Gulfood 2009 attracts more organic food exhibitors
Dubai, January 14, 2009
Gulfood 2009, the region's largest trade exhibition for food, drink, foodservice and hospitality equipment, to be held from February 23 to 26, will see more organic food exhibitors.
The shift to an organic diet has gained significant momentum in the US and Europe in recent years and the UAE is picking up the pace as residents become more health conscious and opt for a less processed, natural diet.
A report conducted by Research and Markets, a trade-specific data analysis company, says the organic food market has been growing at a rate of 20 to 24 per cent annually.
The research suggests that the industry is expected to generate sales of $32 billion by the end of this year. The report shows that the global organic food market grew by 10.9 per cent in 2007 to reach a value of $43.5 billion and in 2012, the market is forecast to have a value of $66.8 billion, an increase of 53.6 per cent since 2007.
“Many companies are including more organic products in their range,” said Trixee Loh, senior vice president, Exhibition and Events Management, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), organiser of the exhibition.
“Gulfood is the perfect platform to launch and elevate the status of organic food and promote awareness among local buyers across the region.”
There is currently only a small portion of local farms growing organic produce, however this is set to change as the government – both the Ministry of Environment and Water and the Ministry of Health – promotes the organic movement.
Owing to the augmented demand for natural food products, the environmental ministry has set atarget of 3,000 hectares of agricultural land dedicated to organic farming, while the health ministry advocates organic food as part of a healthy diet.
Industry experts say the most popular organic product within the UAE is baby food, while fruit, vegetables and breakfast cereals are also big sellers.
To help support increasing specialisation within the market, DWTC has introduced dedicated halls within Gulfood for specific products and services, ranging from processing packaging and labelling, through to beverage and beverage equipment.
For the first time, Gulfood will be co-located with Ingredients Middle East, an exhibition which caters for suppliers of raw material and ingredients for food, beverages, and health food.
The 4th Dubai International Food Safety Conference, organised by Dubai Municipality, will also be present to examine the challenges and address issues facing the industry with renowned speakers from around the world.
The much-anticipated Salon Culinaire will return, with a panel of 25 international judges – each mandated by the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) – and 1,000 international chefs competing for gold, silver and bronze.
Gulfood will also host comprehensive beverage workshops, organised by Industry specialists Zenith International.-TradeArabia News Service