Skaff Dairy Farm, founded in 2011 by Kamil Skaff, initially focused on producing, promoting, and distributing cow and sheep milk. However, the farm later transitioned its operations to specialize in producing high-quality and natural dairy products for the local market.
The business consists of two primary departments: the dairy farm and the dairy factory. Annually, the farm processes approximately 900 tons of milk, resulting in the production of around 370 tons of traditional Lebanese dairy products. These include popular items such as Laban and Laban drink (Ayran), labneh, and various types of traditional cheese like halloum, double creme, and akkawi.
In addition to the traditional offerings, Skaff Dairy Farm has introduced several new products to the local market over the past two years. One such product is the akkawi Czech, which is mainly used in dessert preparations such as knefeh. The farm has also ventured into producing European-inspired cheeses like mozzarella, gouda, and feta, expanding its range of offerings.
Skaff Dairy Farm is committed to constant development and growth. Initially housing about 20 cows, the farm now accommodates approximately 200 cows, including calves, heifers, and others. With the capacity to house over 300 cows, the farm aims to continue expanding and improving its operations.
New Cheese Line
Skaff Dairy Farm presented its proposed project for the Food System Challenge, which aims to scale up and enhance the production of European-inspired cheeses, specifically Mozzarella, Kashkaval, and Cheddar. The objective is to provide local substitutes for imported products at lower prices without compromising on high-quality standards.
Implementing this project will have significant positive impacts. Firstly, it will lead to increased employment opportunities, as the production facility plans to hire seven new employees. Moreover, the project will lead to greater engagement with local farmers in the area, as the farm will need to supplement its milk supply from external sources to meet the increased production demands.
Skaff Dairy Farm’s newly acquired machinery, including a cheese filling line, a cutting machine, and a mozzarella cooker will support the expansion of the cheese line. Additionally, the farm plans to install a solar panel system to power the new production line, showcasing its commitment to sustainability.
The overall impact of this project is substantial, as it not only increases employment at the production facility but also establishes contract farming agreements with four additional dairy farmers in the Zahle area, in addition to the existing five farmers. This expansion will have indirect effects on outsourced farms, as they will need to hire additional workers to sustain production and meet the demand for European cheese substitutions.
The Food System Challenge
The Food System Challenge is implemented by the World Food Programme (WFP) and Berytech through support from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The program’s main outcomes are enhanced food security, a well-functioning local food system, enhanced efficiency and resilience of cooperatives and SMEs working across different streams of the food systems, and increased employment opportunities, especially for women and vulnerable individuals.