Gulfood 2022 to supercharge global food agenda

More than 4,000 companies and industry thought leaders from 120 countries to gather across 21 DWTC Halls
More than 4,000 companies and industry thought leaders from 120 countries to gather across 21 DWTC Halls

E-commerce, technology, sustainability, and plant-based produce drivers to headline year’s first global F&B sector gathering


Rohma Sadaqat

Published: Fri 21 Jan 2022, 5:23 PM

The 27th edition of Gulfood is all set to 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, when it opens its doors next month.

Gulfood 2022 will span 21 Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) halls, and will underscore the UAE’s status at the forefront of sector change. The event will also highlight the UAE's 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 13–17, 2022, the landmark 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 also be a precursor to the much-anticipated Food For Future Summit and Global Agtech Innovation Expo taking place from February 23-24 at Expo 2020’s Dubai Exhibitions Center - part of the Expo 2020 Food, Agriculture and Livelihoods Week.

The 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 such as water, land, labour, energy, and the 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 of Exhibitions & Events at DWTC.

“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,” she added.

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.

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.

Gulfood Inspire, meanwhile, will see 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.

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.

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.

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."

Gulfood 2022 will be held under stringent safety and hygiene protocols. DWTC has proved its capability to curate the safest face-to-face business environment and deliver world-class events with the highest safety protocols.

With product sampling and handling a vital interaction at the global F&B event, DWTC’s proven protocols have been further intensified for Gulfood 2022 under strict guidance and coordination with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and Dubai Municipality to ensure the safest possible business conditions. Wearing of masks is mandatory, with social distancing in place to ensure the wellbeing of all delegates. Onsite registration will not be available; and registration must be completed in advance via the Gulfood website.

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