DUBAI, 16th February, 2022 (WAM) — Dubai’s status as a strategic gateway for global food and beverage trade has been further underlined at Gulfood 2022, with a host of international trade delegations significantly enhancing their presence at the 27th edition of the world’s largest annual F&B sourcing event.
Acknowledging the importance of Gulfood as an integral industry platform to connect food and beverage producers and buyers from the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, Turkey has boosted its presence at the show by 25 percent this year.
Some 152 Turkish companies – from meat, poultry and dairy producers, to pulses, grains, fats, oils and beverage specialists – are part of an increased Turkish national pavilion at Gulfood. Covering 3,150 sqm of exhibition space, the Turkey pavilion is led by Selten Exhibition Company, supported by the Turkish Ministry of Trade.
“The UAE market is extremely essential for all Turkish companies because it allows them to re-export goods to the GCC, the Middle East and Africa. We’re thrilled to be at Gulfood; it is important to leverage the diverse presence of visitors, exhibitors and industry associates which result in substantial contracts,” said Nesibe Selten Hasdal, Director at Selten, who added the country’s national pavilion also includes the largest participation by Turkish beverage producers displaying ready-to-drink coffees and fruit juices.
“We have also seen a significant growth in our business over the past year and expect to do even better over the next year post networking at Gulfood 2022,” she added.
Global F&B powerhouse Italy has returned to Gulfood with 180 companies, a 50 percent increase on last year’s participation, eager to build on strong growth in the region. The national pavilion is led by the Italian Trade Agency, in collaboration with the Embassy of Italy in the UAE and the Consulate General in Dubai.
“We have just conducted a tour with the Ambassador of Italy and all of the exhibitors present expressed their excitement towards the number of visitors so far. The Italian participation is back to pre-pandemic levels, we have seen an increase of 50 percent of Italian participation this year, and the feedback from exhibitors is that buyers are back and with many focused on new launches including truffle chips, confetti sweets and a big focus on bio/organic free from food,” said Amedeo Scarpa, Italian Trade Commissioner to the UAE.
“Italy continues to be one of the most important suppliers of the UAE. The total amount of agri-food exports to the UAE reached 189 million Euros in 2021, a 27 percent increase on 2020. Gulfood is the most important show for us in the region and one of the biggest in the world. This year we have launched our new campaign about Italian food and cultural awareness under ‘Italy is simply extraordinary #beIT.”
Meanwhile, Estonia has increased its participation at Gulfood this year by 166 percent, responding to growing trends for high nutritional value, health benefits and a balanced diet.
Taste Estonia, the F&B arm of Enterprise Estonia, the national foundation mandated to develop Estonia’s economy, is hosting 16 companies displaying everything from natural mineral water and organic chocolate to fresh fish and plant-based protein products.
“The UAE is a leading export destination and Gulfood has given us the opportunity to significantly increase offerings from Estonia, further driving sector-specific trade towards a cleaner, more sustainable, and healthier living preferences,” said Marge Pihlapuu, Head of International Sales, Enterprise Estonia, which cited the Food and Agriculture Organisation of United Nations crediting Estonian food as the second cleanest in the world.
“The quality of Estonian food relies on the clean resources available in the country. The journey to the table starts from carefully selected produce,” she added.
The USA, steadfast supporters of Gulfood for over three decades, has introduced 28 new-to-market entries as part of an eclectic presence that includes a first-ever pavilion in the Pulses and Grains sector of the show. In total, more than 100 companies are displaying high-quality, innovative US products.
The USA Pavilion was opened by Meghan Gregonis, US Consul General in Dubai, and features numerous renowned chefs, including celebrity chef Art Smith, conducting live cooking demonstrations to highlight US food commodities in collaboration with the US Meat Export Federation, USA Poultry and Egg Export Council, California Walnut Commission, California Prune Board and California Milk Board.