Public sector bodies in UAE ‘asked to buy local food’

By Reuters

Published: 12 Dec 2022

Public sector bodies such as the military and hospitals in the UAE are being encouraged to buy locally-grown food.

Mariam Al Mheiri, UAE minister of climate change and environment, said a decision had been taken to support local production while embracing an open trade policy, according to Reuters.

Speaking at the World Policy Conference in Abu Dhabi, Al Mheiri said: “We want to let the trade keep going, but where you have hands on your procurement and what you can buy, this is where you can encourage that a certain percentage of certain food items are bought locally.”

She said more than $150m had been invested to attract agri-tech companies to operate in the UAE, which imports 85% of the food it consumes, according to a report by the Australian government.

Last week Abu Dhabi National Oil Company said it had struck deals worth more than $272m to obtain catering services over the next five years, with contractors encouraged to source locally.

In July what was claimed to be the world’s largest vertical farm opened in Dubai with a capacity to produce 1m kg of fresh produce each year.


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