A Secure Food Supply Chain is Key: H.E Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri

A Secure Food Supply Chain is Key: H.E Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri

Speaking at the World Union of Wholesale Markets Her Excellency emphasised the importance of food security for future growth

Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, gave the opening address at this year's World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) Conference held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

Welcoming the guests and thanking the conference host, Abu Dhabi Ports, Her Excellency said the conference comes at a challenging time for global food security that is under considerable pressure due to climate change, population growth, urbanization, geopolitical issues, and the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

These factors are considerably affecting the flow, availability, and accessibility of food products, leading to inflation hikes in key agricultural commodities and agricultural input material. This means that we can expect even more people to face hunger and malnutrition.

Her Excellency asserted that we cannot let this happen, because the numbers are already alarming. In 2021, as many as 828 million people experienced hunger – an increase of about 46 million on the previous year and 150 million since the outbreak of COVID-19.

Her Excellency added: "In the UAE, we realized the importance of supporting the creation of sustainable food supply chains and boosting international trade in agrifood products early on.

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"Our National Food Security Strategy has laid a strong foundation to enable us to deal with food crises and emergencies. And our strategic diplomatic relations have played a major role in stabilizing the country’s food security during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We are working on diversifying our food import markets to ensure uninterrupted food supply.

"And we are keen to establish productive partnerships with other governments and key stakeholders abroad to build a sustainable and efficient supply chain that is proactive in tackling any arising or potential challenges.

"We are currently expanding our investment presence in the agrifood sector abroad. We also seek to strengthen our trade relations and align our processes to streamline the flow of food products between the UAE and other countries.

"We and our partners alike stand to gain a lot from enhanced trade. The UAE’s strategic location at the crossroads between East and West provides easy access to over two billion people living in the Middle East, North Africa, and on the Indian subcontinent.

"Our advanced logistics infrastructure, including world-class airports and seaports, has turned the UAE into a food trade hub, with billions of dollars’ worth of food passing through our borders annually."

The UAE offers a host of advantages for foreign companies seeking to set up business or expand their footprint into new markets, said Her Excellency. It provides a nurturing business environment and low operational costs, and has a progressive, forward-looking, and business-oriented government.

We are keen to share our experience and expertise with our partners, and to work with other countries to tackle the critical challenges to our food systems.

Her Excellency concluded by saying that we needed to forge meaningful partnerships across the food supply chain to solve the global food crisis and prevent further hunger and given the opportunities at the conference we could jointly confront challenges and work together to develop a resilient and sustainable global food system.

Read More: Number of Major Food Security Agreements Inked at WUWM 2022, Abu Dhabi

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