MANHATTAN, KAN. — AIB International announced Saudi Arabia-based Almarai Co. is the first company in the world to receive its Pandemic Prepared Certification.

The protocol benchmark launched in July in response to COVID-19-related supply chain disruptions, AIB said. The program audits companies’ internal crisis management policies, programs and procedures.

“Leading brands like Almarai understand the value of implementing and upholding industry-recognized best practices for supporting food safety and quality, employee health and business continuity,” said Steve Robert, global vice president of sales, marketing and product innovation at AIB International. “This results in not only internal and social benefits, but also significant bottom-line impacts due to their demonstrated commitment to decreased risk.”

Almarai Co. is one of the largest food and beverage manufacturers and distributors in the Middle East and North Africa region. Its portfolio includes dairy products, juices, bakery, poultry and infant formula sold under the Almarai, L’usine, 7Days and Alyoum brands.

The company demonstrated proficiency in five areas (pandemic crisis management, supply chain management, intermittent operation planning management, health crisis mitigation measures and a pre-requisite program overview) to earn the certification. By successfully passing the audit, it now is able to use the AIB International Pandemic Prepared Certification mark.

“This certification allows Almarai to show both customers and consumers our reinforced commitment to providing world class food and beverage products, even under the most challenging circumstances,” said Abdulla Alotaibi, head of corporate communication and public relations at Almarai Co.