(WAM) — H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA), today opened the 27th edition of Gulfood, the world’s largest food and beverage sourcing event, at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
H.H. Sheikh Ahmed toured the show accompanied by Mariam Al Mheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority. Running from 13-17 February, the global F&B industry will showcase innovative solutions to meet emerging trends and rapidly evolving consumer habits, examine sector challenges, drive agenda to action and strike trade deals to change the future for the better.
Over 4,000 companies from 120 countries, a line-up of industry leading speakers, and the world’s best chefs will chart the way forward for an industry in the midst of rapid transformation. Visitors to the event will be able to meet buyers looking to take orders for the latest and industry-defining products while exhibitors seek to draw customers looking to fill their order books, at the year’s first global F&B gathering.
Sustainability, the rising role of e-commerce in F&B, disruptive technology and impactful innovation will be explored and analysed during the next five days.
Mariam Al Mheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, opened the all-new, action oriented Gulfood Inspire session, which featured a diverse range of speakers, including F&B executives, ministers, policymakers, retail executives, technologists, agriculturists, analysts, and futurists, all of whom provided invaluable insights, industry knowledge, and industry pathways.
Gulfood 2022 has opened with its most expansive exhibitor line-up yet including new pavilions from the Norwegian seafood industry, Uruguay, Panama, and Uzbekistan who will be joined by newcomers from Australia, Colombia, South Africa, Switzerland, and Hong Kong.
Participants, whether new or long-term exhibitors, are eager to unpack the raft of opportunities Gulfood will present this week.
France has renewed its participation with 69 companies bringing the best of French F&B to the region – led by Business France, the government agency that supports companies in export and expansion projects.
Flavie Paquay, Head of Business France’s UAE office & F&B department, said: “Global food buyers, importers, and distributors will take advantage of the networking opportunities to find supplies suitable to their target market. During the preparation phase for the event, I could witness how excited are French exhibitors to showcase their latest products, specifically produced to fit with Middle Eastern taste buds.”
“Participating at the largest annual F&B sourcing event in the world has become a tradition for France. We are excited to renew our commitment by taking part in the 27th edition of the Gulfood and share with the visitors the values of the French food industry: Excellence, responsibility, authenticity, sharing, and innovation,” added Paquay.
With an aim to connect, create and change for a better future, this week kicked off with the landmark launch of Gulfood Zero Waste – a new movement to create a sustainable event and inspire people in the food business, as well as food lovers, to take action.
Food from exhibitors and live cooking stations will be collected across the five days of the event and sent for compost production, in partnership with The Waste Lab, an impact-driven startup that aims to create an opportunity for every food scrap to become a solution rather than a burden.
Zero waste champions will be awarded for the best end-to-end solutions to tackle the global F&B challenge during a special event this week.
Meanwhile, the ever-popular Gulfood Innovation Awards has witnessed another exceptional year, attracting meaningful, game-changing breakthroughs that will drive the industry forward. Winners spanning eight categories: from sustainable packaging and health, wellness plant-based innovations, to most innovative frozen food and chilled products, will be announced on Monday 14 February.
Running concurrently with the exhibition, The Gulfood Top Table is a first for the event and is taking culinary experiences to new heights with series of live demonstrations and workshops from a star-studded line-up of award-winning chefs and food influencers. During the event, up to 70 chefs from 50 restaurants will prepare over 1,000 unique dishes, bringing together industry media, innovators, and global trendsetters in a masterclass feast.
Gulfood YouthX, a brand-new platform will debut this week aimed at empowering youth and fuelling the food and beverage industry’s future. The inaugural event will help young Emirati talent turn their passion into a high-flying career, with the chance to learn from renowned chefs who will provide hands-on learning experiences in live kitchens.
The YouthX cooking contest will see local talent go head-to-head with the winner landing a life-changing experience in one of Hilton Europe’s dining destinations this summer, while the runner-up will receive a 25% scholarship to Dubai College of Tourism’s Culinary Arts Programme.
The event is being held under stringent safety and hygiene protocols. DWTC has proved its capability to curate the safest face-to-face business environment and deliver world-class events with the highest safety protocols.