UAE and Italy unite for food sus­tain­abil­ity

The Mediter­ranean diet also holds im­mense health ben­e­fits for the con­sumer

Khaleej Times - - THE REAL TASTE OF ITALY - Farhana Chowdhury — farhana@khalee­j­

Food se­cu­rity is one of the top na­tional pri­or­i­ties of the UAE, and Italy may have the right tools to as­sist the coun­try in its march towards sus­tain­abil­ity.

It was ear­lier re­vealed by Li­bo­rio Stellino, Am­bas­sador of Italy to the UAE, that Italy is cur­rently look­ing at op­por­tu­ni­ties to as­sist the UAE in over­com­ing dif­fi­cul­ties in­volved in de­vel­op­ing food strate­gies, fol­low­ing a meet­ing be­tween re­spec­tive min­is­ters of agri­cul­ture and food in the UAE and Italy last year. Among these are the hy­dro­ponic sys­tem of ir­ri­ga­tion.

To date, agri­cul­ture is Italy’s se­cond most im­por­tant sec­tor and con­trib­utes to 11.3 per cent of its to­tal GDP. Com­posed of thou­sands of small and medium-sized com­pa­nies highly spe­cialised in sin­gle stages of pro­duc­tion, Ital­ian com­pa­nies are a beacon of high stan­dard, as all the value chains are strongly mon­i­tored to give con­sumers the best pos­si­ble qual­ity that Ital­ian agri­cul­ture can of­fer to the mar­ket.

Ac­cord­ing to Gian­paolo Bruno — Trade Com­mis­sioner to the UAE, Oman and Pak­istan at the Ital­ian Trade Agency, the pop­u­lar­ity of Ital­ian cui­sine has long been cel­e­brated in the UAE, and this is ev­i­dent by the pres­ence of hun­dreds of ded­i­cated restau­rants.

“The mar­ket has huge po­ten­tial for our cui­sine as well as gas­tro­nomic tra­di­tions that could be pro­posed to the health-con­cerned con­sumer. More and more healthy con­scious cus­tomers are turn­ing to Ital­ian dishes, as the Mediter­ranean diet is fo­cused on pro­mot­ing a healthy bal­ance in body and mind,” he said.

In or­der to as­sure con­sumers of the fresh­est and most gen­uine qual­ity, the Ital­ian Trade Agency is on a mis­sion to de­bunk coun­ter­feit prod­ucts and spread aware­ness of what Ital­ian food is re­ally all about.

“Our phi­los­o­phy goes be­yond sell­ing prod­ucts. We aim to pack­age it with an Ital­ian style phi­los­o­phy such that con­sumers are able to en­joy the Ital­ian flair and way of life,” he said.

Gian­paolo Bruno, Trade Com­mis­sioner to the UAE, Oman and Pak­istan at the Ital­ian Trade Agency

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