2nd December 2022
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16th Dubai International Food Safety Conference To Nurture Strategies For Food Safety & Security

  • Three-day conference discusses strategies aimed at maintaining food safety and security, including the significance of innovative technologies to strengthen the supply chain
  • Mariam Almheiri: UAE agencies have made integrated efforts to promote food sustainability and security, boosting the country’s status as a leading global center for food trade
  • Dawoud Al Hajri: The event consolidates Dubai’s status as a leader in food security and positions it as a strategic priority receiving constant attention from our wise leadership
  • “Dubai Municipality is committed to ensuring sustainable food systems, further enhancing the quality of life and well-being of society and improving the levels of safety and health”
  • Over 3,000 international experts, including 60 specialist speakers, in addition to several global organizations in the food sector, are attending the event

Reinforcing Dubai’s status as a leader in food security and positioning the issue as a strategic priority, Dubai Municipality kicked off the 16th edition of its annual Dubai International Food Safety Conference (DIFSC) at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Hosted under the theme ‘Future Directions in Food Safety and Security,’ the three-day conference discussed strategies to maintain high food safety and security standards, including deploying innovative technologies to strengthen the supply chain. More than 3,000 global experts in food issues and over 60 speakers comprising specialists, academics, and scientific research entities were expected to attend the event.

Commenting on the global echo the conference has, her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “Through integrated efforts, relevant government agencies have worked for decades to achieve the highest levels of food safety, maintain public health, strengthen the UAE’s status as a leading international center for food trade, and increase consumer confidence. These efforts focus on policies, legislation, and regulations to supply and circulate safe and high-quality food products while facilitating free trade to ensure future generations’ welfare.”

Almheiri added: “The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, in collaboration with its partners, has stepped up efforts to improve food security and safety as well as supply chain sustainability and continuity. Along with strengthening the food safety system and educating the public on its methods and needs, the ministry has worked on three primary fronts: boosting domestic production, launching partnerships with exporting nations, and streamlining border crossings.”

His Excellency Dawoud Al Hajri, Director General of Dubai Municipality, said: “The DIFSC affirms Dubai’s status as a leader in food security and positions the strategic issue as a priority that receives constant attention from our wise leadership.” “One of the most significant factors in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), food safety and security are a top priority for Dubai, and we are making conscious efforts to achieve the highest levels of food safety. Dubai Municipality is committed to ensuring sustainable food systems, further enhancing the quality of life and well-being of society, and improving the levels and indicators of safety and health,” pointed out Al Hajri. He added: “The conference’s theme, ‘‘Future Directions in Food Safety and Security,’ is based on various regional and global studies on changes in the food sector, necessitating discussions on strategies and initiatives to ensure strong frameworks for food safety and security. Further, the latest technological innovation and best practices in implementing food policies are vital to achieving regional and global food security.”

Global Objectives 

The 16th edition of the DIFSC addresses trends critical to achieving food safety across supply chains, including the latest technologies, such as AI, Big Data and Metaverse, to devise sustainable solutions and develop global food systems. Discussions will highlight the necessity to maintain high standards in food safety in line with national, regional and international food security strategies. It will also address various methods to optimally utilise technical innovations in the sector to achieve food sustainability.

Specialised Seminars and Workshops 

The conference will include seminars and interactive panel discussions highlighting the latest technologies and their role in data-based decision-making and spreading awareness of Metaverse and its applications in the food sector. It will facilitate the exchange of expertise on the food industry and food safety culture while highlighting the best practices in implementing food policies. The conference will also promote the concept of “One Health,” an integrated approach towards achieving sustainable balance, enhancing society wellness, and preserving the ecosystem. Experts will also address the monitoring of chemical contaminants and their risks, highlighting the maximum limit for pesticide residues in food.

DM Platform 

Dubai Municipality (DM) will highlight its food safety initiatives, including the Metaverse programme for food safety, which aims to empower suppliers at food establishments to operate using best practices through the Metaverse. DM will also showcase FoodWatch, an advanced digital platform for food safety and nutrition, reflecting its commitment to securing Dubai’s leading position as the world’s happiest, healthiest, and most sustainable city. The Municipality will also showcase the Food Smart Inspection System, which assesses food safety compliance levels in food safety provisions and standards at food establishments.

Food Testing Agreement 

DM signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Global Food Regulatory Science Society (GFoRSS), Canada, on Day 1 of the conference. Both parties agreed to promote mutual understanding and adopt best practices that contribute to establishing a scientific database for food testing. Both parties will collaborate to establish a research centre for food sciences at the Dubai Central Laboratory, sharing knowledge and providing training to empower workers in food laboratories.

The Green Channel Initiative 

On the sidelines of the conference, DM will launch the Green Channel Initiative, facilitating the flow of imported food products to local markets via various access points in the emirate. Before imports, a thorough review of electronic import applications will also be conducted based on the provisions and standards of imported products, country of origin, and standards of import companies.

Notable Speakers: 

  • Stephen Ritz, founder Green Bronx Machine
  • Anett Winkler, EMEA Food Microbiologist Lead, Cargill
  • Steve Wearne, Chairperson, Codex Alimentarius Comission 
  • Naim Maadar, CEO & Founder, Gates Hospitality, UAE Restaurant Group
  • Henry Gordon Smith, Founder & CEO, Agritecture
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