DUBAI, 14th February, 2022 (WAM) — The Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) has joined hands with the UAE Food & Beverage Business Group to launch the Nationals Development Pathway (NDP), a series of initiatives to boost the local food manufacturing ecosystem and promote food security.
Announced at Gulfood 2022, Omar Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary at MoIAT, said: “The Make it in the Emirates Lab is one of our strategic initiatives to promote public-private partnerships to provide best-in-class training for small- and medium-sized enterprises in the industrial sector. Knowledge exchange is a key component of the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology, Operation 300bn, and hence this initiative will contribute to its success. Our local food and beverage manufacturing sector not only plays a key role in promoting food security, but also in driving the growth of SMEs and in creating jobs. Through the Nationals Development Pathway and its series of initiatives, we aim to enhance the competencies of the local food and beverage sector and create a vibrant manufacturing ecosystem.”
The Middle East Sugar and Calorie Reduction Programme was also unveiled at Gulfood as the first series under NDP. It aims to build the capacity of small- and medium-sized enterprises and Emirati enterprises developing new products that address the changing needs and aspirations of the community. A capability-building industry excellence programme, it features a series of knowledge sharing and training sessions and concludes with a practical session in the state-of-the-art lab offered by sector expert Tate & Lyle. Participating companies will get up-to-date information on the various innovations, tools and technologies, as well as learn practical skills and obtain ongoing support for capacity building.
For his part, Saleh Lootah, Chairman of the UAE Food & Beverages Manufacturers Group, said: “Our founding goal is to support the local manufacturing sector to achieve higher levels of operational efficiency and self-sufficiency, and in turn contribute to MoIAT’s strategic goal of promoting localized manufacturing. With the food and beverage industry identified as a strategic sector to promote via the Ministry’s ‘Make it in the Emirates Lab’ initiative, we are working to promote localized innovation and manufacturing across the F&B value chain.”
He added: “With the Nationals Development Pathway, we are introducing a strong public-private partnership model that will accelerate the growth of the UAE’s F&B sector. Gulfood 2022, the largest annual food and beverage trade exhibition, offers a strong platform to highlight the new initiative, secure stronger industry linkages and facilitate best-in-class discussions. By building a vibrant F&B manufacturing ecosystem through training and development, we are laying a firm foundation for strong growth that will position the UAE as a global food manufacturing hub.”
Other initiatives to follow in the NDP series include the UAE F&B Innovation Lab, an innovation and development programme that will bring together food manufacturers and innovators to co-develop the next big F&B products, and a training programme on the UAE Food Platform, which will help companies to better utilize data to boost ease of doing business.
The UAE Food & Beverage Business Group has been a strong pillar of the industry by enabling the active participation of professionals, Emiratis and SMEs to support the food sector. The group has been working in alignment with MoIAT’s objectives to support the ‘Make it in the Emirates’ campaign and boost the competitiveness of the local industry.