DUBAI- Following decades of multi-billion dollar investments in the GCC’s aviation and maritime infrastructure and Free Zone trade hubs, shaping an economically-sustainable regional food logistics infrastructure will top the agenda at this year’s inaugural Gulfood Manufacturing – running 9-11 November at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
Due to climactic conditions and land use restrictions, 90% of the Gulf’s current food demands are met with imports – an over-reliance which will see the value of GCC food imports reach AED194 billion (US$53.1 billion) by 2020 according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
Food-specific logistics remain a core component of a UAE logistics industry anticipated to reach AED99 billion in 2015 (Source: Frost & Sullivan), while Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) figures show the UAE currently re-exports nearly 50% of its imported food products to other GCC countries, Russia, India, Pakistan and East Africa.
One of the world’s biggest re-exporters of goods such as coffee, tea, sugar and rice, the UAE was responsible for approximately 90% of global rice re-exports in 2010.
“As the operators of the world’s largest stand-alone sugar refinery, Al Khaleej Sugar Refinery’s participation at the inaugural Gulfood Manufacturing serves as the perfect platform to interact and foster increased trade opportunities with our customers, partners and leaders in the fast moving consumer goods, F&B and ingredients industry,” said an Al Khaleej Sugar spokesperson.
“Gulfood Manufacturing will welcome a record number of ingredients buyers and trade professionals from all over the world and Al Khaleej Sugar is aiming to attract additional, long-term investments through to World Expo 2020.”
With regional food demand set to grow – the World Bank projects the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s food market could exceed AED3.65 trillion (US$1 trillion) by 2030 – Gulfood Manufacturing will prioritise the food logistics debate with a dedicated forum highlighting current trends and solutions for effective implementation across the multi-sector sphere.
Food Logistics Middle East, a specialised show within Gulfood Manufacturing, will bring together global industry experts to tackle challenges such as connectivity, demand and supply, transportation, storage, commercial vehicles, facilitators and service providers, I.T. and technology, warehousing, materials handling and logistics suppliers and operators.
“Even in the recession resistant and inelastic food industry, the challenge of hyper-efficient and cost-effective logistics affects every component of the supply chain – from production to consumption,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events Management, DWTC.
“With growing demand set to add further pressure to the global food logistics infrastructure, Gulfood Manufacturing will provide a dedicated platform for manufacturers, suppliers and service providers from across the region and beyond to improve international connectivity, handling and supply chains.”
The region’s largest-ever trade show debut, Gulfood Manufacturing will feature more than 1000 global food manufacturers, suppliers and service providers, including a world-class line-up of international brands including IFFCO, Cargill Europe BVBA, Markel Bakery Group, Multivac, TNA Packing Solutions, Ishida Europe Ltd., Döhler Middle East and CSM Deutschland GmbH.
The industry heavyweights will participate in themed sectors or within more than 24 national pavilions including Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iran, Switzerland, Taiwan, China, Thailand, India, Italy, Austria, France, the USA, the UK and Germany – also the show’s Official Country Partner.
In addition to the core exhibitions, Gulfood Manufacturing will host a Food Safety Conference highlighting issues related to regional food safety. A host of internationally-acclaimed speakers and key industry figures will be confirmed in coming weeks.