Saturday 02 February 2019
Dubai - MENA Herald:

The evolution of distribution in driving cost efficiency and sustainability in the global food industry will be explored during the inaugural Gulfood Innovation Summit, a robust new conference programme underpinning Gulfood 2019, the world’s largest annual food and beverage trade show, which returns to Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from 17-21 February.

Running from 18-20 February, the three-day summit will bring together a high-profile gathering of industry professionals, thought leaders and major disruptors to explore, address and debate major trends, challenges and opportunities in the F&B industry across the region and beyond. The diverse range of summit content will include industry-shaping sessions on the rise of foodtech, how the upsurge in online food service apps and the use of new technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence are re-shaping the industry and how innovation is driving food retail.

Day one of the conference will shine the spotlight on distribution and the ‘key success factors for distributors’ in a highly competitive market. The session will examine the need for industry players to redefine portfolios for distribution, assess market challenges and trends, achieve sustainable business models and minimise shipping and logistics challenges.

The key to efficient distribution

Bhushant Gandhi, Department Head of Truebell Food, one of the GCC’s leading players in F&B imports, wholesale, distribution and exports, will lead the session. Gandhi believes distributors are increasingly seeking out cost-efficient methods to minimise shipping charges, which will put them and the wider industry on course for a sustainable, efficient future.  

“With the regional F&B industry now at a well-developed stage, consolidation of distribution is becoming a much sought-after solution by hotel and restaurant operators. The preference for a one-stop-shop solution can minimise the processing time and the number of suppliers that end operators have to deal with,” explained Gandhi.

“Consolidated procurement is already prevalent and successfully implemented in some food categories, but it is gaining popularity in several other F&B segments - we will explore these abundant opportunities at the Summit,” added Gandhi, who will point to the success of Truebell’s one-of-a-kind, 21,000+ capacity pallet fulfillment centre, which caters for consolidation-based distribution to F&B operators, a key success factor in Truebell’s capability to attract internationally-renowned chains both in retail and food service.

The Gulfood Innovation Summit is poised to be a prime educational and networking forum within the regional F&B industry, with tailored sessions probing the hottest topics impacting the wider industry. The inaugural Summit will also feature exclusive questions-and-answer session with globally acclaimed chefs, influencers and hospitality leaders on the challenges of introducing breakthrough concepts to local markets.

“The summit will tackle a diverse range of issues which are already impacting the global F&B industry during this hugely transformative part of its history,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events, DWTC. “As an educational forum, the Summit is a vital learning ground and essential for those looking to keep up with the pace of change this sector is currently experiencing.”

Keynote addresses on the industry’s challenges and opportunities and global food supply will come from Dr. Bernhard van Lengerich, Board Member of Beyond Meat and former Chief Science Officer & Vice-President of Technology Strategy, General Mills; and Paul Newnham, Director of the World Food Programme, United Nations. A blueprint for the Design of Good Food for the future, meanwhile, will be the Summit domain of Dr. Nigel Hughes, SVP Research & Development, Kellogg’s.

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