Dubai, UAE: The unprecedented Food and Beverage event, hosted by UAE Food and Beverage Manufacturers Group, which brings together the manufacturing industry, developers, leaders in the sector and the industry experts; will be held on the 25th and the 26th of September 2019 at  Address Hotel, Dubai mall.

Powered by the top regional leaders from the Food and Beverage Manufacturing business, the forum will feature :- H.E. Mariam Al Mehairi - Minister of State for Food Security, UAE; H.E. Abdulla Al Maeeni - Director General, Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology(ESMA), UAE; Saleh Lootah - Chairman, Food and Beverage Manufacturers Group, UAE; Abdulla Aujan - Executive Chairman, Aujan Group Holding, KSA; Mella Frewen - Director General, Food and Drink Europe, Belgium; Tariq Ahmed Al Wahedi - CEO, Agthia Group, UAE ;Thamer Temairik - CEO, Halwani Bros, KSA; Nadim Nakfoor - SVP, Pepsico Middle East, UAE ; Tarek Sakka - CEO, Dubai Refreshments, UAE and Ahmed Belyouha - Chairman, Emirates Macroni Factory. This forum will analyze the measures required to sustain strong growth and innovation in the Food and Beverage Manufacturing industry.

According to the UAE Food and Beverage Manufacturers recent survey, the F&B sector is placed amongst the top six focus sectors in the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030. More than 70% of the F&B contribution to the UAE economy comes from the Wholesale and Retail Trade, whereas 30% comes from Manufacturing. The Future Food Forum will help analyze various such factors to help growth; including drastic changes in the dietary habits of the population, increase in health conscious individuals, change in the consumption pattern, increase in per capita disposable income and the overall increase in food consumption. These factors open up the need for a platform of experts who will help resolve the critical issues faced by the F&B manufacturers.

“The UAE’s Food and Beverage industry is integral to the sustainable development of the country, with the UAE population projected to increase from its current level of 9.7 million people to 11.5 million by 2025 and a concomitant increase in food consumption of 12 percent year-on-year. Through the Office of State of Food Security, the UAE government is committed in ensuring that the F&B sector has the resources it needs to meet this demand,” said Her Excellency Mariam Al Mehairi.

“The office has established the National Food Security Strategy to enhance agri-business and diversify food imports, which currently stands at around 90%. The strategy aims to provide the UAE’s F&B sector with a greater percentage of locally grown produce through innovative advances in food production and agricultural technology, as well as to reduce waste and encourage healthy eating in the population. This Future Food event is a valuable forum that allows the federal government and F&B sector representative to share knowledge and expertise to help meet mutual food sector goals,” Her Excellency added.  

His Excellency Abdullah Abdul Qader Al Maeeni, Director General of the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA), confirmed that the Authority is playing a national role supporting the government’s efforts in food security, in developing standards and issuing certificates of conformity for agricultural and organic products.

H.E. Abdullah Al Maeeni said that the development of technical regulations and standards, would lead manufacturers to adopt best practices and procedures, which would in turn reflect on the quality of products, and help achieve productive abundance and diversity in national markets.

He added that ESMA, in addition to the introduction and adoption of technical regulations, and standards, in the belief that it is one of the most important points of influence in enhancing the production process, and ensure food abundance in the markets. Standards have issued some 1,250 standards in the food and agriculture sector, of which 716 are relevant technical regulations.

He said that the development of technical regulations and standards will lead manufacturers to adopt best practices and procedures to reflect on the quality of products, and to achieve productive abundance and diversity in national markets.

Saleh Lootah, Chairman, Food and Beverage Manufacturers Group, UAE added that “Consumer needs and perceptions on food are going through a whole set of evolution, with more emphasis shown on health and traceability aspects. In the UAE industry, regulators and government entities work on a collaborative mode to ensure the sector passses through these transitions smoothly making it a regional food hub”.

Tariq Ahmed Al Wahedi, Agthia Group CEO, speaking on the same lines added, “We believe platforms such as this Forum that bring public and private sector decision makers to discuss and identify sustainable measures that contribute to the UAE’s long-term food security goals are critical to our future. As a Group that has been founded on the pillars of food security by our late Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, we continue to diversify our F&B portfolio and enhance our production capabilities through innovation across water, flour and feed, to ensure the uninterrupted supply of major essential commodities needed by both consumers as well as the F&B supply chains.”

Al Wahedi added, “We believe innovation in the sector is as important as supply; and by integrating more R&D into the core of the F&B industry, we can make a larger contribution to National Food Security and improve the population’s health.”

Comprising of the Host Partners UAE Food and Beverages Manufacturers, the official Supporters for the Future Food 2019 event include Food Security, Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology, Food Drink Europe; Foundation Partners Include : Agthia Group, Dubai Refreshment, Nestle, IFFCO Group and Pepsico. The sponsors for this event are Al Ain Farms, Friesland Campina, Yellow Door Energy, The Food People, Tate & Lyle, SGS and Rakez. Media Partners are Eye of Dubai, Caterer, Hotelier, My UAE guide, Eye of Riyadh, Packaging & Food, Hospitality News Middle East, Food & Beverage Networker, Foodbev Media, Hotel & Catering news Middle East, CHR Magazine, Food Magazine, EME Outlook, Small Enterprise and Food Business Gulf and Middle East.

The forum will be a 2-day event with panel discussions and workshops. The Food and Beverages Manufacturers Group (FBMG) is an association that brings together all the F&B manufacturing firms in the UAE. Formed in 2012, under the auspices of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, FBMG is committed to the development of the food and beverage industry. This event is organized by Ejtemaat Knowledge Network.

© Press Release 2019

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