared meals here in the UAE gives us better control over meal design and quality assurance.”
Ross Kriel, founder of CCL Holdings, and President of the Jewish Council of the Emirates (JCE) said: “Kosher Arabia was set up to supply kosher food to meet the growing demand in the UAE, not only from the Jewish community here but also from other consumers looking for healthy and halal-compliant options.
“We’re honoured to have received so much support from the UAE and broader global community, including from Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of the OU’s Kosher Division, Rabbi Yissachar Krawowski, Rabbinic Coordinator for OU Kosher in Israel, South Africa’s Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein and Rabbi Dovi Goldstein, Head of Kashrut in South Africa, and Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, Chief Rabbi of the UAE. With their guidance and endorsement, Kosher Arabia was launched and today is signing an MOU with Emirates Flight Catering to set up the UAE’s first kosher food production facility.”
The UAE is home to people from nearly 200 nations and all walks of life, including a thriving Jewish community. In September 2019, the UAE announced the construction of an interfaith complex in Abu Dhabi, which will house a Jewish synagogue, Christian church and Islamic mosque.
Emirates Flight Catering is one of the world’s largest catering operations. Offering airline, events and VIP catering as well as ancillary services including laundry, food production and airport lounge food & beverage, Emirates Flight Catering is a trusted partner of over 100 airline customers, hospitality groups and UAE government entities. In 2019, the company’s 6,000 dedicated employees prepared over 80 million meals and handled 77,000 tonnes of laundry.