UAE: Etihad eyes organic airline food, buys 200 hens

Etihad Airways has announced that it has purchased 200 hens which are being raised free-range at Abu Dhabi Organics Farms, in line with its commitment to offer customers the finest and freshest products.

Eggs produced by the hens will be used in Etihad Airways’ diamond first class dishes, including the hugely popular “eggs any style” breakfast option, prepared fresh by the Etihad onboard chefs, a statement from the airline company said.

In addition to the hens, Etihad has purchased three bee hives which are also based at Abu Dhabi Organics Farms. Honey produced by the bees will be served exclusively to Etihad Airways passengers and used across an array of dishes.

Lee Shave, Etihad Airways’ vice president, guest experience, said: “Etihad Airways is immensely proud of the range of its fresh in-flight produce and the addition of eggs from our own free-range hens gives an indication of what we strive for so our customers receive the finest, healthiest, and home produced items on our menus.”

“As the national airline of the UAE, we are committed to sourcing and using ‘Product of the UAE’ items wherever and whenever possible, and our partnership with Abu Dhabi Organics Farms is a great example of how we work together with UAE companies to bring local products to the world.”

“Etihad Airways has a rich tradition of introducing world class in-flight dining innovations and we are thrilled to be the only airline in the world offering organic eggs and honey directly from our own locally raised hens and bees,” Shave added.

The airline is planning to introduce its first entirely-organic dish, the Tomato Caprese Salad, to the diamond first class Mezoon Grille menu. The salad’s ingredients of cherry tomato, basil, rocket leaf, mozzarella, and olive oil will all be organic ‘Products of the UAE’, the statement said.

It is also developing a line of signature pickles that will be available to customers. The pickles are made from entirely organic items including paprika, chilli, onion, capsicum, and dates; which will be served with warm bread and a range of cheese, it said.

Abu Dhabi Organics Farms was established in 1997 by Emirati national Khalid Al Shamsi. The farms cover more than 55 hectares of land and feature greenhouses and fields. They produce over sixty different kinds of organic vegetables, fruits and herbs, as well as poultry and livestock.

The Farms works with the Food & Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations and has been awarded the food security medal. It is also a member of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFoam), which issues accreditation and certificates for organic produce. –TradeArabia News Service