Food security and sustainability highlighted at France Pavilion’s ‘Future of Food’ conference

DUBAI, 15 December 2021 – The availability, quality and affordability of healthy and nutritious food came under the spotlight at the France Pavilion on Tuesday, during a discussion on the ‘Future of Food’.

Xavier Chatel, French Ambassador to the UAE, highlighted some of the ways in which that country is thinking about the future. “We’re going to work on sustainability and innovation towards more sustainability… We’re [also] going to work on food waste.”

Nouf Khamis Al Ali, Deputy Director at the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention said the country is implementing a nutrition strategy, and the UAE, too, is looking at sustainability, one of Expo 2020’s key themes:

“We are also [working] a lot in terms of supporting or promoting a healthy food and sustainable food system, and this is something the country is working towards… [Sustainability] is ongoing work [for us].”

One of the challenges the Deputy Director identified, was the consumption of fruit and vegetables in the UAE. “I think this is one of the areas that we can see: how can we make sure that the food that is on the market is of good quality but at the same time it’s affordable for people to consume and purchase?”

Speaking on the side line of the event, the Deputy Director pointed out that obesity and malnutrition were challenges the world is facing right now. “We have in the Ministry of Health and Prevention, we have developed a national strategy on nutrition. The aim of this strategy is really to promote a healthy lifestyle within the community in the United Arab Emirates.”

Francisco Moya, President of the Export Commission CNIPT in France, said French production is dependent on exports: “So for us, it’s very important to see what is happening in the world and especially in the Middle East. And of course, when I see the topics of this Expo, all the things around sustainability, healthy products, and the modernity of our product, [it is] very clear. We’ve got a production very adapted to this kind of evolution.”

Eric Guash, President Delegate of the International Commission at INTERFEL, pointed out that the quality of the products imported from France is very important to the UAE: “It’s very essential because we have to make the confidence in the consumption of the product for the future to our consumer. And in order to be confident for the future, we have to prove the way we grow the fruit, the way we export it.”

Deputy Director Al Ali further said: “The future is really near. We want to make sure that every single person living in the United Arab Emirates is healthy, we are really working toward, you know, tackling the issues that not only the UAE are facing, also the world, things like promoting [nutritious] food from sustainable food systems. This is a direction that we are working toward. We want to make sure that people are consuming healthy food from sustainable food systems.”

The session ended with a culinary demonstration by Chef Charles Soussin to showcase how healthy fruit and vegetables, potatoes and dairy products can be included in cooking