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Location: Birmingham, MI, United States

Councilman John Akouri, former Washington, DC Press Secretary & Capitol Hill Advisor, is President & CEO of the Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce.

Monday, October 08, 2007

United States Agency for International Development Inaugurates Plant to Boost Tripoli Food Industry


(TRIPOLI, LEBANON) - According to The Daily Star, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director for Lebanon Raouf Youssef recently inaugurated a product-development plant for agro-foods in the Tripoli Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture. "The 300-square-meter plant enables producers to develop products in compliance with international standards and aids production of distillates and essential oils from flowers and herbs from the early stages to final packaging," a statement by USAID said.
The main purpose of the plant in Tripoli, ancestral hometown to the Akouri family, will be to develop syrups, pomegranate concentrate, sauces, honey, molasses, distillates and essential oils, either for bottling for direct sale to consumers or for bulk sale to industrial customers. USAID said that by helping businesses develop marketable products at reduced costs, the plant lowers the risks for entrepreneurs in the industry. It said that an adjacent laboratory will evaluate the quality and characteristics of the products.
The Tripoli plant is the third such plant built by USAID, in collaboration with ACDI/VOCA. The first two, in Sidon and Zahleh, focused on baked goods and fruits and vegetables. They are part of a larger, $6.9-million USAID program to help Lebanese businesses expand in two areas of the economy: niche foods and goat and sheep dairy products. As these businesses expand, they bring income and jobs to rural areas.
"Here is another example of the United States of America generously extending its support to ensure a prosperous Lebanon for future generations," commented John Akouri, Chairman & CEO of the Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce. USAID has worked in Lebanon since 1951 and in recent years has spent about $40 million annually on development projects.

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