Ministry of Economy: The UAE is the second in the world in re-exports of agricultural and food industries

Hussam Abdulnabi (Dubai)

The UAE ranks as the second largest country in the re-export of agricultural products and processed canned food after the United States, according to Abdullah Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy, who confirmed during the activities of the Future Food Industries Forum organized by the Group of Food and Beverage Manufacturers of the Emirates, in cooperation with the Chamber of Industry and Dubai Trade and Food Technology Valley that the UAE plays a vital role in maintaining food and agricultural supplies in the region.
He emphasized the importance of improving local food production and increasing the scale and speed of technology adoption in the food industry to achieve food security.
Al Saleh said: The Forum for the Future of Food Industries comes at an opportune time as the industry is busy reshaping the supply chain and explained that the UAE believes in the importance of trade to promote sustainability, growth and flexibility in the global economy, calls at the same time that the main focus should be The countries’ strategies are to encourage investment in local production, establish a flexible logistics network, reduce food waste and promote technological integration in food production.
Al Saleh added that in order to achieve food security, the UAE has adopted the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) model, and the UAE has so far concluded three agreements with India, Indonesia and Israel and is continuing its negotiations to conclude more such agreements. agreements with a number of strategic partners. He pointed out that timely communication and participation of stakeholders is essential to ensure maximum benefits for all and to ensure the overall success of this effort. It is also necessary to focus on transferring technological knowledge to build the capacity of the local SME sector and adopt the knowledge and technology economy. He expressed his confidence in the ability of these efforts to increase the resilience of the food and beverage sector in the United Arab Emirates and protect it from global turmoil and crises, in addition to the fact that the shift to the local and regional supply chain will also reduce the environmental impact through shorter transport times for products.

Food waste and loss
Amal Hassan Al Ahmadi, head of the research and development department of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, for his part revealed that the amount of food wasted or lost in the UAE is about 1.8 million tons, equivalent to 13 .7 billion dirhams annually.
She emphasized that these estimates come according to the report of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations “FAO”, which set the amount of food waste and wastage globally at a rate of 30%, noting that the global value of food waste and -losses amount to 2.6 trillion US dollars.
Al Ahmadi explained that the difference between food waste and loss is that waste occurs from the retailer and the consumer, while food loss is related to manufacturing and production processes, and waste and loss always threaten the sustainability of food security for the countries, and for this the UAE has taken innovative initiatives to ensure food security and notes that the environmental footprint of food waste and loss worldwide is 3.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the production of 1.4 billion hectares of agricultural land worldwide.
Al Ahmadi stated that the UAE has been working to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns in most basic sectors, and one of the most important initiatives in this regard was the development of the legislative framework for the National Plan for Sustainable Production and consumption, which aims to achieve sustainable management and use of natural resources by supporting the circular economy, providing support to the private sector sector to motivate it to adopt and use cleaner production methods and techniques in industry, and promoting sustainable production and consumption patterns. Al Ahmadi noted that His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the State, may God protect him, launched the national initiative to reduce food loss and waste “Blessing” to develop a strategic system aimed at intensifying efforts to achieve the goals of the UAE National Food Security Strategy to reduce food loss and waste by 50% by 2030, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
She pointed out that the initiative aims to provide accurate data on food waste and loss throughout the supply chains in the UAE and coordinate with all public and private sector agencies and institutions, in addition to non-governmental community organizations to reduce food waste and loss. , in addition to increasing awareness and community knowledge of sustainability behavior in food production and consumption for all groups of society and creating a new generation that is responsible and uses sustainable methods in relation to reducing waste and ensuring recycling.

Saleh Lootah: The sector’s growth is due to the recovery of tourism and retail trade
Saleh Lootah, Chairman of the Food and Beverage Manufacturers Group in the Emirates, confirmed that there are no supply chain issues facing the sector at present due to the many support initiatives and government decisions that were characterized by flexibility and enabled the sector to overcome the consequences of the pandemic and the supply chains affected by the Russian-Ukrainian war. . In statements to journalists, he stressed that despite the increase in the prices of some foods due to the Russian war, the increase in oil prices and the high cost of shipping, food is available and prices have begun to stabilize and producers have been able to keep pace with changes in production costs. Lootah said: The food market in the United Arab Emirates is open to all and the majority of the products are imported from different countries and for this reason different countries must deal with the Emirati product in the same way so that the benefits are mutual and the countries do not determine barriers to imports to protect the national industry He noted that the food industry in the state has seen remarkable growth during the current year due to the activity in the tourism sector and the increase in the occupancy rate of hotels and restaurants in addition to the activity of the retail sector and the transformation of the state into an attractive destination for investors, business owners and individuals in light of the new accommodation facilities and systems, which at the same time calls for increased cooperation and partnership between the private sector and the public sector when decisions have to be made to meet current challenges and come up with more effective solutions gives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *