GN Focus | Gulf Food

The business of food

Sensitive issues such as sustainability and food security are on the agenda at the current edition of Gulfood Conferences

  • By M. Sen Special to GN Focus
  • Published: 00:00 February 25, 2013
  • GN Focus

  • Image Credit: Corbis

Building on the steady success of the Gulfood Conferences over the past few years, the programme has been expanded this year to include a franchising workshop in addition to a series of intense, highly specialised briefings covering topics that range from finance to legal to sourcing strategies. The Food Leaders’ Summit and Food Processing and Packaging Forum will also run alongside.

Policymakers

The highlight of the event is a day of discussion, led by ministers and private sector officials. After an opening address by Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, UAE’s Minister of Foreign Trade, Sana Toukan, Euromonitor Head of Research Middle East, will moderate a discussion on whether the future of food is being shaped by big businesses, consumers or public policy.

Expert speak

A panel of experts will seek to determine the degree of involvement of governments in the vendor-buyer relationship and how they feature in the equation.

Vishal Tikku, Managing Director, GCC and Middle East Shared Services Kraft Foods (part of the Mondelez International Group of Companies) will also discuss food consumption and sustainability in a separate panel.

The private sector’s role in food security will be examined by a panel including Dan Glickman, Former US Secretary of Agriculture, and Essa Al Ghurair, Vice Chairman, Al Ghurair Investment and Chairman, Al Ghurair Resources. With one in seven of the world’s population hungry, Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates an exponential population growth in the decades to come. The panel will discuss how we can feed the next generation and why it should matter to big businesses.

Go Organic

The Go Organic conference, to be held on the sidelines of the Gulfood exhibition, will have speakers talking about the quality aspects of organic produce from Europe, the nutrition value of products organically grown and the importance of organic farming.

In response to the global demand for organic, unadulterated produce, the European Commission supports the programme Activities for Information Provision and Promotion of Organic Products in Third Countries (Russia, Norway, and the UAE). Some of the groups associated with the initiative, which produces a large and diverse number of organic products, are:

The Compulsory Cooperative of Kozani Crocus Producers supplies organic crocus products in powder and stigma form. Kozani Crocus Products, approved by the Dangerous Goods Department, has combined the beneficial properties 
of Kozani crocus with selected herbs in a series 
of organic beverages.

Oikologiko Agrokthma S.A. produces organic dairy products. The Bioagros S.A. network supplies organic feta cheese from sheep’s or goat’s milk and the Koroneïki variety of organic virgin olive oil.

Athina produces Throumba olive-based oils.

Arosis S.A. produces white beans, which are high in protein and low in fat.

Kravvas Alexandros produces and distributes rice.

Mastihashop Mediterra A.E. produces confections using Chios Mastiha, a rare tree resin.

Almi S.A. produces spicy red and green stuffed organic peppers, while the Tsakiris Eggs Company produces organic eggs.

— GN Focus Report

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