Towards Zero Food Waste–ne’ma showcases its vision at the Gulfood Exhibition
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, February 23, 2023: The National Food Loss & Food Waste initiative, “ne’ma” highlighted its mandate of reducing food loss and food waste in the UAE in line with the UAE Food Security Target and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 12:3) at the 28th edition of Gulfood, taking place at the Dubai World Trade from 20 to 24 of February 2023.
Gulfood, the world’s largest annual exhibition of food and beverage; brought together more than 5000 exhibiting companies from 120 countries, with renowned global experts and industry leaders to discuss the key issues across the entire food and beverage value chain. Under the food trifecta theme of “SUSTAINABILITY, QUALITY, ACCESS”, Gulfood continues to drive creativity and change by uniting food and beverage communities around the world as the industry trend catalyst and global sourcing powerhouse.
“Gulfood Inspire”, the event’s thought-provoking platform, had gathered leaders, new-age entrepreneurs, culinary talents, and industry experts to engage in impact-making conversations in the world of F&B. On its opening day, it hosted a discussion panel themed “Working Towards Zero Food Waste” where Ms. Khuloud Hasan Al Nuwais, Chief Sustainability Officer of Emirates Foundation and “ne’ma” Committee Secretary-General.
Ms. Al Nuwais highlighted the UAE’s strategy of halving food loss and waste by 2030, as she shed some light on on the alarming global dimensions and gloomy repercussions of food loss and waste, with the panel’s guests some of the leading zero food-waste initiatives worldwide.
“At a time when about 30% of the world’s population faces dangerous levels of food insecurity – according to FAO – hunger is responsible for 45% of children’s deaths worldwide as per the World Health Organization (WHO). It’s time to review our future outlook on habits and attitudes extensively and with prospective innovative solutions.” Ms. Al Nuwais stated.
Moreover, she emphasized how proactive cutbacks on food loss and food waste offer a win-win strategy across the stakeholders of the whole food value chain, along with the environmental effects that this strategy has in reducing greenhouse emissions.
“Through the support and collaboration of the Ministry of Climate Change & Environment and Emirates Foundation, and being part of the national Food Security strategy, “ne’ma”, is playing an integral role in spearheading and aligning the efforts of UAE stakeholders and the community at large, to achieve the goal of reducing food loss and food waste to 50% by 2030.” Ms. Al Nuwais clarified.
The panel carried on to discuss the various potential benefits of all involved parties, in limiting food loss and waste in alignment with the 12.3 goal of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Furthermore, the panel focused on how enabling innovations and new technologies can be the most determining factor in this globally recognized campaign.
“ne’ma” is connecting innovative national and foreign startups with local investors and stakeholders to facilitate setting up their businesses in the UAE and help achieve our 2030 goal.” elaborated Ms. Al Nuwais.
Other key speakers at the panel included Mr. Tarek Al Khoury, Regional Coordinator of Climate Change at the UNEP Regional Office for West Asia, and Chef Leyla Fathallah, celebrity chef & influencer and co-owner of Fitkult & Sennara.
The session was moderated by Paul Newnham, Executive Director, SDG2 Advocacy Hub, and an active proponent of sustainable food systems in combating worldwide hunger.
The hosting discussion panel themed “Working Towards Zero Food Waste” during the “Gulfood Inspire” week, was the perfect platform for like-minded leaders, and industry experts, to engage in “ne’ma” agenda of creating and enabling an environment and an efficient ecosystem that reaches its short-term and long-term goals of food waste reduction.
About Emirates Foundation
Emirates Foundation was launched on 12 April 2005 as an initiative of UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. It is chaired by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Emirates Foundation is a national organization set up to facilitate public-private funded initiatives to unite social responsibility across the UAE, by implementing research-based programs that meet the country’s needs towards sustainable community development.
The Foundation works with public and private sector partners to meet national goals, respond to society’s most pressing challenges and in the development of national competencies through digital smart platforms and defined through data-driven social needs.
ne’ma the National Food Loss and Waste Initiative, is a reflection of UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, vision and call for action to address over-consumption and building a UAE-wide social norm around responsible and sustainable consumption, bringing back UAE’s rooted traditional values of social responsibility and good stewardship of national resources.
ne’ma is a collaboration between the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Emirates Foundation and the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court, that will promote and align shared action by key national stakeholders including government, private sector, NGOs and communities to address food loss and waste across the whole value chain, from production to consumption, covering farms, producers, distributors, retailers, restaurants and households with the aim to tackle current behaviors and attitudes to build new national social norms around responsible consumption that contribute to food loss and waste reduction