Gulfood Manufacturing Offers Solutions to Optimize Production & Profit

    The Middle East Food (MEF) magazine conducted an interview with Mark Napier, Exhibitions Director - DWTC, and Show Director - Gulfood Manufacturing to highlight the latest news and trends in food manufacturing by featuring an exclusive focus on the fourth edition of Gulfood Manufacturing. Gulfood Manufacturing is the region’s biggest food and beverage processing industry event which will connect you with suppliers from 60 countries showcasing the latest F&B manufacturing business improvement tools.

    Q: What’s new for Gulfood Manufacturing 2017? 

    Mark Napier: Gulfood Manufacturing 2017 is the fourth edition of the Middle East’s biggest ingredients, processing, packaging, and logistics exhibition, offering end-to-end solutions for the food industry. Running from 31 October to 2 November, the show features five dedicated industry sectors: Ingredients- focusing on the latest in taste and flavor solutions – from amino acids to yeast nutrients; Processing – featuring the latest answers to all needs from baking to water treatment; Packaging - covering everything from consumer trends to cost efficiency; Supply Chain Solutions – which addresses everything from cold storage to forklifts; and for the first time, a sector focused on Automation and Control – which will shine the spotlight on how robotics is revolutionizing the world’s food supply chain. The three-day show, featuring industry heavyweights and key decision makers, will span more than 80,000 square meters of exhibition space across 13 halls at DWTC, providing a unique, tailored platform for food and beverage manufacturers to connect with more than 1,600 local, regional and international, suppliers and service providers from more than 60 countries. Exhibitors and visitors to Gulfood Manufacturing will witness first-hand experience of the latest innovations. To ensure participating companies get the best access to their target partners, this year’s show will feature a ‘Big Buyers’ Program’, hosting more than 2,000 pre-qualified serious buyers from across the MEA region, with a pre-determined budget to spend. Another innovation for Gulfood Manufacturing 2017 is the introduction of the Gulfood Manufacturing Awards, designed to recognize industry excellence in a sparkling ceremony on the evening of 31 October. The awards comprise four major categories: Manufacturing Industry; Ingredients Innovation; Packaging & Processing and Supply Chain with entries judged by an international panel of industry experts in conjunction with the Food & Beverage Manufacturers Group. Additionally, the Gulfood Manufacturing Innovation Tours will present visitors with a unique opportunity to witness real-life innovation at work inside some of the region’s leading, awarding-winning food factories. Gulfood Manufacturing 2017 will further highlight that despite the economic and political challenges around the world, Dubai and the UAE continue to offer a supremely stable base in which to do business, backed by a visionary leadership that is committed to investment and diversification of the economy as part of its long-term growth strategy.

    Q: Automation and Controls will be one of five dedicated sectors at Gulfood Manufacturing this year, what can you tell us about it?

    Napier: The Automation and Controls sector will shine the spotlight on how automation and robotics are revolutionizing the world’s food supply chain. As technology continues to develop at a rapid pace, automation is playing an increasingly important role as the food and beverage manufacturers seek more sustainable, efficient and safer solutions to meet evolving consumer demands for convenience, sustainability and affordability. The PwC report ‘Middle East Industry 4.0’, is evidence of the adoption rate of automation in the F&B supply industry, The report states that companies in the Middle East anticipate significant gains from the adoption of digitization and integration over the next four years, with estimated increased annual revenues of up to USD17 billion across various industries, including product development and purchasing, manufacturing, logistics and service. Exhibitors in the sector, which include first-time appearances from industry heavyweights ABB and Rockwell Automation, will be showcasing automated and robotic technologies and solutions for the optimization of F&B production, including IT, technology, hardware, software, applications etc. together with the operators, facilitators and service providers.

    Q: What are the trends in food manufacturing today in the MENA region?

    Napier: Consumer tastes and preferences are constantly evolving, which means food and beverage manufacturers must adapt and change their operations if they are to stay relevant and attractive to their clients, partners and the consumers. With increasing consumer demand for clean label, convenience, sustainability and affordability, and tighter food safety regulations, manufacturers and producers now need more efficient and cost-effective production, processing and distribution solutions to meet those demands. In recognition of this, Gulfood Manufacturing has evolved and the five sectors within this year’s show focus on the latest trends, providing exhibitors with better access to their target audiences and vice versa for buyers.

