Abu Dhabi: – The second day of the Abu Dhabi International Food Exhibition (ADIFE) today brought together leaders, experts and participants in the food sector for an exciting and insightful agenda of speeches, presentations and discussions under the umbrella of the ADIFE Talks.
The day’s Talks kicked off with the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority’s (ADAFSA)’S Partners Forum 2023 Opening the session, H.E. Saeed Al Bahri Salem Al Ameri, Director General of ADAFSA, outlined the important role that the Authority played in ensuring the quality of food and pointing out that the agriculture and food production sector is considered an essential pillar in building a diversified and sustainable economy, and those concerned in this sector, starting from small farmers and breeders, ending with major agricultural companies and food industries, play a vital role in achieving this goal. He pointed out that building a sustainable agricultural and food sector requires the integrated efforts of all concerned parties in the government and private sectors, in addition to farm and farm owners, who bear a great responsibility in increasing the quantity and quality of local production, calling on partners to cooperate and interact positively to achieve agricultural sustainability and enhance food security.
A subsequent panel discussion noted that food waste also involved the waste of water and energy and an increased carbon footprint. It was also noted that dependence on imported foods increased exposure to vulnerable supply chains. The panelists agreed that UAE-based farmers needed more support in terms of marketing and distribution, and that enhancing food safety was compatible with improved quality.
A presentation on ‘Bees and Beekeeping in the United Arab Emirates, saw Dr Denis Anderson, a principal investigator at the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, launch a book based on his current research and development project in the UAE that is analyzing the causes of the annual die-off of local honeybees, enhance knowledge on honeybee pests and diseases, and produce a honeybee for UAE conditions.
Aysha Al Kaabi, Technical Support Section Head at ADAFSA, led a session explaining the ‘Zadna Rating’ for evaluating food establishments in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi through the control and inspection of food establishments and local restaurants. Zadna is an electronic platform that gives all Abu Dhabi residents, tourists, and visitors the opportunity to review the compliance assessment of food establishments and thereby improve their dining experience at restaurants, cafes, and bakeries in the emirate.
Vidya Shah, Chief Commercial Officer, Abu Dhabi Food Hub – KEZAD, provided a presentation entitled ‘Spotlight on market access – the role of wholesale markets in supporting global businesses to work closer with emerging and growing economies’. Her address covered global wholesale markets and their critical role in enhancing scale and market attractiveness, along with options for diversifying sourcing through enhanced transparency and accessibility, and the importance of efficiencies across supply chains. Shah stressed the critical importance of reducing bottlenecks in order to streamline supply chains and secure lower costs, faster market access, and higher quality goods from new players and new products.
Bassem Azzam, Managing Director for TSI Quality Services, oversaw the next session on ‘Climate Change Impacts on Food Safety: The Role of Managers in the Food Service Industry’. This talk covered the increasingly important functions of food safety managers in the context of climate change. The growing climate challenge meant that new management techniques, adaptation and mitigation strategies, and enhanced collaboration and policy formulation were needed given the lessons of existing case studies.
The final session on ‘Agricultural Practices and Promotion of Local Consumption’ featured Dr Ahmed Fawaz Atoom and Dr Afra Al Dhaheri, both of ADAFSA. This in-depth presentation covered the importance of local consumption, the optimal uses of antibiotics in enhancing animal health and the food safety implications, and post-harvest procedures and technologies in the agricultural sector.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of Presidential Court, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of ADAFSA, and organized by ADNEC Group in strategic partnership with ADAFSA, the second edition of ADIFE is being held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center with leaders, experts and participants drawn from around the world.