The world has an ‘urgent’ task to transform food systems for a sustainable future and ensure everyone on the planet has access to safe, adequate, and affordable food. That was the message from H.E. Mariam Al Mheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment in her opening keynote address at the all-new, action oriented Gulfood Inspire Summit on the first day of Gulfood 2022 at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
H.E. Al Mheiri cited latest statistics that show almost 811 million people are facing hunger, with one in three people on earth denied access to adequate food, due to conflict, climate change and the impact of the global pandemic.
Calling for action, the UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment said the process to address this increasing challenge must be inclusive, innovative, and data-driven to help inform policies that boost food supply and eradicate food insecurity.
She told attendees how the UAE was leading the way by investing heavily in agtech, including Food Tech Valley – a groundbreaking project she described as a ‘playground’ for pioneering agtech solutions, specifically for arid climates such as the UAE.
The Minister issued a rallying call for everyone at Gulfood 2022, the 27th edition of the world’s largest annual F&B sourcing event, and beyond, to roll up their sleeves, and play a part by thinking about how they choose what to eat, how they prepare it and what they waste.
Paul Newnham, Director at SDG2 Advocacy Hub, which brings together NGOs, agricultural networks, nutritionists, campaigners, civil society, private sector, and UN agencies to coordinate advocacy efforts and achieve SDG2 by 2030, echoed those sentiments, telling Summit attendees that food “can be a driver of change”.
Newnham said the world needs to start thinking more holistically about food and what we do with every aspect of it.
Gulfood Inspire continues on Monday 14 February with key sessions including the rising role of cloud kitchens, how to start a food business in emerging markets, balancing profitability with sustainability, and more.
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.