|Event||SIAL Middle East 2018|
|Organiser||SIAL Middle East FZ LLC|
|Press Release Date||11.12.2018|
The Food Security Center (FSCAD) kicked off its fourth edition of panel discussions and seminars to brainstorm on important issues related to food security and ways to formulate a sustainable development strategy on the sidelines of the 9th edition of SIAL Middle East that is currently underway at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).
Entitled ‘The Role of the Retail Sector in Supporting Local Products’, the first session highlighted several key themes including the position of local products and their impact on the retail sector, the implementation of innovative marketing strategies, key take-aways to enhance the visibility of local products in the market, and best international practices in the retail sector.
The session’s panelists included His Excellency Khalifa Ahmed Al Ali, Managing Director of Food Security Center, Dr Hashim Al Nuaimi, Director of the Consumer Protection Department at the Ministry of Economy, Nasser Mohammed Al Junaibi, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Farmers’ Services Centre (ADFSC), M A Yousuf Ali, Chairman and Managing Director of Lulu Group International, and Edward Hamed, General Manager of National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing.
His Excellency Khalifa Ahmed Al Ali, Managing Director of Food Security Center, said: “Food security is of vital importance in achieving sustainable development as articulated by both the government and private sector. With local products reaching advanced levels of development, now is the time to enhance the profile and reach of home-grown products and boost awareness of their superior quality and price advantage, in addition to carefully examining and mitigating the challenges facing the private sector in manufacturing and marketing these products.”
Speaking on the role of government agencies in promoting local products, Dr Hashim Al Nuaimi, said: “These products are an important priority in achieving advanced food security levels locally. The UAE has launched several initiatives aimed at increasing the value of indigenous products in local and international markets, and works relentlessly to ensure the availability of essential food commodities at all times as well as identify alternatives where needed. These priorities require the concerted efforts of all stakeholders in appropriately pricing food commodities and enhancing the competitiveness of local products over imported goods.”
Al Nuaimi noted that the UAE has strategic vegetable reserves to meet any shortfall. He also explained that the government is working on many initiatives to facilitate the entry of local products into global markets and help them overcome obstacles.
Nasser Mohammed Al Junaibi, said: “The UAE’s consumption of vegetables currently registers one million tonnes annually, with local products accounting for 15 per cent of the market share. Abu Dhabi boasts 24,000 farms, some of which use advanced technology, while others still employ traditional irrigation and farming methods. While the country has a large production capacity, local production isn’t keeping pace with local demand, creating obstacles in gaining significant market share.”
M A Yousuf Ali, said: “The acquisition of high quality products at competitive prices is a core priority for the retail sector – therefore, local products need to compete more aggressively with imported goods. Moreover, retail outlets receive national products seasonally, driving the import of goods to support market stability and meet consumer demands.”
Edward Hamed, explained: “Our company – the largest animal feed production and distribution company in the UAE – has effectively contributed to the supply of local feed products that are superior in quality and specifications when compared to imported products. We also enjoy a high production capacity that meets the demands of the growing local market and are currently seeking to implement our ambitious plans to build production capacities that will further strengthen food security in the UAE.”
The expert-led sessions at the event have drawn the participation of senior government officials, CEOs and industry experts, identifying key economic issues that may adversely impact the community. The sessions also aim to contribute to defining the roles of the public and private sector in developing a sustainable strategy to achieve social well-being and diversity in the national economy, in accordance with the UAE Strategy 2050.
FSCAD was established in 2010 as a specialist entity that aims to develop the food security system and implement a sustainable food strategy across the UAE so that citizens and residents have access to safe and nutritious food even during emergencies and crises.