Published on July 13, 2016
Almarai (Arabic: المراعي, lit. ‘”The Pasture”‘) was established in Riyadh in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1977 as a partnership between the Irish agri-foods pioneer Alastair McGuckian, his brother Paddy and Prince Sultan bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Kabeer. Today, Almarai is the largest vertically integrated dairy company in the world.
During the early 1990s, Almarai entered a period of restructuring and reinvestment that took it from a decentralized to a centralized structure. Five decentralized processing plants were replaced with the a central processing plant. Also ten small scattered dairy farms were replaced with four large dairy farms in Al Kharj in the central region.
2005 brought many developments for Almarai, a second larger central processing plant was commissioned, incorporating a new cheese plant, two new super-farms were commissioned and Almarai a publicly listed company that has around 70,000 shareholders.