Abdullah Al Hameli Welcomes Participants to WUWM 2022
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Abdullah Al Hameli Welcomes Participants to WUWM 2022

Held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre the World Union of Wholesale Markets Conference sees particiption from 700 delegates

Abdullah Al Hameli, CEO, Economic Cities and Free Zones, AD Ports Group gave the welcome address at this year's World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) Conference held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

Welcoming the guests on behalf of event hosts, AD Ports Group, Mr Al Hameli said that AD Ports was delighted to have this opportunity to bring so many leading companies and experts in the food industry together in the Middle East for the first time.

Mr Al Hameli pointed out that the world currently produces enough food to feed 1.5 times our global population. And yet, as much as one-third of it – approximately 1.3 billion tonnes - is wasted annually for various reasons.

According to the United Nations, global hunger and food insecurity are rising. One in 10 people suffer from hunger, while 1 in 3 lack regular access to adequate food. In 2020, 47% of countries experienced soaring food prices, up from 16% in 2019.

He said: "So we must realise the urgency and act now to ensure sustainable food supply chains. Wholesale markets and food logistics companies have a key role to play in this.

"Working together, we can help evolve global food systems to a net-zero, sustainable infrastructure that makes healthy food more accessible for everyone.

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

"Guided by our wise leadership, the UAE is taking steps with its National Food Security Strategy 2051 to develop resilient and sustainable global food systems.

"The aim is to place the UAE at the top of the Global Food Security Index, through international partnerships and create diverse food sources, improve nutrition, and introduce laws to reduce waste.

"I would like to congratulate Her Excellency Mariam, for her efforts, which have today resulted in the UAE becoming the first in the MENA Region on the Global Food Security Index, compared to the third place in 2021.

"Today, you will hear about some of the inspiring programmes that are helping to make the deserts green, and are producing fruits and vegetables with the latest farming methods."

The conference saw participation of 700 delegates, experts and officials from 45 countries and over 50 speakers. Many of them highlighted the work being done in the UAE to reduce wastage in the supply chain and bring food to market efficiently and safely.

The UAE has historically imported around 85% of its food, with a market value of around $14 billion.

Mr Al Hameli added: "AD Ports Group, and especially its Economic Cities & Free Zones, has a mission to ensure that every modern facility is available for the import, distribution and processing of food.

"The integrated ecosystem of the UAE is designed to encourage production, and, at the same time, make imports and re-exports easier and more efficient.

"At KEZAD, our integrated trade and logistics hub, we have established a dedicated food ecosystem as the platform for food processing, storage, and distribution activities in the UAE.

"The keystone facility within this ecosystem is our new state-of-the-art food hub, to make trading in food products more efficient and increase choice and variety for the consumer."

Mr Al Hameli reiterated that there has never been a more critical time for us all to come together and address global food security and we must commit today to do everything we can to remove barriers and ensure access.

In conclusion, Mr Al Hameli said: "I would like to express my sincere appreciation and thank you to Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri, and His Excellency Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi for their continuous and unwavering support and encouragement."

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

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