UAE efforts to build resilient food system fruitful - GulfToday

UAE efforts to build resilient food system fruitful

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Photo has been used for illustrative purpose.

At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc around the world, the UAE’s resilient food system is tackling head-on the issues related to the global food supply, as lucidly pointed out by Mariam Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of State for Food Security.

While giving an insightful overview of initiatives focused on building the resilient food system in the UAE at the Majlis Mohamed Bin Zayed second virtual session, the minister coherently outlined how the establishment of the State Ministry for Food Security enabled food security to receive dedicated attention locally across all stakeholders in the country.

The swift actions taken by the Ministry in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as setting up the Emirates Food Security Council to coordinate efforts across all federal entities and local authorities, proved timely and decisive.

As soon as the global pandemic hit, the council held an extraordinary meeting to develop an early mechanism system to monitor food imports and local food production capacity potential.

The council also connected with the Food Security Alliance companies in the UAE to best prepare for all scenarios.

As Mariam Mohammed Almheiri put it: “In a way, going through this crisis is testing whether we have set up robust systems. And it has shown that this strategy has set the right foundation to be able to overcome this crisis.” 

The communication strategies the council implemented to raise awareness of the necessary steps to avoid excessive food buying helped encourage the public to observe healthier eating habits to build up immunity.

Frontline workers and those working behind the scenes to ensure that the UAE food supply chain is not disrupted certainly deserve all praise.

In the words of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces: “We are fortunate to have this level of expertise working tirelessly in this field that is currently challenged globally. We want to assure the people of the UAE, that the food supply chain was not and will not be disrupted.”

The authorities have also repeatedly highlighted the importance of supporting local production and reducing food waste.

The UAE has been doing its best to tackle food waste. The rest of the world needs to wake up to meet the challenge.

It may be recalled that Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, dedicated his Accession Day, January 4, three years ago to the launching of the first UAE Food Bank, a non-profit charitable organisation committed to distributing food to those in need while eliminating food waste.

The noble aim of the UAE Food Bank is to distribute food to those in need while eliminating food waste by collaborating with local authorities as well as local and international charities to create a comprehensive ecosystem to efficiently store, package and distribute excess fresh food from hotels, restaurants and supermarkets.

The authorities have also been taking various steps aimed at reducing the consumption of harmful products that put the health of people and environment at risk.

Nutrition labelling is one such major decision that aims at engaging the community in designing initiatives to promote wellbeing in the country.

The UAE’s ability to sustain its food supply chain without disruption is indeed an amazing success story worth emulating by others.

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