The International Islamic Food Processors Association (IFPA), a subsidiary of the International Organisation for Islamic Food Security (IOFS) established by the founding members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in December 2020, has moved its global headquarters from Astana to Dubai.
Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, inaugurated the office at Al Etihad Museum in the presence of Oussama Abdel Rahman Kaissi, CEO of the Islamic Corporation for Investment and Export Credit Insurance (ICIEC), and other dignitaries on Monday.
Almheiri said cooperation is what “we should work towards to improve our collective food security on sustainable foundations, which will also help address climate change. This can be done through the adoption of innovative technologies and solutions throughout the food value chain.”
As part of the UAE's Year of Sustainability, and in view of the COP28 to be held later this year, she said the UAE aims to accelerate work on adopting modern solutions for agriculture and nutrition at the local and global levels.
"Transforming food systems has become self-evident to secure sustainable food supply and fight climate change by reducing emissions from traditional agriculture and food systems. Not only do we play a pivotal role as a regional centre for food trade, but we are committed to strengthening cooperation and capacity building among OIC countries to enhance member states' capacities in food security and climate change.”
Despite the fact that more than 25 per cent of the world's consumers come from OIC countries and spend around 15 per cent of the $8 trillion on food in 2021, there is a significant trade deficit in exports as many of them depend on imports from non-OIC countries for staple foods.
The new headquarters is formed under the Dubai Association Centre located at One Central.
Prof. Yerlan A. Baidaulet, Director General of the IOFS and Chairman of IFPA, said: "Dubai being the hub for trade, especially for the food sector, we intend to support the intra-OIC market and address the challenges that exist from the new headquarters. While the Muslim population is growing worldwide, the halal food market globally is still dominated by non-OIC countries. There are several Member States that are experiencing large trade deficits in many staple foods and many that have food shortages.”
Saleh Lootah, CEO of IFPA and chairman of the UAE F&B Manufacturing Group, said, "As the world grapples with the challenges of a rapidly changing global food landscape, IFPA's headquarters in the UAE, which is a hub for food security, sends a strong message of solidarity and cooperation.
Under the guidance of IOFS, we will strive to create synergies among the OIC food sector to promote intra-OIC trade to ensure food security for all members and the global community. By pooling resources and expertise, the international community of food producers can realise its full potential and ensure the production and distribution of safe, high-quality halal foods that meet the needs of consumers worldwide."
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