What are the things that inspire you about the poultry meat sector in the UAE?
In the UAE we are fortunate to be self-sufficient in fresh chicken, so when we import large quantities from countries with less cost of production it is stopping the innovation and growth motivation for the local industry. Healthy competition is good, but a balance is required to keep local farmers motivated and continue excelling. We do not use antibiotics or hormones on our birds in the UAE. This is why we produce healthy fresh meat products. We offer ourselves to constant surveillance as quality is our motto. The company distinguishes in producing fresh meat, and all ingredients are natural. No steroids or antibiotics are used in the process to synergie chickens, an exception in an era when genetically modified food products are all around and health perquisites are largely compromised.
What are the new products you are very excited to bring to market?
We have introduced the concept of E-number free (E numbers are number codes for food additives, usually found on food labels in the EU). We have developed chicken franks/sausages/smoked and cooked chicken breast that are free of E numbers and will be available in the UAE in the next few months. According to our market study, these healthy products are considered a major trend and we are sure it will remain popular in the UAE. We always organise marketing campaigns to increase awareness that our products are freshly made in the UAE without any added hormones or antibiotics.
Covid-19 disrupted supply chains and cancelled large events. How did this impact you?
The issue with global supply chain did not really affect our business due to the higher demand for chicken, a major source of protein. People are focusing more on building the immune system during the pandemic, and fresh chicken plays an important dietary role. Even during the lockdown, we served customers through our home delivery platform and took necessary precautions to deliver fresh and safe products. At Emirates National Food we implement and invest in the latest technology to keep our production healthy and up to international standards.
What are your priorities this year?
We are aware about future challenges from international imported products due to the high production cost locally. We are working on improving the process in order to reduce the cost. As a market leader, Al Rawdah recognises that its operations impact the community and environment. We have an obligation to not just provide healthy and delicious food to consumers but also embrace sustainable and ethical business practices to ensure its operations benefit society while being safe for the environment.