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The F&B way forward is through innovation and collaboration

The F&B way forward is through innovation and collaboration

Jafza is enhancing and facilitating the agrifood sector development in the UAE, in line with the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy 2051

The UAE’s climate is not suited for food production; as a result, it relies on imports to address 80-90% of its food consumption requirements. Global supply chain disruptions and recent geo-political instability have further heightened the importance of having secure food sources in times of turmoil. During the COVID-19 global pandemic, food supply chains were strained due to factory closures, port closures and an overall decrease in food production. More recently, the geopolitical conflicts in many places around the world have severely impacted the exports of food products from main food exporters globally.

Through the National Food Security Strategy 2051, launched in 2018, the UAE has made significant progress towards achieving its long-term objective of becoming number one globally in the Food Security Index. As of 2022, the UAE ranks 23rd worldwide and 1st in the Arab world. To reach its objective, the UAE is focusing on using new technologies to achieve sustainable food production; increasing local food production and diversifying its sources of food imports.

The Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) has been a significant contributor to the UAE’s food sector and will play a leading role in supporting the UAE’s long-term objectives. The free zone is home to over 600 food and agri-commodity companies from 70 countries. Jafza’s food initiatives cover many sectors and enable new technologies for sustainable food production deployment across the region. Since its earliest years, Jafza developed food-grade facilities to house processing, storage and distribution activities. Most recently, it has also focused on attracting global food technology and sustainable production companies in agricultural irrigation, vertical farming, and energy efficiency.

The launch of Jebel Ali’s Agri Terminal aims to enhance the year-round availability and production of essential grains and pulses; it facilitates trade growth and diversification of food import sources. Jafza is working with existing and new partners to develop additional infrastructure and services that directly support the UAE’s strategy and position Jebel Ali as a global gateway for global trade in the F&B sector.

When completed, the F&B Terminal will be equipped to process cereals, meat and seafood products, bottled water, and dairy products with specialised facilities for oil, tea, coffee, cacao, spices, and various Agri commodities.

We believe that the steady growth that the F&B industry continues to witness is a catalyst for businesses to set up trading and processing activities in Jafza. In 2021, F&B trade in Jafza reached AED 15.9 billion. Despite current economic headwinds, industry experts forecast a continued yearly increase of 7 per cent through 2027. Therefore, we are creating an ecosystem that enjoys multiple growth opportunities for food, livestock, and agriculture businesses.

Moreover, intending to reduce the complexity of time-sensitive food imports and re-exports, Jafza’s single-window digital solutions partner, Dubai Trade, developed the Zadi platform: an online cross-border trade facilitation platform for food shipments. Zadi eliminates redundancies and connects all food inspection and border control authorities under a single window that provides all trade-related services. One direct result from its implementation is increased efficiency and market access for suppliers across global markets.

See Also

The F&B industry is rapidly evolving, and Jafza is supporting the UAE’s efforts to embrace technological advancements and adopt sustainable food practices that secure the nation’s food supply requirements.

Jafza today can effectively cater to all the growing needs of diverse F&B industries, from storage and processing to customised farm-to-shelf supply chain activities.

  • The free zone is home to 600 food and agriculture companies from 70 countries
  • online F&B sales grew by 255% during 2020

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