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Gulfood Manufacturing: 52 countries involved

Gulfood Manufacturing 2016, one of the largest trade exhibitions for the food processing and manufacturing industry in the region, is set to make a comeback to Dubai this November.

It explores the growing food and beverage production and related industries under the FMCG sector.

AMEinfo got the chance to speak to Mark Napier, Exhibitions Director at DWTC and Show Director for Gulfood Manufacturing, who discussed the new edition of the event, the theme and the different sectors involved in the popular industry meeting.

Can you give us a brief about Gulfood Manufacturing 2016: which edition of the event is this, what’s the theme and how has it evolved from previous editions?

This year marks the third edition of Gulfood Manufacturing – the Middle East’s biggest food manufacturing, processing and packaging, logistics and materials handling exhibition. Uniting 1,600 international food manufacturers, suppliers and industry service providers, Gulfood Manufacturing represents a dedicated platform to drive regional production, capacity and automation challenges in the food manufacturing and processing industry.

The show will be split into three specialised sectors: Ingredients Middle East – featuring fine and functional ingredients and the latest bulk and commodity ingredients, innovations, tastes and flavours; ProPack Middle East – covering automation, processing equipment and packaging machinery to solve production challenges and increase volume, flexibility, efficiency, quality and cost control; and Logistics Solutions Middle East – for firms sourcing materials handling, transport and commercial vehicles, IT and technology solutions, warehousing operators, facilitators & service providers.

Compared to last year’s show, Gulfood Manufacturing has grown 20 per cent in size in 2016 and will span more than 80,000 square metres of exhibition space.

Are there any pavilions at the event? Which sectors or countries would they represent?

Gulfood Manufacturing will feature exhibitors from 52 countries including 29 official national pavilions. Every major machinery manufacturing nation will be present including Austria, Germany, Italy, Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan to the United Kingdom. This year’s show will also welcome first-time participation from national pavilions representing Indonesia, Ireland, Russia and South Africa.

How big is the food processing industry in the UAE? At what rate it is growing?

The UAE food-processing sector is on a steady upward trajectory, with the domestic food processing industry already accounting for more than ten per cent of Dubai’s industrial production (Source: Department of Economic Development in Dubai). In this burgeoning climate, Gulfood Manufacturing is the strategic meeting and sourcing platform for food producers and service operators to source and network with world-class packaging sector suppliers.

What are current trends seen in the food processing industry in regards with packaging, machinery, technology and equipment segments?

The global market for equipment used in the food processing and packaging sectors is expected to reach $31.3 billion by 2018, according to a recent BCC Research report.

With the rising demand for processed and packaged food, automation in the food processing industry is a collective objective for producers. With the widespread availability and adoption of automated systems, companies are recognising the benefits of automation in packing, sorting and labeling as a drive of increased efficiency and heightened cost-effectiveness.

Innovation is rife across the food production sector and the use of technologically advanced machinery is driving further innovation in the packaging and processing industry in terms of increasing the shelf life of foods, and improving safety and quality.

Efficient packaging is another trend on the rise, with companies the world over seeking methods to use minimum resources, reduce product waste, maximise effective after-use disposal and recycle with minimum impact on environment.