Logistics Middle East
I read a terrifying statistic a few days ago. Jakobshavn, the largest glacier in Greenland, receded more than 40 kilometres (25 miles) between 1850 and 2010, but between 2010 and 2015 it receded a further 15-kilometres. That rate of retreat, for this one single glacier, is borne of global warming. Additionally, there is now enough plastic in our oceans to cover every single foot of shoreline in the world with five grocery bags filled with garbage.
The logistics industry, which air freights 80% of the Middle East’s food into the region, wrapped in plastics and other polymers that will ultimately end up in landfills or the ocean, needs to change. And on our cover this month is one man trying to do just that. He is pioneering vertical farming in the UAE, producing fresh leafy greens at a fraction of the cost of imported produce, and with a smaller carbon footprint and with the use of fewer chemicals and pesticides. In fact, because the vertical farm is a sealed environment, no chemicals or pesticides are required at all.
Food security is a major problem for the UAE and the wider GCC. In 1960 the UAE’s population was 92,000 people (according to the World Bank). Today, within the space of a single human lifespan, it has reached more than 9-million, and will double within the next ten years. Food supply chains need to be shortened to produce sustainably at this scale, which is why the story of Uns Farms is so interesting, and so important.
Enjoy the issue.