The UAE Food and Beverage (F&B) Manufacturers group signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Dubai Human Resources Department on 19 October to increase the percentage of UAE nationals in the local food sector to 5 per cent in the next five years.
The signing took place on the first day of the Future Food Forum, under way at the Dubai Exhibition Centre alongside Expo 2020 Dubai.
The MoU was signed by Saleh Lootah, chairman of the UAE F&B Manufacturers group, and Abdulla al-Falasi, director-general of the Dubai Government Human Resources Department and vice-chairman of the Emirati Human Resources Development Council.
Forum promotes innovation
The second edition of the Future Food Forum has brought together senior government officials and businesses from around the UAE to discuss strategies to enable localised farming in hotter climates.
Mariam bint Mohammed al-Mheiri, UAE minister of climate change and environment, delivered the opening address at the event.
She said the UAE's food security strategy is to create two hubs – to promote food trade to meet the varied food preferences of the 200 nationalities living in the country by offering a diverse food basket, and to promote knowledge and innovation to encourage localised farming of food products most suited to hot arid regions.
"The UAE is putting all efforts to transition to sustainable food systems, and in this, the private sector has an important role to play. As a nation, we want to be a hub for food trade, bringing in the needed volumes, and at the same time boost local manufacturing and promote innovative practices on how to grow food in hot arid climates," she said.
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