What is the future of the food industry? How is it evolving?
The food industry has been evolving rapidly, especially in a strong global market like the UAE (United Arab Emirates). The evolution of the food industry has been rapid here, with several leading food distribution companies ushering in the finest global brands for a hugely growing region in terms of imports, supplies and consumer demand. However, several technology-driven food and industry changes and adaptations are on the anvil, which will play a defining role in the future of the food industry in UAE.
There are several leading distribution companies in UAE like Al Maya Group which are playing a pivotal role in the growth and development of the food industry. These distribution companies are ensuring accessibility to a plethora of global products across diverse segments for consumers in the UAE. The status of the region as an eminent food hub has already been established. Several brands and manufacturers are also leveraging these distributors and their networks to expand their reach in this prosperous region.
Now, the UAE is looking towards a more sustainable future, creating a second line of sustainable agriculture driven food solutions for long-term prosperity. The Emirate of Dubai is already looking at making use of cutting-edge technologies for re-shaping the food and agricultural sector. Smart farming is now the new mission towards achieving future food security as per ministers and the highest officials. Smart farming methods are more relevant in today’s times worldwide and are even more important for the UAE owing to climatic and geographical conditions. The concept is utilization of the least possible resources for the highest possible yields and lowering wastage wherever suitable. New-age technologies are being harnessed including precision agriculture and other agri-tech innovations along with AI, robotics, biotechnology and nanotechnology.
The UAE currently imports a whopping 85% of its overall food and has now been looking at strategic measures for boosting efficiencies of its farms and encouraging local distribution channels for food security goals. Self-sufficiency of all farms is the new mission in this regard. As part of the 2051 Food Security Strategy, the UAE is looking at enabling a rise in average farm-based income and the workforce in the agricultural sector by approximately 10% and 5% respectively along with lowering the water that is consumed via irrigation. The Food Tech Valley is another measure that reaffirms the commitment of the UAE towards attaining future global leadership in sustainable production of food.
Dubai is currently the epicenter of agri-tech innovation and has reportedly seen food trade going up by 11% for 2021 with values touching a handsome Dh57 billion as well. Exports in this category have also grown from the UAE at Dh10.8 billion, indicating an increase of 11.3%. Re-exports have also risen by 10%, touching Dh7.9 billion. Food security is now a core element of the Emirate’s extensive future development mission as per experts. This is set to be the biggest evolution of the food industry in the entire region throughout the next decades.