Dubai – MENA Herald: The opening day of Gulfood Manufacturing drew thousands of the region’s F&B industry professionals to the Dubai World Trade Centre yesterday (Tuesday), including hundreds of delegates attending the Next Generation Manufacturing Conference running alongside the key trade event. One of three conferences taking place this week during Gulfood Manufacturing, the valuable platform for knowledge exchange highlighted key steps for accelerating the development of the food manufacturing and processing industry to meet the region’s growing demand.
The keynote government address, delivered by Saleh Abdullah Lootah, President of the Food & Beverage Manufacturing Business Group, highlighted the necessity of unlocking the GCC’s capacity for innovation in the industry to help raise quality, standards and production levels across the supply chain. Also of importance was the need to align stakeholders – from government and private sector – to meet sustainable economic, environmental and food supply demands.
A case study presented by Yusuf Tambawala, Head of Product Development, Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), showcased the pioneering central hub for F&B manufacturing, packaging, warehousing and logistics in the region, and the turnkey solutions being provided to the industry now and in the future. Dubai offers strong competitive advantage for the industry, including concentration of talent, well-developed networks for labour, ingredients and suppliers, as well as world-class infrastructure, strong governing regulations and a robust trading and economic platform.
Focused on next generation manufacturing, the conference agenda also included presentations on Smart Factories of the Future, and the increasing importance of operational and production efficiencies, with contribution from multi-national food manufacturing giant Mondelez International, Tetra Pak, United Food Technology and PepsiCo.
Safeguarding the health and safety of the food industry both globally and regionally was addressed by Alexander Mathys, Assistant Professor of Sustainable Food Processing, ETH Zurich, who also highlighted the opportunities for manufacturing to harness new preservation principles and innovations to deliver higher nutritional values and superior food.
In addition to Next Generation Manufacturing, two other key summits take place this week. The Food Logistics Forum includes an opening keynote address by Dr. Hashim Saeed Al Nuami, Director, Department of Consumer Protection for the Ministry of Economy, UAE, with high-level panel discussions covering topics on improving the regulatory environment in the GCC; the impact on the region’s supply chain of new regional rail, ports and airline transport hubs; and achieving quality and safety across the food supply chain.
The F&B Innovation conference being held on 28-29 October include presentations from senior executives from Al Marai, DuPont, Euromonitor, Fonterra, Mars, PepsiCo, Prime Hospitality, Switz Group and United Arab Emirates University.
Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President for DWTC, organiser of Gulfood Manufacturing said: “Gulfood Manufacturing plays an essential part in facilitating development of the industry from all perspectives – from driving new business opportunities to delivering the latest knowledge and insights that will help to raise standards and contribute to the growing success and sustainability of food & beverage manufacturing in the region.”
Gulfood Manufacturing is open between 10am-6pm from 27 – 28 October and 10am-5pm on 29 October 2015 at DWTC. Visitor attendance is free of charge. For more information, please visit www.gulfoodmanufacturing.com