The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development and the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators (UICCA), recently hosted a joint event, titled "Eco Eats: Building a Sustainable Food & Beverage Industry."

As part of Khalifa Fund’s SME Tribe series, this event was the first joint initiative of the two organisations aimed at empowering small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the food and beverage (F&B) industry to embrace sustainability, leading to a more environmentally conscious and resilient sector.

The event's opening remarks were virtually delivered by Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, President and CEO of UICCA, setting the tone for an evening of lively discussions and insights. "Eco Eats" convened experts and entrepreneurs, facilitating insightful conversations and knowledge-sharing on key topics crucial for sustainable growth within the F&B sector. The event encompassed three central themes: sustainable business models, menu optimisation and sustainable packaging.

Sheikha Shamma said, “Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development stands at the forefront as a pioneer in the field of enterprise development within the region, and we are proud to be their partner for this edition of the SME Tribe. As an accelerator and a think tank dedicated to growing the green economy, for us as an organisation, it is essential to advocate for policies that promote responsible economic development, environmental stewardship, and investment in our community. We believe that by raising awareness and investing in small businesses and the customers they serve, we can truly make a meaningful impact.”

Khalifa Fund is a strong advocate for the green economy and actively promotes sustainable practices and innovation within the F&B industry. One of its key initiatives is the F&B Innovation Lab, which involves partnering with leading manufacturers in the UAE to encourage and foster new and innovative F&B products with the potential to reach international markets.

Speaking at the event, Alia Al Mazrouie, CEO of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, said, “Khalifa Fund has steadfastly championed initiatives that seamlessly weave together innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainability, particularly within the dynamic realm of the food and beverage industry. Our collaboration with UICCA, under the visionary leadership of Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan Al Nahyan, to orchestrate this SME Tribe event is a resounding testament to our enduring commitment to nurturing environmentally conscious practices within the constantly evolving landscape of the UAE's F&B sector.”

The panel discussion was moderated by Erin Grover, subject matter expert on blockchain and AI for climate impact and food security, with the participation of speakers, Hind Al Ghseen, Founder of H's Coffee and Andrea Zanon, CEO and Founder of Confidente and Empower Capital.

The Eco Eats panel showcased that by innovating in a responsible way, reducing waste, and promoting eco-conscious sourcing, businesses can not only mitigate the impacts of climate change but also create thriving UAE businesses that lead by example.