Investing in Palestine might be considered mission impossible or even an impossible dream. When the opportunity arose to invest in Palestine, it took only minutes for a group of Palestinian investors from the diaspora to grasp the opportunity and realize their dream of investing in Palestine. They considered it their mission to create jobs, provide economic resilience, and bring know-how and international standards back to their homeland.
The first investment was the National Beverage Company Coca-Cola/Cappy (NBC). With the construction of the company’s first factory in Ramallah in 1998, immediately after obtaining a franchise license to manufacture, package, and distribute Coca-Cola products in the Palestinian market, a new manufacturing center of excellence was set up in Palestine.
NBC’s journey started with 47 workers and expanded to include plants and warehouses spread throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In 2005, NBC inaugurated the Cappy Juice and Arwa mineral water plant in the village of Kufor Zeibad in the Tulkarem governorate, and a year later, the company acquired the Jericho mineral water plant in Jericho, the oldest city on Earth. In 2016, NBC realized another facet of the dream by bringing its investment to Gaza, supporting its economic resilience by inaugurating the Coca-Cola soft drinks plant in the Gaza Industrial Zone with an investment of US$20 million.
With a commitment to international quality standards and diversified product lines that satisfy a wide range of tastes among Palestinian consumers, the company has achieved steady operational growth plus market share. NBC has continued to uphold its mission and ambition to do more in terms of bringing additional manufacturing excellence to Palestine.
The year 2019 witnessed the inauguration of Al-Tayf Company for Dairy and Food Products in Kufor Zeibad. With the construction of the first phase of the factory, Al-Tayf created more than 90 job opportunities for the people of the small village and the surrounding areas. The company plans to establish a cattle farm and an educational academy for Palestinian farmers to produce milk with higher specifications. This will contribute to providing 25 percent of Al-Tayf’s milk needs in the coming years.
Over the last two decades, NBC has become an established leader in the beverage sector and the fifth-largest investment company in Palestine. In terms of employment creation, more than 850 direct jobs were created, 300 of them in the Gaza Strip, and more than 8,500 indirect jobs, 3,000 of which provide livelihoods for wholesalers and distributors in Gaza.
“The company’s vision is always to contribute to the advancement of the national economy and to combat the problems of poverty and unemployment by investing in Palestinian talent, creating more jobs, and seeking to benefit other sectors through working with distributors and wholesalers,” explains Imad Al-Hindi, the general manager of NBC. “Besides, we are keen to satisfy the desires of the Palestinian consumers as they are looking for quality and diversity. We are therefore dedicated to providing products with the highest quality and affordability,” he asserts, and adds, “We are committed to the company’s values internally and externally, providing a business-friendly environment, implementing occupational safety standards, and preserving our Palestinian environment through adopting renewable and clean energy and recycling systems, in addition to sterilizing industrial water to make it suitable for agricultural use, which we provide to farms near the sites of our plants. We seek to achieve sustainability in every aspect of our operations and initiatives as we engage our Palestinian community.”
Throughout our fulfillment of the dream, NBC has maintained adherence to high quality and food safety standards and remains committed to following environmental preservation standards and contributing to sustainable community development. As a result, the company has been awarded several international and local awards and certificates: Quality Management System Certificate ISO 9001:2015; Environmental Management System Certificate ISO 14001:2015; Food Safety Management System Certificate FSSC 22000:2013; Occupational Health and Safety Management ISO 45001:2018; and Palestinian Quality Certificate by the Palestinian Standards Institution.
The company also won the Best Country Bottling Operation Award for the years 2011 and 2013 within the President’s Group Sustainability Awards in Turkey, and the Best Environmental Performance Award at the level of Coca-Cola bottlers in the Eurasia and Africa region for the years 2011 and 2016.
Since its early days of operation in Palestine, NBC has been committed to supporting its Palestinian stakeholder community by providing various levels of engagement and supporting various sectors, especially those that focus on education, health, environment, sports, women, youth, children, and people with special needs. With the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the company intensified its support for marginalized segments, workers, and families affected by the pandemic.
NBC will continue to make the dream a reality not only for shareholders but also for the employees, the distributors, and the entire community while providing the Palestinian market with various products of high international quality, proudly made by Palestinian talent, providing hope through jobs and excellence through hard work, not only challenging the odds but changing perceptions.