From November 22 to 25, a Dutch trade mission to the United Arab Emirates takes place. The mission is initiated by Dutch Greenhouse Delta, and organized in close cooperation with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the United Arab Emirates and the agricultural council of the Gulf. No fewer than seventeen companies are participating. The aim of the mission is to show that the Dutch agriculture and horticulture sector has a viable solution for UAE’s demand for self-sufficiency in food security. Part of the trade mission is participation in a large agriculture event in Abu Dhabi with a joint NL stand on November 23 and 24.
National strategy for food security
This trade mission is the second physical trade mission to the Gulf region, after a successful trade mission to Saudi Arabia last October. Seventeen Dutch companies join this mission and see the need for high-tech solutions and knowledge in achieving efficient, sustainable, and safe food production in the Gulf. The demand for self-sufficiency in the production of healthy, fresh food has been high on the agenda for years of several countries within the Gulf region, including the United Arab Emirates (the UAE). The UAE has long aspired to become a world hub in innovation-driven technologies around self-sufficiency and food security. They, therefore, launched the National Strategy for Food security, which is tuned for 2051 and is under execution of the Ministry of Food & Water Security.
This strategy aims to produce maximally with a minimal use of resources and close to retail and homes to secure a stable supply of nutritious food for the local Middle East market and export. The challenging climate in the UAE, however, requires innovation and sustainability in agriculture to produce high-quality fruit and vegetables all year round. The UAE is looking for partners from the private sector to develop advanced farming technologies. The Dutch horticultural cluster offers all the high-tech solutions and knowledge needed for efficient, sustainable, and safe food production in challenging climates, as in the UAE. They want to share their experience and cooperate in providing a year-round production of fresh and healthy food in the UAE.
Program of the trade mission
An interesting public and private program has been put together for this trade mission, which includes a retail safari, a network reception, and B2B matchmaking sessions. On November 24, at the “Media” Lounge, in the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, the Hortinext Conference is organized, by VNU Europe, and supported by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Dutch Greenhouse Delta. At the Conference are different Dutch organizations, such as Bom Group, Certhon, Hoogendoorn, Hatenboer-Water, and Signify. They share their latest insights on several horti-technology topics. During the trade mission, the Dutch horticultural cluster also participates in a large agriculture exhibition at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
Participation in agriculture exhibition
The Dutch horticultural sector presents itself with a joint exhibition space at the Dutch pavilion, where visitors can see an impressive VR-movie with VR-glasses. This movie shows how the Dutch horticultural eco-system can help Gulf-countries to achieve food sufficiency by creating long-term partnerships.
A number of participants join the GFIA with their own company stands, such as Brinkman and Koppert. Yassin Lahiani, Exportmanager of Koppert: ‘We expect a great deal of interest this year as last year’s exhibition could not be held due to Covid-19. It is the place where progressive growers, policymakers, researchers, and investors meet for new ideas and technologies. People in the MENA region are constantly looking for developments in the horticultural and agricultural sector that will allow them to become more self-sufficient and improve the productivity and quality of their crops.
Richard Hagedoorn, Area Manager at Royal Brinkman considers the trade mission, with participation in the exhibition as a nice combination, where Brinkman’s network can be further expanded. ‘’Brinkman has been active in this region for more than 10 years, but in recent years, we have clearly seen an increasing interest in Dutch knowledge and technology for food security by the governments in the Gulf. Last October, I’ve participated in a trade mission to Saudi Arabia, which was also organized by Dutch Greenhouse Delta and InnovationQuarter and this mission was also very successful for Brinkman.’’
The following companies participate in this mission: Bom Group, Certhon, Dutch Greenhouse Delta, Grodan, Hatenboer-Water, Hoogendoorn Growth Management, Horti XS, Innovation Quarter, Koppert Biological Systems, Kubo, Let’sGrow.com, Priva, Ridder, Royal Brinkman, Signify, Svensson, and van der Hoeven Horticultural Projects.