In cooperation with Al Rawabi Dairy Company and FrieslandCampina Middle East, the Senior Policy Advisor – Agri & Food Samar Kadri at the Department of Agri & Food – Netherlands Consulate in Dubai organized The Future of Healthy Food Forum, to discuss the importance of healthy food for better nutrition.
The Forum was Opened by H.E Hans Sandee, Consul General of the Kingdom of Netherlands, and attended by Mr. Erik Smidt, Agricultural Counsellor for the Gulf Region, Dr. Ahmed El Tigani, CEO of Al Rawabi Dairy Company, Mr. Sumeet Mathur, Managing Director of FrieslandCampina Middle East, and Rutger Shilpzand, Executive Director of Choices International from The Netherlands.
The Forum supports Al Rawabi’s commitment to actively participate in the National Food Security Strategy, to develop a comprehensive national system based on enabling sustainable food production, enhancing local production, developing international partnerships to diversify food sources, and activating legislation and policies that contribute to improving nutrition, ensuring food safety, and launching national campaigns to reduce unhealthy food intake.
The Future of Healthy Food Forum discussed current and future trends in the health food industry, opportunities and challenges, and the future of functional dairy products, in the presence of international and local experts, to define the future model of healthy foods in the UAE market.
“At Al Rawabi, we offer healthy products to promote them as the ideal alternative to unhealthy foods. We have worked to provide products containing Vitamin D, to combat Vitamin D deficiency in the UAE, which affects more than 88% of the population,” said El Tigani.
El Tigani stressed that Al Rawabi invests in research with international organisations and suppliers, and cooperates with the Government of the UAE, to develop innovative solutions that serve consumer needs and achieve its strategic vision to maintain a healthy society by providing dairy products and fresh juices.
El Tigani added that innovation is a major part of Al Rawabi’s core values, which in turn forms the main focus in developing the production sector and introducing new products that promote consumer health.
“We were happy to participate in The Future of Healthy Food Forum, organised by the Netherlands Consulate in Dubai, to come up with solutions to the challenges facing the region, such as scarcity of natural resources, climate change, etc. We believe that these challenges will change how food manufacturers work soon. Today, we are witnessing a shift in consumer preferences, where they are opting for natural, sustainable products with less ingredients, designed to meet their needs,” said Mathur.
Mathur added The Future of Healthy Food Forum is a starting point, where local and international dairy companies have the opportunity to discuss and share knowledge.
“Governments cannot combat these challenges on their own; we need to double our efforts to create a better and healthier future for future generations,” continued Mathur.
Rutger Shilpzand, Executive Director of Choices International from the Netherlands spook about “in search for healthy solutions at supermarket”, diabetes worldwide and prevalence of diabetes percent per country. He stressed on the need for future actions. Mr. Rutger indicated the necessity to follow the WHO’s recommendations on sugar reducing and agenda to shape tomorrow’s diet.
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