Zarqa, JORDAN – Eyad Farouq was trained as an agricultural engineer. He was living in Libya and working as a factory manager, overseeing the production of juices, cheeses, and yogurts. When the Libyan Civil War started in 2011, he returned to Jordan with his wife and children but had difficulties finding work in his chosen profession. He has very high standards for his work.
“Sometimes in the factory, the people above me would tell me to add things that might hurt the consumer,” he said. “This is why I do not like working for others. This kind of thing goes against my principles.”
He came upon the idea of producing soymilk, a product not commonly found in the Kingdom of Jordan, while visiting the Arab Center for Autism in Amman. The doctors there told him some of the patients could not drink animal milk because it negatively affects their digestion. Eyad decided to fill this hole in the market. He took his idea to the Jordanian Ministry of Planning, created samples for the Royal Scientific Society to test, and began to find funding and training for his new business.
The process of getting milk from soybeans is time-intensive and requires experience with knowing the differences between types of beans. The byproduct of milk production is a bean that can be used for other agricultural products, such as animal feed. Eyad learned this process from the Internet and perfected it in his garage. He was required to send samples of his product to the Royal Scientific Society for testing before he can merket it for human consumption.
“I am very comfortable now. I am free to produce quality milk that meets my standards and the standards of the Royal Scientific Society,” Eyad said. “My business will be special. I cannot wait for people to say ‘Look, at Eyad’s business!’”