Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Fresh food market stands strong despite turmoil

The Gulf Today, 17 Feb 2010

The business of fruits, vegetables, flowers and plants stays afresh in the Gulf region despite the turbulences caused by the global financial crisis, say experts.
The prosperity and vibrant achievements in the fresh food markets have been attributed to consumption by the region's large overall expatriate population, which always prefers to grab fresh food products of their own countries.
A recent market research report has revealed that Dubai has witnessed a significant increase estimated at 40 per cent in the import of fruit and vegetable commodities since 2007, to reach over two billion US dollars in value.
"Dubai's strategic location as a staging post midway between the east and west has served the UAE's perishables industries well, with the facilities at Dubai Airport seeing imports of fruit and vegetables jumping by 36 per cent in 2008 and sustaining this level through 2009," showed the latest market reports.
It said that apple, banana and orange are the fruits with the highest local demand, while the list of vegetables shows onion, potato and tomato on top of consumption by the residents in Dubai.
Mona El Dada, Project Manager for Planetfair, said that the strategic geographic position and infrastructure of highest standards in Dubai have made the city a global hub for both the business sectors that remained fresh and full of vitality throughout the recent economic downturn.
She was speaking to the media on Tuesday on the occasion of announcing the 2010 edition of the region's largest trade shows for perishables and plants.
According to her, the appetite for fresh fruits and vegetables as well as the love of plants and flowers in the Gulf remained strong despite the global downturn.
The World of Perishables (WOP) and International Plant Expo Middle East (IPM) will take place between 8 and 10 in March at Dubai Airport Expo Convention Centre, organised by Planetfair Dubai and Messe Essen GmbH Germany, in association with Dubai Municipality and Dubai Central Fruit and Vegetable Market.
Abdulla Mohammed Rafia, Assistant Director General of Dubai Municipality for General Support Services Sector, said that the Dubai Central Fruits and Vegetable Market located in Al Aweer had received a total of 38,838 fruit and vegetable delivery trucks in 2009.
He added that the Gulf's biggest market for import and export of perishables marked an increase at 12 per cent compared to the previous year business.
"India topped the list of countries with the highest tonnage of imports and re-exports to Dubai estimated respectively at 314,316 and 157,257 tonnes (per produce weight) in 2009," said Rafia.
"The total re-export to other Gulf States from Dubai during the same period, has also been estimated at a total of 226,273 tonnes. The import from Saudi Arabia only has been accounted at 307 trucks being received into Al Aweer market from the KSA," he pointed out.
According to Dada, both the trade shows capitalise on the resilience of the perishables and horticultural business, exemplified by the sustained demand for fruits, vegetables, plants and flowers.
"Being the region's only dedicated trade fair for fruits and vegetables, the WOP will witness participation of about 85 exhibitors from 18 countries this year, in addition to seven individual country pavilions from China, Malaysia, Mexico, Tanzania, Egypt, Jordan and Kenya. The exhibition space coverage has also been increased by 30 per cent this year," she added.
The fifth edition of IPM-the region's largest plant and flowers trade fair will feature international exhibitors from the sectors of flowers and plants trading, as well as plant maintenance and related technology areas, sales promotions and logistics, she added.

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