Strengthening supply chain resilience in food security is a strategic goal
Food security is an area of concern now more than ever, as recent challenges have shifted the focus of countries to availability, access, stability and utilisation of their internal food systems. Strengthening the UAE's resilience in food security has always been a key strategic goal for Jafza, and our recent experience with the pandemic and the lockdown has positioned us better to tackle the challenges head-on.
In 2019, Jafza recorded a total trade growth of 24% in the food and agricultural segment versus 2018 and an increase of 7% in its customer base, reinforcing its status as a preferred destination for the food and agriculture businesses.
With a dedicated space of 1.57 million sqm for its Food and Agriculture cluster, Jafza is home to over 550 companies from the sector, representing more than 70 countries, and employing over 6,000 people. Over 38% of these countries belong to the Middle East with other major chunks lying in Asia, Europe and Africa. Over the years, at DP World, we have provisioned for the food and agricultural supply chain security with an out of the box approach by investing in new technologies, green initiatives and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) streams to further facilitate the uninterrupted flow of trade and distribution while maintaining the continuity of food supply to the UAE and the region.
Looking back, we believe these investments made us future-ready. When presented with the challenges of Covid-19 earlier this year, we were able to ensure business continuity and support our customers with incentives to build their confidence with our advanced logistics digital platforms that enabled them to work from where they were.
Despite the global pandemic, Dubai’s external food trade volumes reached nine million tonnes, valued at AED32 billion, while food imports were worth AED22 billion, clearly demonstrating the effectiveness of strategies adopted under the UAE’s Food Security Policy.
In line with the UAE Sustainable Agriculture System, approved by the Federal Cabinet in June, DP World has further streamlined supply chain flows across its multimodal connectivity, reinforcing Dubai’s long-term commitment to maintain the growth and development of regional trade. Thanks to Jafza’s strategic location near Jebel Ali Port, we offer connectivity to over 3.5 billion consumers.
Our new Smart Service initiatives, accessible online to customers, such as ‘E-Delivery Order’ introduced by Dubai Trade, allow supply chain stakeholders to handle their complex import processes easily. ZADI is another innovative unified food import platform launched to facilitate imports and the re-export of food shipments through Dubai’s ports.
The UAE Sustainable Agriculture System is aimed at increasing self-sufficiency in crops, increasing returns and investments in the sector. It has opened new opportunities for growth and expansion of all F&B companies in Jafza and other DP World Parks and Zones.
Together, Jafza and our partner companies play a pivotal role in this greater cause for food security that touches all humanity.