16th Dubai International Food Safety Conference kicks off at DWTC

Reinforcing Dubai’s status as a leader in food security, 16th Dubai International Food Safety Conference kicks off at DWTC

The three-day conference discusses strategies aimed at maintaining food safety and security, including the significance of innovative technologies to strengthen the supply chain

HE Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri: UAE has made it a strategic priority to promote food sustainability, security, and safety

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”

The event is being attended by over 3,000 international experts, including 60 specialist speakers, in addition to several global organisations in the food sector

Government of Dubai Media Office – 1 November 2022: 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) today at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Hosted under the theme ‘Future Directions in Food Safety and Security,’ the three-day conference will discuss strategies aimed at maintaining high food safety and security standards, including the significance of 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 are attending the event. The conference, which will last until 3 November 2022, has in attendance several international organisations in the food sector worldwide.

HE Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “Through an integrated system of efforts, the relevant government agencies have worked for decades to achieve the highest levels of food safety, maintain public health, strengthen the nation’s status as a leading international centre for food trade, and increase consumer confidence. These efforts have focused primarily on developing policies, legislation, and regulations that ensure the supply and circulation of safe and high quality food products while facilitating free trade of goods to guarantee the welfare of the future generations.”

Her Excellency 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. This will be possible by deploying various technological innovations to reinforce food safety through efficient risk analysis and the latest technologies, such as AI, Big Data and Metaverse, to devise sustainable solutions and develop global food systems.

Discussions will highlight the necessity for strategies to maintain high standards in food safety, in line with the national, regional and global food security strategies, policies and legislations and the developments about food safety and nutrition. 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, as well as 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.

Discussions will also be held on innovation, research, and learning in food laboratories, food materials’ safety and sustainability, building resilience in food safety systems, and future guidelines for food systems worldwide.

The conference will also promote the concept of “One Health,” which integrates the approach towards achieving sustainable balance, enhancing society wellness, and preserving the ecosystem. Industry 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 specialised digital systems in the food sector, including FoodWatch, an advanced digital platform for the safety of food and nutrition. These systems reflect DM’s 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. The system incorporates the principles of transparency, automation of inspection, issuance of assessment reports, and automatic submissions to the management of food establishments.

DM will present its Mobile Food Testing Lab for one day, showcasing its ability to assess ready food samples. This initiative aims to reduce food poisoning cases and ensure top-quality food products in the emirate.

Food Testing Agreement

DM signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Global Food Regulatory Science Society (GFoRSS), Canada, on the first day of the conference. Both parties agreed to promote mutual understanding to achieve fruitful partnerships by exchanging food assessment expertise. This agreement benefits both parties by adopting 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 and legislative sciences. The centre will leverage the expertise of both parties to train and develop the capacities at food laboratories.

The Green Channel Initiative

On the sidelines of the conference, DM is prepared to 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.

Source: Dubai Municipality

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