GCC Requires a Robust Supply Chain Network

    A growing population and increased income levels have fueled significant growth in the food sector in GCC countries in recent years, with this growth expected to continue.  An  increased  dependence  on  imports  due  to  the  shortage  of  arable  land  and  water, favorable demographics, and changing consumption patterns are the key drivers of the GCC food sector. The growing reliance  on  food  imports  and  rising  demand  create  a  need  for  a  developed  and  specialized  food  supply  chain  network  that ensures adequate supply.

    A robust logistics and supply chain management network  is  required  to  ensure  quality  and  timely  supply  of  both  local  and  imported  products.  Following  the  food  price  shocks  of  2008  (owing  to  demand–  supply  mismatch), the government began to focus  on  ensuring  food  availability  through  alternative  means.  According to a report by Farrelly Mitchell, volatile food prices   and   supply   shortages provide   an   impetus for food supply chain development.  Furthermore, there is significant growth in the volume and value of sales at hypermarkets and supermarkets. Food products represent the bulk of  these sales,  reiterating  the  need  for  a  specialized  and  developed  food  supply  chain system. A  growing  number  of  modern  retail  outlets,  such as hypermarkets,  supermarkets,  discount stores, and other forms of organized retail, are significantly   contributing to the increasing demand  for  food  products.  Sales at   supermarkets/hypermarkets   in   GCC   are   estimated to rise at a CAGR of 9% to USD70 billion by 2018. Organized retail formats in these countries are likely to play an even larger role and will consequently sharpen focus on optimization of the supply chain. 

    The August / September’s issue of the Middle East Food (MEF) magazine covers the latest in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) food industry, including new innovations, projects and events. On page 14, we tackle coding challenges in the bakery industry. The article on page 21 sheds light on automation in the meat processing industry. Moreover, on page 38, we focus on MENA’s frozen food market. Additional stories are also available, covering the latest activities of regional manufacturers, importers and exporters, so enjoy reading and send us your feedback at content@cphworldmedia.com

    Fathi Chatila