Dubai: Gulfood to kick off on Feb 20; mega event to help tackle global food challenges

The 28th edition of the show is set to be 30 per cent larger than previous years, with 1,500 of the 5,000+ confirmed exhibitors new to the show

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A Staff Reporter

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Published: Wed 15 Feb 2023, 2:15 PM

The world’s largest annual global food and beverage sourcing event in the world, Gulfood, will take place from February 20 to 24. It will bring together F&B communities from across the world in Dubai to chart the way forward for this rapidly-evolving sector.

According to the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), the 28th edition of the show is set to be 30 per cent larger than the previous years, with 1,500 of the 5,000+ confirmed exhibitors new to the show. Gulfood 2023’s record scale is due in part to the introduction of Gulfood Plus, a new bespoke hall, where first-time exhibitors will showcase product innovations.

Leading global brands exhibiting include: Unilever, GMG, Americana, Agthia, Fonterra, McCain, Monin, USAPEEC, Hunter Foods, ASMAK, Minerva Foods, U.S. Dairy Export Council, Frinsa Group, Emirates Snacks Foods and Al Rabie to name a few; as well as newcomers including Brazilian food processing company: BRF Global and Agricultural, and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).

Role of industry in curbing inflation

Globally, a series of world events are causing inflation and a rise in the cost of consumer goods, food, utilities, and fuel. The food industry has a huge role to play in helping reverse these trends and moving towards healthier, more resilient food systems.

“With the ongoing food crisis, combined with climate shocks, and rising costs of food, 2023 will be an important year for turning the corner and getting back on track while elevating healthy and diversified diets that are sustainable for people and the planet. Gulfood and the UAE will be at the heart of many of these conversations and have a unique vantage point from which to lead the way,” said Trixie LohMirmand, executive vice-president, DWTC.

Sustainability

Gulfood Green - a new global sustainability initiative - is expected to ignite and continue conversations within the wider F&B community to create a momentous shift towards more resilient and sustainable food production and consumption. The objective is to raise visibility and influence key strategic food industry champions for sustainable food systems transformation in the lead up to COP28 and set a precedent for the future.

The Gulfood Global Forest — an international tree-planting campaign and nature-based solution to the events’ sustainability commitments, to conserve, restore and grow trees across the globe — will help curb climate change. The food industry is known to be a major carbon emitter, and the Gulfood Forest will enable stakeholders of the event from exhibitors and visitors, to speakers, chefs and the wider public to get involved and plant trees to help restore global forests.

Gulfood Green has already started planting in four countries: UAE, Uganda, Ecuador and Indonesia, with fruit-bearing trees planted in a number of the locations to enable families and local communities to become self-sufficient.

The trees already planted will support 2,000 families and sequester 1 million-kg of CO2 over the trees’ lifetime.

Enabling change

The Gulfood Inspire Conference will champion core themes of sustainability, quality and access. Ministers, global F&B value chain leaders, entrepreneurs, civil society and industry experts will lead a series of keynotes, panel discussions and showcases.

World cuisine

Gulfood 2023 will launch the ‘Dubai World Cuisine’ Movement, which aims to provide a platform for homegrown chefs to collaboratively shape the cultural identity of Dubai and establish it on the world’s culinary map. For 2023, Singapore has been selected, for the nation’s vibrant and diverse culinary scene from Michelin-starred restaurants to UNESCO-recognised street food.

The programme will see six iconic chefs from Singapore hosted in six restaurants in Dubai in February with masterclasses and fringe dinners outside of the event, across the city. Two months later in May, the Dubai chefs will then be hosted in Singapore for six dinners under the umbrella of Dubai World Cuisine by Gulfood.

A star-studded lineup of internationally renowned Michelin star chefs will participate in the programme.

Foodverse

Also taking place at the new Gulfood Plus, the Food Metaverse on the blockchain will give visitors the chance to discover the opportunities that the food ecosystem is presented with through Web 3.0, and learn about emerging technology trends that will pave the way for future innovations in the F&B industry.

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