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The Netherlands Pavilion hosts pioneers from Gulf food industries in the UAE

Dubai, November 11, 2021 – The Netherlands being the second largest agri-food products exporter worldwide successfully participated with over 25 Dutch companies in the Gulfood Manufacturing that was held recently at the Dubai Trade Centre. The event saw multisector suppliers from the Netherlands representing ingredients, processing, packaging, printing & labelling, automation, supply chain and warehousing.

From left to right: Willem van Walt Meijer – CEO of Al-Ain Dairy Farm, Maarten Froger – Deputy Consul General of the Netherlands Consulate, Dubai, Erik Smidt – Agricultural Counsellor of the Netherlands, GCC, Dr. Ahmed Etigani – CEO of Al-Rawabi Dairy Farm, Dr. Suheel Ahmed – CEO of Arabian Farms, Mike Vermeer – Senior Innovation Manager at Royal Cosun, Sumeet Mathur – Managing Director, Friesland Campina -MENA region.

Following this event, the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands – Agriculture & Food Department organized a seminar with prominent officials from the UAE food industry at the Netherlands Pavilion Expo 2020 Dubai.

“To feed and secure a growing world population, we need to rethink the way we use scarce resources. To meet the growing demand for water, energy and food, we must find a balance between maintaining resources long-term and maximizing what we use for a sustainable future and circular economy”. He emphasized the importance of tackling these global issues together and as a part of a multi-year campaign, the Netherlands pavilion is a platform to showcase Dutch expertise and connect with the world to address these challenges.''

Maarten Froger, Deputy Consul General of the Netherlands Consulate, Dubai

Erik Smidt, the Agricultural Counselor for the GCC, elaborated on the opportunities of introducing Dutch technologies to contribute to the food security and sustainability in the UAE. He stressed that the Netherlands has a lot to offer regarding strengthening agri-food value chains. The biotope in the Netherlands’ Pavilion is the manifestation of the integral solutions that the Netherlands has to offer.

The seminar hosted five speakers: Sumeet Mathur, Managing Director of Friesland Campina for the Middle East & North Africa, spoke about Sustainability in Food Security. He described about the various opportunities in the dairy sector in UAE.

Dr. Ahmed Etigani, CEO of Al-Rawabi Dairy Farm, talked about a new project related to fattening farm, biogas and the dairy market in the UAE and the potential cooperation with the Netherlands.

Willem Van Walt Meijer, CEO of Al-Ain Dairy Farm gave an informative presentation about Camel Milk and the competitive advantages of the unique UAE product.

Dr. Suheel Ahmed, CEO of Arabian Farms, presented on the usage of technology in packing & packaging machineries and its efficiency in contributing to the food security and food safety in general.

Last but not least, Mike Vermeer, Senior Innovation Manager of Royal Cosun, shared a future food outlook for 2030 with the audience.

Following the speakers’ speeches, they engaged in a panel discussion in which they touched upon topics revolving water scarcity, climate challenges, waste management of packaging, and discussing prospective local food systems. The panel managed to draw the audience in a meaningful discussion. The main take-away of the event was to do more

sustainable initiatives with limited and efficient usage of scarce resources and to improve the technologies that we have available for resilient food systems.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Shabana Unni | Communications Manager, Expo 2020

Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

shabana.unni@minbuza.nl | +971 50 242 5992

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