Palestinian date exporter maintains global focus

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Palestinian date exporter maintains global focus

One of the oldest populated cities in the world, Jericho was known biblically as “The City of Palms” or "The Date City". Today, Zuhair Manasrah of Nakheel Palestine describes a city working to maintain that title and stand out on the export market.dates aur 029_0

As the general manager, Manasrah has worked alongside his team to become the self-described, top date exporter out of Palestine in three years. Despite regional and territorial difficulties, the company sends its medjool and barhi dates to Turkey, Indonesia, Russia, the U.K., Singapore, Malaysia and Qatar.

“We participate yearly in three to six international food exhibitions worldwide where we introduce our company and promote our products through offering tastings to the consumer and samples for interested buyers,” Manasrah says.

“We have built solid relations with several loyal clients over the past three years in many different markets. These relationships are based on the credibility that we have and the trust that our clients have developed in dealing with us and our products, which has led to high popularity of this relatively new product in the eyes of many people.”

On the local market, the company relies on word of mouth, given the relatively small size of the Palestinian community. The business has also worked to form academic ties to promote research and development.

“We also have partnerships with several Palestinian universities for training students currently studying food technologies or IMG_2319_2agricultural engineering, where we cooperate together to exchange information, develop studies on farming and the date palm sector in particular,” Manasrah says.

The general manager describes a carefully thought out production system that consults with its farmers on best practices and works to maintain traceability of each individual date.

“This way of working has caught the attention of many partners and competitors and has contributed in establishing a solid base of trust and attracting attention to our company and products,” he says.

Each year the company reports that its fruit quantity has doubled, in part due to aging, more productive trees in its plantations.

The company works through every stage of the supply chain, including cultivation, post-harvest handling, packaging, storage, marketing and export of the fruit.

Manasrah says the exporter hopes to expand into a number of new international markets, including Italy, France, the U.S., Chile, Brazil, Eastern Europe and Japan.

Photos: Nakheel Palestine

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