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The eyes of the global food production industry will be firmly fixed on Dubai this week for the seventh edition of Gulfood Manufacturing, the largest food and beverage processing and packaging show in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), which returns to power smart innovations in food manufacturing.
With 1,250 exhibitors, from 55 countries Gulfood Manufacturing will begin its three-day run tomorrow, 7 November, at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), and will be a microcosm of an industry that holds more opportunities than challenges post-pandemic.
OPPORTUNITIES SPRING FROM PANDEMIC INDUCED REALITIES
Faced with a range of pressing new realities, the industry is now confronting shifting consumer patterns, sustainability demands, disruptive production technology, logistical roadblocks, supply chain inefficiencies and increasing regulation. These challenges, say key players, are sparking a complete reimaging of the sector to realise its economic and societal potentials, with Gulfood Manufacturing being the reinvention ignition key.
Dutch pavilion heavyweight Kuipers Food Processing Machinery (KFPM), which produces snack processing equipment, says it is raring to get its teeth into business regeneration and lifting the lid off two-years of pandemic induced R&D innovation.
“We are simply thrilled to be back at such a large-scale event, face to face,” said KFPM’s Valeria Lucinschi, Business Development Manager. “This year, we hope to see our existing clients from the area and have the opportunity to present our technology to new food manufacturers. We are excited about the opportunity to inform everyone about our technological innovations and upgrades.”
“We see clients hoping to produce more sustainably, especially when it comes to water usage and reduced energy. Our R&D team is constantly finding new ways to decrease those figures and present customers with the possibility to achieve maximum efficiency. Besides this, snack producers are currently introducing many snacks that have never been produced before. These require a flexible solution that can ensure tasty newcomers are manufactured according to consumer demand. Bold tastes and unique combinations are the new movement,” explained Lucinschi.
‘SHOW RETURN IS PERFECTLY TIMED’
The UAE’s IFFCO Group, now a major international ingredients producer, believes Gulfood Manufacturing and its reconvening of the worldwide industry couldn’t be better timed.
“This year’s show kicks off in an incredibly special time for all the region, coinciding Expo 2020 in Dubai. For that reason, we believe and expect that the show will reach even higher visitor numbers and reward the efforts of all stakeholders,” said Arzu Alibaz Somer, Chief Executive Officer-Out of Home, Food Services(GCC), IFFCO Group.
IFFCO intends to unveil its Out of Home (OOH) brand at the event, targeting a sector projected to see exponential growth over the next decade as consumers increasingly turn to takeaway cafés and restaurants and food delivery services to satisfy appetites. “The show will be the new brand’s first interaction with the industry via our solution-based approach, which has the potential of becoming the region’s leading full-fledged solution provider for Out of Home Industry operators,” added the spokesperson.
“We must offer a full range of products, and solutions, to enable our customers to build successful businesses regionally and globally. Our dedicated team of collaborators understands industry trends and is able to provide the most assertive and scalable solutions and products, with minimum timing.”
A LOCAL INDUSTRY WORKFORCE ENABLER
In line with ‘Make it in the Emirates’, an initiative of the UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology’s (MoIAT) to drive industrial growth in the UAE by boosting its GDP, the UAE Food and Beverage Business Group has partnered with Gulfood Manufacturing to showcase its UAE National Talent Development Programme with a focus on developing human capital capacity.
Underlining the importance of Emiratis in food sector, which is currently less than 1 per cent, the UAE National Talent Development Programme aims to train and nurture next generation manpower with a goal to increase the local workforce by 5 per cent within the five years.
Key objectives of the programme include encouraging innovation and product development in the food ecosystem; developing local talent; revitalising the private sector with a local workforce and engage the food startup community with the F&B manufacturing sector.
SHOW OPENS UP SEGMENTED GROWTH PATHWAYS
Gulfood Manufacturing will explore an ever-expanding catalogue of business possibilities across six key industry pillars – ingredients, processing, packaging, automation and control, printing and labelling as well as supply chain solutions.
KNOWLEDGE SHARING POWERHOUSE
Gulfood Manufacturing 2021’s widely acclaimed knowledge-sharing programme will deliver groundbreaking insights to the industry’s future with its three-day FoodTech Summit and hands-on learning sessions, including exclusive talks with industry giants, bringing the leading food authorities, manufacturing companies, supply chain entities, distributors, retailers and the most influential industry names in-person to address the now and next.
The knowledge-sharing programme will, according to Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President, Events Management, DWTC, “be key to unlocking and empowering smart food manufacturing innovation with expertise from 21st century industry pioneers driving unprecedented, multi-sector transformation.”
“The FoodTech Summit will introduce next-gen technologies to transform F&B manufacturing facilities into smart factories and explore how that will potentially advance the industry through the expert lens of international industry leaders, key decision makers and innovators.”
To recognise outstanding innovators in an industry characterised by innovation, the show will see the return of the Gulfood Manufacturing Industry Excellence Awards, recognising the ‘best of the best’ across seven categories including: the most innovative food ingredient; the most innovative health ingredient; the environmental award of the year; the most innovative processing solution; the top futuristic technology; the best food safety innovation technology and the leading packaging innovation.
Furthermore, to ensure Gulfood Manufacturing serves the entire food chain eco-system, three sector-specific events will be co-located alongside it: yummex Middle East, the region’s most established sourcing platform for the sweets and snacks industries; the Speciality Food Festival, the region’s leading event for the gourmet and fine food industry and Private Label and Licensing Middle East, the only Private Label and Licensing Exhibition in the Middle East and North Africa.
“It is the entire eco-system’s opportunity to garner first-hand experience of all the megatrends and innovations redefining the food sector. This crucial outcome underlines the show as an increasing enabler of sector and national growth, while further cementing Dubai’s status a global supply chain hub,” added LohMirmand.
The show is open from 10am – 6pm on Sunday 7 and Monday, 8 November; and 10am – 5pm on Tuesday 9 November. For more information visit https://www.gulfoodmanufacturing.com/