Innovative Food Systems, Policymakers from major fresh food suppliers to participate in WUWM Conference in Abu Dhabi
Global conflict, supply chain disruptions, and the continued economic fallout of the pandemic are likely to keep global food prices at historically high levels until 2024, according to a recent market report from the World Bank.
Among the factors driving price inflation are record levels of food wastage, with up to 40% – 70% of fresh food in supply chains being damaged or wasted due to unfavourable storage conditions or poor handling.
There has also been a reduction of farm labour capacity, leaving a significant volume of produce unpicked in fields after harvests, and 23 countries have implemented food export bans, with seven implementing export-limiting measures, as of August 2022.
As a result, policymakers, innovators, and international leaders are looking for new ways to reorganise supply chains to prioritise food security and ensure access to healthy diets.
World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM)
The World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) Conference 2022, which will be held in the Middle East for the first time in October, will bring together government bodies with leading fresh food producers and wholesale market authorities to discuss key challenges and potential new approaches to bring food from farms to the table.
“We are actively working with global partners to share key learnings and address the critical challenges facing global food supply chains today,” observed Saeed Al Bahri Salem Al Ameri, Director General of Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA).
ADAFSA is launching several initiatives that aim to boost local production and enhancing market accessibility and competitiveness for local products. These initiatives also look to encourage food and agricultural supportive industries, in addition to improving wholesale markets for livestock and other agricultural products.
AD Ports Group, which is developing one of the region’s largest food trading and logistics centres at KIZAD in Abu Dhabi, is also establishing an integrated food storage and distribution hub in Uzbekistan to enhance the nation’s food trade across global markets and drive Central Asian food security.
“As the host of the WUWM Conference in Abu Dhabi, we are looking to learn from our global partners about the different routes wholesale markets are taking to improve efficiency and ensure sufficient food supplies,” noted Abdullah Al Hameli, CEO, Economic Cities & Free Zones, AD Ports Group.
“The key aim of the conference is to find pathways to provide communities with balanced, healthy and nutritious diets, and to overcome the current challenges restricting access for a significant proportion of the global population,” remarked Stephane Layani, Chairman, WUWM.
Other topics set to be discussed at WUWM Abu Dhabi 2022 include logistics, the role of food hubs in ensuring healthy diets and the role of digitalisation.
The conference will take place from 19-20 October 2022 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
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