Food Crowd and Al Dahra CEO Salmeen Al Ameri reveals the all-new platform’s strategy to controlling the supply chain for the best delivery outcome.
Tell us a bit more about Food Crowd.
Food Crowd is the UAE’s all-new platform – we deliver the best selection of fruits and vegetables, dairy, grocery, fresh meats and beverages. We have local sourcing from our farms within the UAE, Serbia and Egypt and this ensures quality and freshness as we have tight control over the supply chain.
Under the ownership of Al Dahra, a prominent multinational leader in products, food commodities, and supply chain management which has a presence in over 45 countries across the world, we’re revolutioniaing the e-grocery market by providing products directly from producers and growers.
We have a strong commitment towards innovation and sustainability, like our parent company, where we use reusable packaging and provide contactless delivery.
Our prices are competitive as our business model involves eliminating the middleman. We’re the ONLY organic chicken producer in the region, which allows us to place our product at a good price in the market.
We also have a strategic partnership with ADAFSA (Abu Dhabi Agriculture & Food Security Authority) where we work closely to support local farmers.
Our platform also connects the UAE’s food-loving community through a designated Community Page with curated recipes, video tutorials and tips that wholesomely improve people’s lifestyle from renowned regional experts. Food Crowd encourages the community to communicate and connect through the food they cook, eat and serve with friends and families through the interactive Community Page.
What are some of the newest brands and products you offer on the platform?
We have an exclusive organic range from some of our own brands including Ajbanona, Al Dahra Poultry and Al Hosn, which offer chicken, milk, cheese and rice.
Our platform also sells fresh produce from our own farms in Egypt, Serbia and the UAE such as lettuce, white cabbage, cucumbers, spring onions, capsicums, green beans, and grapes – to name a few. These products follow our strictest quality protocols and are farmed using our most advanced technological processes, which minimise human interaction and waste.
We also offer our own Food Crowd boxes which includes a fruit, vegetable, dairy and a mixed box which allows our consumers to shop at one-go – giving them the convenience and flexibility to choose the freshest produce in the shortest period of time.
Many of our consumers are genuinely surprised at the variety of fruits and vegetables that we grow and provide right here in the UAE – we’re proud to be leading the change towards shopping and supporting local.
What are your future plans? Are you looking to expand in the MENA region?
We aim to become the #1 e-grocery platform of choice for UAE consumers, which offers a wide selection of products. We want to become a one-stop-shop for their daily shopping needs and a digital space that unites the UAE’s food-loving community.
Our current focus is the UAE, but we’re open to exploring the wider region in the future since Al Dahra has an established agricultural presence in over 45 countries across the world.
What are some of the main challenges you’ve faced while setting up Food Crowd in the wake of Covid-19?
Border restrictions and supply chain management issues did affect us initially, but we’re better equipped to deal with them considering Al Dahra’s wide global footprint.
Covid-19 has also shifted consumer attitudes towards online shopping in the UAE and the wider region. It has left a widening gap in the UAE’s online grocery sector.
The pandemic has definitely accelerated our market entry as Food Crowd was created with the aim to address this gap by providing the UAE’s savvy online shoppers access to the best quality products at the most competitive prices from brands they trust.
How is Al Dahra helping the UAE achieve its food security goals?Recognising the challenges posed by climate change and global warming, in addition to the continuing decrease in cultivable land and diminishing water resources available for farming, Al Dahra emphasises on keeping Water and Food Security at the core of its strategy.
Food Security has become a critical topic when other dimensions are factored in such as population growth, volatility of raw material, transportation costs and reduced global investments in food and agricultural development.
Al Dahra has partnered with the United Arab Emirates government to execute the nation’s food security vision, where we aim to preserve national water resources and ensure self-sufficiency and sustainability of key commodity supply.
How are Al Dahra and Food Crowd implementing innovation and sustainability in their daily practices?
Since Al Dahra is a company focused on agriculture, we use sustainable agricultural practices across the board as the sector is the largest consumer of water. We believe we have a responsibility to preserve water and use it consciously and economically – we use the latest technologies to employ the best irrigation systems and practices across all our farms.
We also ensure soil preservation and safety of production through careful procurement and a sourcing mechanism for fertilisers and pesticides.
The whole Food Crowd has been created with sustainability at its core too, whether it’s our focus on pushing local produce or our use of reusable packaging across all our products with a minimum waste policy.