Gulfood 2022 will power considerable trends and techniques currently disrupting the international food industry agenda with its stated mandate of connecting, creating, and changing the future for the better.
The 27th edition of the world’s largest annual F&B sourcing event, which will span 21 Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) halls, will underscore UAE’s status at the forefront of sector change and leading role in tackling global issues with the launch of Gulfood Zero Waste, a global campaign in partnership with restaurants and hotels driving the zero waste initiative globally.
Running from February 13 to 17, the show will be the global sector’s undisputed transformation powerbroker, where major global challenges, trends and change drivers will be examined, including e-commerce; technology, sustainability and disruptive cellular agriculture bio-innovation – the production of animal sourced foods from cell culture methods; emerging slow and plant-based food trends. The show will be a precursor to the Food For Future Summit and Global Agtech Innovation Expo taking place from February 23 to 24 at Expo 2020’s Dubai Exhibitions Center - part of the Expo 2020 Food, Agriculture and Livelihoods Week.
INSPIRING GLOBAL CHANGE
Latest data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (UN-FAO) indicates that one third of the world’s food is wasted, equating to 1.3 billion tonnes annually at a cost of $1 trillion. Beyond the detrimental environmental impact, wastage also translates to the loss of nutrients and resources (water, land, labour, energy, and cost) invested in food production.
Gulfood Zero Waste will light the way in addressing this major global issue, with chefs from 30 UAE restaurants, cafes, and dark kitchens focusing on sustainable practices using local produce via off-site workshops and masterclasses.
The initiative also provides a platform for impact-driven, homegrown companies, including a partnership with The Waste Lab, which is implementing solutions to repurpose food, such as compost, with societal and economic benefits. The Gulfood 2022 onsite Zero Waste Mega Impact will aim to collect 1,000kg of food wastage to produce 400kg of compost, equating to a CO2e emissions saving of 1,000kg.
The innovative campaign will culminate in an award ceremony recognising zero waste-leading restaurants.
“Gulfood 2022 will underscore UAE’s pivotal role in driving global F&B sector change for the better with a deep-dive into the trends and techniques set to transform the industry for good. The Gulfood Zero Waste is a global initiative with the goal of sparking dialogue and movement among policy-makers, industry leaders and communities to take a pro-active approach to adopting zero-waste initiatives, which can help end the discrepancies between food waste and hunger while playing a part in addressing climate change,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President, Exhibitions & Events,
“The campaign is yet another example of UAE’s desire and leadership to power industry development for the good of all. In addition, this influential gathering will host over 4,000 exhibiting companies, a host of high-calibre speakers from 120 countries, and more than 100 award-winning chefs, including Michelin Star and ‘World’s Best’ winners, business leaders and government policy-makers under one roof.”
AN ALL-ACTION POWERBROKER
Gulfood 2022 will propel sector conversations from agenda to action and facilitate innovative start-ups, spark the emergence of food tech solutions, empower young industry professionals and women within the sector’s research and development, and spur e-commerce.
“Gulfood 2022 will build on the event’s unequivocal reputation as an industry trend springboard and a global sourcing powerhouse to inspire industry-wide transformation for the good of the entire eco-system, from raw material producers to policy-makers and consumers,” explained LohMirmand.
“This is a time when Dubai is, via Expo 2020, presenting to the world, a whole new future with the grandstanding of epoch-making transformations. Gulfood 2022 takes its cue from this inspiring vision with a more profound concept to provoke a stronger collective impact on the industry’s future.”
TOMORROW’S FOOD FUTURE TODAY
Driving creativity and change, Gulfood 2022 will shape the future of food. In another industry first, this year’s event will feature the Gulfood E-commerce Platform, an exclusive networking and conference agenda powering the increasingly growing role of the digital marketplace in the food supply chain.
SMEs will pitch to leading e-commerce and food delivery partners on ways retailers can boost their digital presence and hear from sector leaders, including Sebastian Wussler, the German entrepreneur behind Hoodly, an online store building application that helps with their set-up and e-commerce business process monitoring in less than five minutes. Other sector pioneers who will be providing invaluable insight include Nikola Cabarkapa, VP of Brand Partnerships and MFC of grocery delivery app Instashop and Yesuprabhakar Yarlagadda, Vice President – Grocery, of the Middle East's homegrown online marketplace, Noon.
Also new for 2022, the Gulfood Top Table will take culinary experiences to new heights with a live, star-studded line-up of award-winning chefs and food influencers. Industry media personnel, disruptors and global trendsetters will be coming together in a masterclass extravaganza. More than 70 chefs from 50 restaurants will create in excess of 1,000 creative dishes across the five days. Featured chefs include: Antonio Bachour, the 2018 World’s Best Pastry Chef, often described as a “confection master”; 2-star Michellin chef Tom Aikens; Nick Alvis, from renowned homegrown restaurant, Folly; top Emirati chefs Khaled Al Saadi, co-founder of FAE Café, and Faisal Naser, founder of Lento; and Dubai-based Syrian culinary ace Mohamad Orfali.
Gulfood Inspire, meanwhile, a host of speakers take to the stage, including F&B business leaders, ministers, policy-makers, retail heads, technologists, agriculturists, analysts and futurists providing unmissable insights, industry knowledge and industry pathways.
Gulfood Global Changemakers, the future-focused start-up programme will see 30-40 embryo ventures pitch innovative ideas and food tech solutions to renowned venture capitalists and investors. The contenders will also hear from Dennis Levine, the controversial author, corporate consultant, and former managing director at the iconic Wall Street investment banking firm Drexel Burnham Lambert, who was a major player in mergers and acquisitions throughout the 1980s.
MORE POWER TO THE YOUTH
Gulfood YouthX in partnership Hilton and Dubai College of Tourism is a first-of-its-kind platform to empower the most promising aspiring chefs, featuring a massive mentorship & scholarship programme.
With the first edition focusing on aspiring Emirati chefs, participants will get to interact with Kasdi Dahari, Executive Chef, Hilton Palm Jumeirah and a team of young chefs that went on to win seven Gold Medals in the 2021 Chefs’ Table Competition.
The winning chefs in the YouthX contest will land a career-changing hands-on learning experience in one of Hilton Europe’s dining destinations, while the runner-up will secure a 25% scholarship for Dubai College of Tourism’s Culinary Arts Programme.
The new Gulfood approach has won an enthusiastic response from exhibitors who have praised its forward-thinking strategy. Among the expanded 2022 exhibitor line-up are new pavilions from the Norwegian seafood industry, Uruguay, Panama, and Uzbekistan who will be joined by newcomers including: Australia’s ABW Foods, Invest NSW and Austrade; Colombia’s Cartagena Chamber of Commerce; Uruguay’s Cooperativa Nacional De Productores De Leche, Estancias del Lago S.R.L. and Instituto Nacional De Carnes; Switzerland’s Fenaco and MK Merchants SA; Panama’s ProPanama, South Africa’s RFG Foods Pty Ltd., and Hong Kong’s Vitasoy.
Jean-Philip Habib, Business Development Manager, Arrow Juice Factory, is eagerly anticipating the insights from Gulfood Inspire. “Our industry is increasingly subject to regulation, impacting everything from packaging to waste disposal and the chance to hear first-hand from the policy-makers of what we may face in the future will be incredibly useful and aid the industry in planning,” he said.—TradeArabia News Service