AD Ports Group, the leading facilitator of global trade, logistics, and industry in Abu Dhabi, announced today that it will host the 2022 edition of the World Union of Wholesale Markets Conference (WUWM), a major event for the fresh food industry that will bring together high level - public and private sector - practitioners and experts from around the world in productive dialogues around major challenges that food systems are facing.

Held in the Middle East for the first time, the event will take place at a crucial time, in which the issue of food security rose as a top priority for governments and communities around the world.

The current situation in Ukraine, staff shortages, border disputes, port congestions, increasing fuel prices, widespread food sourcing issues and the effects of climate change in food production are amid the major challenges facing the global food industry.

With the theme “Global food security in the XXIs: Risks, challenges and solutions to ensure resilient and sustainable fresh food supply chains” WUWM Abu Dhabi 2022 Conference will bring together the major actors of the fresh food system to discuss innovative and effective ways to ensure more resilient and sustainable fresh food supply chains.

In the GCC region nearly 80 percent of domestic food is imported, therefore WUWM Conference will offer an important opportunity to find pathways to strengthen regional resilience and network with key suppliers.

Moreover, as part of the national Food Security Strategy, the UAE aims to become the most secure nation in the Global Food Security Index by 2051, with a comprehensive national system to enable sustainable food production using modern technologies and enhanced local production.  Following this goal, in February this year, AD Ports Group announced that it had partnered with Ghassan Aboud Group to establish the region’s largest multi-category wholesale food trading and logistics marketplace in KIZAD.

The event, which will take place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 20 to 22 October 2022, aspires to make a tangible contribution to find global multistakeholder innovative solutions to facilitate access for all to healthy fresh food and tackle possibilities of food crisis.

Saeed Al Bahri Salem Al Ameri - Director General of Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) said: “As a result of the directives of UAE leadership, and the joint efforts of local and federal government entities, and in partnership and collaboration with the private sector and the community, we have established an integrated food security system. The national strategy for food security represents a working agenda for all of us to ensure the efficiency in food production and achieving agile food supply chains, easing the food trade, supporting technology-enabled food production, and building a food eco system that can deliver safe food and deal with food risks and crises”.

“We are pleased to host  the 2022 edition of the World Union of Wholesale Markets Conference in  Abu Dhabi, a platform where leading practitioners can share expertise and work with stakeholders from around the world to address critical challenges faced by the fresh food and agriculture sector today,” HE added.

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO, AD Ports Group added: “Building a framework for food security is one of the most important roles that logistics and trade organisations can play, and AD Ports Group is proud to be making a significant contribution to this vital discussion by bringing the World Union of Wholesale Markets Conference to the Middle East for the first time ever. Under the guidance of our nation’s wise leadership, we are working with key partners to support a productive dialogue on collective responses to food security. In parallel, we are developing sustainable food supply systems and infrastructure that guarantees access to advanced quality control and safety measures, along with sustainable solutions not only for local, but also regional and international production and distribution, leveraging our unique and strategic location as a gateway to 4.5 billion consumers.”

Stéphane Layani, Chairman of the World Union of Wholesale Markets, congratulated the UAE for taking the lead in the Region and welcomed this upcoming conference with great resolution for its outcomes: “The whole world is at the gates of a possible severe food crisis. The WUWM Abu Dhabi 2022 Conference represents an opportunity for experts, stakeholders and practitioners of the sector to engage in a productive multi-stakeholder  dialogue and make our best to find concrete innovative solutions to build greater fresh food supply chain resiliency in order to ensure food security worldwide in the forthcoming years and decades.”

Eugenia Carrara, Secretary General of The World Union of Wholesale Markets shared the same commitments: “In the post Covid-19 world we need to reinvent 'food architecture' to succeed the transition of food systems into sustainability and resilience. Our members are working together to ensure safety, affordability, and sustainable access of fresh food for all through modern wholesale markets and more efficient food supply chains. We are pleased to be bringing this event to the Middle East region for the first time, recognising the important steps that nations like the UAE are taking to drive innovation and build resilient supply networks. It is more important than ever that we all work together to ensure food security so that everyone has access to food.”

For his part, Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and Group CEO of ADNEC said: “Abu Dhabi hosting the World Wholesale Association Conference for the first time at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) reinforces the capital’s leading position globally as a destination for business tourism. It embodies the role of the company in supporting many strategic sectors in the country, most notably the food security sector. We are confident that this international event will support our efforts by offering strategic platforms that improve the exchange of knowledge and experiences and create strong partnerships that support the development of this important sector in line with the goals and vision of our wise leadership for the next fifty years.”

The World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) is a non-profit world-leading international organization of the fresh food sector aiming to promote sustainable food systems, food security and healthy diets.  WUWM is a unique platform that gathers the most important fresh food actors of the world aiming to improve the fresh food supply chain structure, organization and management.

With 220 members (wholesale markets, retail fresh food markets and other main stakeholders from the fresh food sector), located in 40 countries and 5 continents, the organization leads international efforts to ensure food security as well as to facilitate the transition of food systems to sustainability and resilience, ensuring healthy, guaranteed and accessible diets for everyone. WUWM members account for 50% of all the fresh produce (mainly fruits and vegetables) consumed in the world.