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Lounis Hamitouche: a farmer that has become the king of Algerian yaourt with only 50 dinars in pocket!

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Lounis Hamitouche is the king of yaourt; he wants to continue developing his empire in attacking the market of cheese.

The story of Lounis Hamitouche is very wonderful. At the age of 23 years old, this son of a Kabyle farmer decided to leave his village situated at the top of the mount Djurdjura to make fortune in town. He was only 23 years old and had only 50 dinars in his pocket! But especially with a strong desire to succeed. And this was sufficient! He was very lucky but this was also was a part of the game…

He got into Alger by hitch hiking! His first years were not easy. He delivered any kind of goods between Alger and Tamanrasset. He saved money to buy his first truck, then four others with the same desire to succeed.

He started clothing business but it was not his thing.  No matter the failure, he rebounded in yaourt business “by chance”. In 1993, Lounis Hamitouche created Soummam. With about twenty employees, he daily produced 20 000 pots. His group counts today more than 1 350 collaborators and his daily production of yaoust is 250 times!

Soummam has become today the number one of yaourt in front of the multinational Danone of Algeria!

His company made a turnover of 33, 5 billion dinars in 2012. By 2015, he intends to double the production with 10 million pots daily in order to supply the high internal demand. Soummam is the national producer of yaourt with 42 % of market shares. Its head office is in Taharacht (Akbou, Wilaya de Béjaia).

His dairy collects a volume of 500 000 to 800 000 liters of fresh milk daily from 400 breeders all over the country, whose dairy is regulated. He also arranged 32 collection centers all over the country. “We use more and more fresh milk for our products if even this does not appear on our packages, because we have in stock a great number of packages we printed long time ago.”

Lounis Hamitouche proudly added: «Our main target is to be completely autonomous regarding production of milk by 2016. The integration rate of fresh cow milk is at the level of 40 %, but it does not stop increasing as the volume of milk collection grows. This annual global volume which was 20 million liters in 2010, went to 120 million liters in 2012.” 

Soummam also launched and financed a program to support the breeders regarding training, hygiene, food, milk collection, specialized equipment and storage of the raw material. A real line production.

Today, Soummam has 950 refrigerated trucks distributed to young people. In a very near future, Soummam dairy will launch another factory established on a surface of 17 ha.
It is far the time when Lounis Hamitouche came on foot to find a place under the sun in Alger making sacrifices to buy himself his first truck for business.
With the cheese, his new challenge, he did not stop making his group prosper!

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