Gulfood 2017, taking place from 26 February – 2 March at Dubai World Trade Centre, will feature World Food, one of eight specialist sectors of the exhibition’s new format.
The new World Food section will showcase country-specific products, services and business opportunities.
Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice president, exhibitions and events management, DWTC commented: “Transparency on sourcing is taking centre stage in the food-value chain and World Food recognises demand for nations to build brand-trust that is now paramount to consumers.
“The new sectorised format of the show will create better access for visitors to reach their target products and with World Food housed in its own dedicated sector, exhibitors will be able to offer greater insight into origin and source of their produce.”
Minerva, one of South America’s biggest producers of beef and bi-products will be showcasing its new market-specific products at Gulfood.
Minerva chief commercial operator, Iain Mars said: “We have a plan with SALIC (Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company) to address the food security issue in this region through a new distribution system focused on high-quality food supply.
“The Middle East region faces a lot of challenges, including the non-favourable climate and limited availability of water, as well as the political insecurity in some countries. Despite the influence of urbanisation, westernisation, population growth and better purchasing power contributing to an increase in regional meat consumption, the elevated cost of production has historically limited investments in meat production and created a higher dependency on imports.
“All these factors increase the potential for South America to become the main supplier for the Middle East, exporting high-quality products with efficiency and at competitive prices. The change in format can only help as the dedicated World Food sector will allow us to better showcase what we have to offer.”
Ireland, meanwhile, hopes a strong reputation in the provenance of its beef and poultry will boost regional sales during Gulfood 2017, with a highlight of the Bord Bia Ireland pavilion Golden Irish eggs.
Golden Irish spokesman Brian Eivers, said: “We‘re focused on offering customers a range of high-quality, 100% Republic of Ireland BRC Grade A eggs. With a strong customer based across both retail and foodservice industries, we’re well placed to service the needs of a growing market.”
Ireland is eager to showcase its reputation for providing great quality food at the Bord Bia Ireland pavilion, this will be championed by dry-aged grass-fed beef producer John Stone Beef.
Allan Morris, John Stone Beef managing director, said Ireland’s standard, yet stand-out beef rearing processes gives it the edge with increasingly quality conscious consumers.
“Our beef is sourced from suckler farmers, which means the calves stay with their mothers to suckle until they are independent and can forage for themselves,” Morris said. “This system is quite unique but is the normal standard in Ireland, ensuring sustainability and grassland management is achieved.
“All Middle East countries are growing in terms of their desire for safe, sustainable and natural foods for their consumers. We are keen to show in the World Food segment why Ireland is well positioned to help them achieve this within their marketplaces.”
The dairy sector, meanwhile, is a key focus for Belgium’s Flanders’ Agricultural Marketing Board, which will have six dairies on show, under its White Gold from Europe banner.
Latvia, making its fourth Gulfood foray, is fielding its largest national delegation to date, with 20 companies under the banner of the country’s Ministry of Agriculture – up from seven producers three years ago.
Latvia’s Ministry of Agriculture spokesperson Daina Saktina said: “Our aim is to cover all countries in the Middle East region and to introduce our high-quality and healthy products.
“A high share of all Latvian products can be evaluated as eco and healthy-life products. We know that clients and customers from the region have high demands for food quality and we can satisfy these. We don’t have many mass production companies with average products. We have smaller, diverse companies which prioritise quality, uniqueness and healthy life products.”
World Food is one of eight dedicated segments now housed within Gulfood to ensure buyers can more easily and effectively navigate the show.
The other features are: beverages; dairy; fats & oils; health, wellness & free-from; pulses, grains & cereals; meat & poultry and Power Brands.