The 27th edition of Gulfood, the world’s largest annual food and beverage trade exhibition, took place in Dubai from the 13th to the 17th of February. Gulfood is mainly focused on the Middle East, Africa, and Asia markets. However, it attracts companies from all over the world. In fact, the 2022 edition was attended by 180 Italian companies.
According to the Italian ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Nicola Lener, the Italian participation in Gulfood will benefit the whole Italian food system, especially organic food producers.
Speaking at the event “The future of the Italian food system between innovation, safety, and sustainability,” organized by the Italian Trade Agency at Italy’s Expo Dubai Pavilion, Ambassador Lener said: “This part of the world expresses a growing demand for organic products. All importers tell us that they are keen to work with Italian organic food producers. There are many organic producers in Italy. Gulfood will be an opportunity to promote business agreements between Italian companies and local importers. We also aim at attracting more and more local players to Italian food fairs“.
The event was attended by, among others, Savino Muraglia, a member of the national council of Coldiretti, the Italian Farmers’ Association; Oscar Farinetti, president of Eataly; and Ahmed Al Shahibani, head of the Emirati Food Tech Valley project.
The UAE “adopted a food security strategy focused on logistics, sustainability, and efficiency. There is so much to do to increase organic production. Italian companies, research centers, and universities are eager to cooperate with the UAE on this matter. Food is a fundamental component of our bilateral relations,” Amb. Lener stressed. .
Italian participation at Gulfood has always been strong. Many Italian companies are regular exhibitors. Domenico Nappi, the owner of the confectionery company Nappi 191, has attended nine editions of Gulfood.
Mr. Nappi explains that for companies like Nappi 191, participation in events like Gulfood is fundamental: 80% of his company’s turnover comes from exports. “To keep the interest in your products, you must actively promote your business. Here’s why I decided to invest in a larger space at the fair,” he says.
During this edition of Gulfood, Ukrainian artist Tatiana Yatlo created the first NFT (Non-Fungible Token) of sustainable ice cream. The NFT is called “Noble Sweet Transgress.”
The project was supported by the Italian Abruzzo Region through Arap – a company that promotes the idea of a sustainable Abruzzo in Dubai – and is part of the “Out of the box” collection, which has as its theme sustainable agri-food production and food security.