    Q: How does Gulfood Manufacturing help manufacturers enhance their F&B production?

    Napier: Gulfood Manufacturing provides manufacturers, food producers and all players across the global food production value chain a unique, tailored platform to connect and network with local and regional partners. The show serves as the perfect conduit for industry stakeholders eager to accelerate their regional distribution and sales potential, and develop new routes in the food manufacturing sector. The continued growth of the show emphasises how the world’s leading equipment, ingredients, logistics and chain suppliers view Gulfood Manufacturing as the preferred platform to leverage an operational foothold in the regional market, specifically via Dubai, and it gives exhibitors an unrivalled opportunity to connect and network with more than 1,600 local, regional and international, suppliers and industry service providers, and explore new business potential.

    Q: What can you tell us about the Gulfood Manufacturing Industry Excellence Awards and the Big Buyers’ Program?

    Napier: New to this year’s show, the Gulfood Manufacturing Industry Excellence Awards will reward best practices & innovation within the food manufacturing industry value chain. Entries will be judged by a panel of qualified international experts spanning the food processing and packaging industries, graphics, equipment suppliers, academia, trade press, governmental, environmental and trade organizations. The winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony on the evening of day one of the show (31 October) in Dubai. The Big Buyers’ Program at Gulfood Manufacturing is one of the biggest hosted buyers’ programs in the region, carefully created and targeted at food manufacturers and professionals seeking the latest ingredients and processing solutions. 2,000 dedicated buyers from across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, nominated by exhibitors, will attend the show with a pre-determined budget to spend with participating exhibitors at Gulfood Manufacturing 2017. Hosted buyers benefit from a range of incentives, including fast-track entry, access to the Hosted Buyers Lounge, accommodation and flights, and invites to exhibition networking events in exchange for pre-scheduling meetings with exhibitors relevant to their target sector, attending meetings and select conferences.

    Q: What were the challenges faced in organizing this year’s event?

    Napier: The global industry is facing several challenges; from the ever-increasing demand for food in the face of rising populations, to political and economic uncertainties and food security issues in several regions of the world. To address these challenges, the event plays a significant role in providing the perfect meeting place for knowledge sharing and networking with industry professionals and right target audiences in one place. Given its geographical location, political stability and a visionary leadership committed to ongoing investment and innovative government initiatives, Dubai is increasingly becoming a key player in the food supply chain. The growth of Gulfood Manufacturing correlates and leverages the emirate’s position as a hub for international food trade. As the region’s premier food supply chain event, it is imperative that we constantly evolve and innovate to ensure the show continues to provide a platform for exhibitors and buyers to meet and form partnerships that will help the industry meet demands and remain ahead of possible challenges.

    Q: What can you promise visitors to this year’s show?

    Visitors to Gulfood Manufacturing 2017 will be granted invaluable facetime with market-leading organizations in their target sectors and will get a rare opportunity to interact with the professionals who can meet their needs and solve their equipment, solutions and support problems. They will have the chance to test new ingredients that will appeal to their customers, discover budget-friendly solutions, and engage in the many benefits of innovation and network with investors to explore potential ventures to grow their business. If you need to manufacture faster, quicker, leaner or more profitably, you will find the technology and knowledge exchange at Gulfood Manufacturing. Gulfood Manufacturing 2017 will welcome the who’s who of the food supply chain industry, with exhibitors from more than 60 countries, including 30 national pavilions, with first-time participation from countries including Poland and across the CIS, opening a range of potential new business avenues for visitors. Gulfood Manufacturing 2017 will see the biggest Italian participation in the show’s history, with 3,800 square meters dedicated to companies spanning all sections of the country’s food manufacturing and equipment industry supply chain. Every major manufacturing nation will be present at Gulfood Manufacturing including Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, USA and the UK. China, meanwhile, will also roll-out its biggest participation to date as the Far East giant challenges the status quo across the industry.