Dubai, November 27

D

ay One of the Abu Dhabi International Food Exhibition (ADIFE) has drawn to a close bringing together participants from across the government, industry, agriculture and Food Beverage (FB) sectors to witness a rich range of exhibitions along with parallel sessions hosting speeches on key aspects of the food industry's future development.

Held under the patronage of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Presidential Court, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA), and organized by ADNEC Group in strategic partnership with ADAFSA, the second edition of the exhibition at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre welcomed attendees, brands, exhibitors, and industry leaders.

Over day one of the exhibition, nine agreements were signed to a total value of over AED 610 million, as well as climate change and sustainability pledges and strategic partnerships between industry leaders. Together, these agreements will significantly boost the local, regional and international food-beverage value chain, as well as solidify ADIFE as a leading event for the industry.

Additionally, the Hosted Buyers Lounge saw 1223 meetings taking place, with 129 hosted buyers present and interested in potential deals - with an initial deals discussion estimation of AED 106,500,000.

On day one, the total potential value of deal discussions was AED 716,500,000, highlighting ADIFE's role in bringing FB buyers and sellers to Abu Dhabi and facilitating networking and business opportunities.

With the exhibition floor space covering more than 28,400 square meters, the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre was filled with exhibitors from several countries, most noticeably Morocco and Greece, who showcased unique products and cuisines attracting interested buyers and producers.

The Hosted Buyers Lounge, a part of the Hosted Buyers Program, returned for the second year to provide a platform for buyers and sellers were able to form partnerships and discover business opportunities. The exhibition saw many new announcements and the signing of many contracts between government agencies, private sector entities, and supply chain buyers and suppliers.

This year, ADIFE has already seen an increase in businesses at its innovative 'Startup Zone', a dedicated space that features newly launched products from new companies and emerging entrepreneurs. One of the exhibition's main aims is to expose new upcoming small and medium-sized enterprises to the market and potential buyers by providing a platform to network and showcase their offerings.

Through this process, ADIFE aims to promote and grow local and regional startup businesses by generating interest and facilitating meetings between potential buyers and sellers in the FB industry.

The exhibition's first day took place in parallel with the ninth edition of the Abu Dhabi Date Exhibition, co-organized by ADNEC and the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation.

This world-renowned platform, involving nearly 80 brands from 20 countries, provided an excellent opportunity for visitors and relevant business sectors to explore opportunities in the date production and trade sectors.

ADIFE 2023 was filled with many other attractions and events that drew significant attention, including the World Gourmet Show with Michelin-starred chefs, and the Pizza Hub's exciting competition that brought together leading pizza chefs from around the world.

The Brewers Cup Championship, an exciting competition that provided superb entertainment for exhibition attendees, focused on the art of filter coffee brewing with numerous brewers pitting their skills against each other for the chance to represent the United Arab Emirates at future international competitions.

The ADIFE Innovation Awards also took place on day one, with several businesses and organizations receiving recognition for their contributions and innovations within the industry.

Saleh Abdullah Lootah, the Chairman of UAE Food and Beverage Business Group, opened the ADIFE Talks with a keynote address welcoming attendees and introducing the themes and topics that would be discussed and examined.

The Talks featured numerous panels with leading experts from various sectors of the Food Beverage industry, including a panel on 'Building Sustainable Food Networks: UAE's Blueprint for Resilient Ecosystems' that addressed critical issues including sustainable and resilient food ecosystems, stakeholder collaboration and synergy, and public-private partnerships.

Panelists noted that with the UAE food market and industry recently seeing USD 37.8 billion in growth, there was still scope for reducing food wastage and loss. Speakers also emphasized the importance of collaboration between public and private sectors in terms of both mitigating waste and cooperating on effective policies and regulations.

It was also noted that as the cost of regulatory compliance was less of a burden for larger businesses compared to SMEs, a long-term strategic plan was needed along with better-harmonized regulation across the countries of the Arabian Gulf region.

Five Memorandums of Understanding (MoU), three Cooperation agreements and a sustainability agreement were signed today. Abu Dhabi National Oil Company facilitated more than AED 500 million in local food sourcing agreements with local catering and food suppliers with aim of sustainability and food security, as well as contributing to ICV and Make it in the Emirates initiative.

Additionally, an MoU partnership agreement was signed by Capital Catering and ne'ma in the presence of Mariam Al Muhairi, Minister of Climate Change, and Humaid Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer of ADNEC Group.

The Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development signed an MoU with Lamar Olive Oil, to the value of over AED 110 million, with Mohammed bin Obaid Al Mazrooei, Chairman of the Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development, and Ramzi Al Ahmar, General Manager of Lamar Olive Oil present at the signing.

To further their sustainability initiatives, Agthia Group PJSC, one of the region's leading food and beverage companies, announced today a significant step towards reducing its carbon footprint with a MoU signed with Yellow Door Energy, a solar developer headquartered in the UAE.

Through the agreement, Yellow Door Energy will develop two solar plants at Al Ain Water and Al Foah Dates facilities, with the project expected to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 124,000 tonnes over the next 25 years. The initiative is expected to offset almost 20 per cent of the energy consumption for the factories each year, contributing to both sustainability gains and cost efficiencies.

On day one, the total potential value of deal discussions was AED 716,500,000, highlighting the ADIFE's role in bringing FB buyers and sellers to Abu Dhabi and facilitating networking and business opportunities. (ANI/WAM)

Abu Dhabi International Food Exhibition sees action-packed agenda of vibrant exhibitions, events

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