World leaders in the food and agriculture sectors will come together from 8 to 10 December for the Saudi Food Forum, being held as part of Foodex, Saudi Arabia’s first and biggest international trade event dedicated solely to the F&B industry.
Taking place at the Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events, the forum will debate and discuss key issues affecting the Kingdom’s F&B sector including development of the local food and agriculture industry, food safety and security, supply chain logistics, harmonization of Halal food standards and food investment and marketing opportunities.
Organised by the Halal Development Council and Reed Sunaidi Exhibitions, under the patronage of the Ministry of Agriculture and His Excellency Dr. Khalid Bin Mohammed Al Fuhaid, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, the Saudi Food Forum is the most significant event of its kind in the Kingdom and is expected to attract the participation of prominent delegates from more than 40 countries.
Among the confirmed attendees are representatives from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and International Trade Corporation (ITC) as well as Saudi ministers, government departments and financial institutions.
With a growing population, increased consumer spending and significant public sector investment in new malls, restaurants and hotels, the Saudi Arabian food industry is in the midst of a boom. Food sales in the Kingdom account for around half of the domestic retail market and are expected to be worth almost $70bn by 2016, with food consumption growing at a CAGR of 2.6 per cent from 2012 to 2017.
Despite being the largest food and beverage market in the GCC, the Kingdom relies heavily on imports to meet its growing consumption requirements. The Saudi Food Forum aims to devise strategies to sustainably manage the country’s internal food consumption demands while improving its F&B export potential.
Themed “Saudi Arabia: Gateway to a US$66bn food market”, the forum invites industry experts to dissect the local market in terms of opportunities, key initiatives, innovation, challenges and sustainable growth.
A keynote address will be presented by the Ministry of Food & Agriculture followed by two days of interactive sessions led by Saudi ministers and industry experts. Thought leaders from across the Middle East, Europe, USA and Asia will present latest research during the forum including Dr. Mohamed Amrani from the International Center of Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) in the UAE; Mr. Sadiq Syed from the International Trade Corporation (ITC) in Switzerland; Dr. Cedomir Nestorovic from ESSEC Business School Asia Pacific in Singapore; and Joohi Tahir from the American Halal Association.
“The Saudi Food Forum has attracted some of the best minds in the industry who, over the course of three days, will debate the issues that matter most to the advancement of the Saudi F&B sector. We are honoured that Foodex was selected as the platform to host this esteemed forum and we look forward to working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Halal Development Council to promote the Kingdom’s efforts to an international stage,” said Simon Blazeby, Group Exhibition Director, Reed Sunaidi Exhibitions.