The Middle East Natural and Organic Products Expo 2005 was organised earlier this week by Global Links at the Grand Hyatt Convention Centre and was inaugurated by Abdullah bin Abdel Aziz, Under-Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.
The exhibition served as an ideal platform for manufacturers, producers and distributors of a variety of natural and organic products, including cosmetics, organic food, aromatherapy, yoga, naturopathy, food and beverage, natural juices, dairy products, music, herbal remedies, energy substitutes, fabrics and clothing, and health and nutritional products.
Exhibiting countries at this year’s expo include Italy, India, France, Germany, Malaysia, Spain, Indonesia, Portugal, Morocco, Pakistan, Sweden, the Netherlands, Holland, Canada, Mexico, Egypt, UAE, Kuwait, Zambia, Belgium, Nairobi, Iran and Russia.
The UAE pavilion featured several leading companies including Gulf Organics, the first and only distributor of certified organic food products in the Gulf region. The company was certified as an organic certified distributor by Ecocert, a reputed international certifying body, during the exhibition. In addition, Gulf Organics has also been working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, as expert consultants, to assist the ministry in its endeavour to support organic farming, production and trade within the UAE.
“The significant number of exhibitors at the Middle East Natural and Organic Products Expo is a reflection of the success achieved by the UAE Government in promoting organic agriculture. The UAE’s emergence as a leading regional distribution hub is set to provide a major boost for the growth of the organic product market. The UAE has the advantage of world-class infrastructure facilities, excellent connectivity and an enabling business climate,” said Abdullah bin Abdel Aziz at the inauguration.
A series of conferences and seminars focusing on the industries supporting natural and organic products, globally and in the Middle East were organised alongside the Middle East Natural and Organic Products Expo 2005. Joe Smillie, Senior Vice-President, Quality Assurance International (QAI), Katherine Dimatteo, Executive Director, (OTA), and Neil Sorensen, Communications and Events Manager, International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), along with other industry experts spoke on topics such as organic agriculture, organic trade in the Middle East, organic medicines, marketing and the retailing aspects of organic products and natural treatment and healing.
“The response this year has been overwhelming. The event serves as an excellent platform for exhibitors showcasing their products, to build a personal rapport with potential buyers and business partners, while giving them a unique opportunity to network with industry peers,” said Girish Dabrai, Managing Director, Global Links.
“The Middle East region has shown a strong growth in demand for natural and organic products in recent years, a fact that has been reflected by the growing response generated by the previous editions of the Middle East Natural and Organic Products Expo,” he said. “The UAE in particular has also seen major developments in organic agriculture. The Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah for instance recently introduced organic agriculture, in association with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, whereby the focus will be on farming without the use of chemical pesticides, fertilisers or any genetically modified organisms,” added Dabrai.
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