The Abu Dhabi Farmers Services Centre (ADFSC) announced that they will be supplying fresh local produce to Elite Agro, a leading Abu Dhabi producer and distributor of fresh vegetables and fruits in an agreement that will see both consumers and farmers benefit from the buying power of a strengthened domestic supply chain. At the recently concluded Global Forum for Innovation in Agriculture (GFIA) exhibition held at ADNEC in Abu Dhabi, an agreement was signed between Nasser Mohammed Al Junaibi, ADFSC acting Chief Executive Officer and Dr Abdulmonem Al Marzooqi, CEO of Elite Agro LLC for the distribution of ADFSC produce through Elite Agro’s retail partnerships.
“ADFSC is proud to partner with Elite Agro as it shares the vision of producing high-quality produce that can compete with the high levels maintained by imported produce” Both customers and consumers will benefit from this venture as the exposure to high-quality produce grown in the UAE will increase in direct competition with imported produce Al Junaibi said.
“We aim to increase the farmers’ income through the marketing of their products to consumers in an attractive way. Prior to this stage, we strive to improve these products – whether agricultural or animal – so that not only the consumer approves of them, but they also meet and surpass the highest international standards. In addition, it is a move to enhance the competitiveness of domestic produce being a high-quality fresh product.” He added
ADFSC will supply a range of produce including tomatoes, capsicum and cucumbers and Elite Agro will ensure this reaches key retailers and consumers. In doing so, customers and consumers will receive fresh produce as opposed to the imported produce that can be up to one week old. The demand for fresh food continues to increase in the UAE as consumer attitudes towards local produce changed significantly over the last year. Consumers now perceive local produce as equal, if not better in quality than imported produce and are aware of the low carbon foot print for local products compared with imported products.
According to Euromonitor, UAE consumers ate 3.3 million tonnes of fresh food in 2017 and the market is predicted to grow in the high single digits. The turn towards healthy living may also be contributing to the increase in consumption. Fresh and healthy foods are a part of burgeoning change in lifestyle in the UAE. In recent years, the incidence of Diabetes and heart-related diseases have surged, mainly due to sedentary life-styles and high-caloric intake. However, as consumers become more aware of the choices available in the market, and turn to fitness and health consciousness, fresh high-quality foods are seen as an important resource.
Both Elite Agro and ADFSC are passionate about high-quality and sustainable agricultural practices, and this collaboration combines ADFSC’s best farming practices with Elite Agro’s distribution and retail relationship power. “GLOBALG.A.P. Certification is a pre-requisite for crops and without it we would not have a market and this will encourage the local farmer to be certified by GLOBALG.A.P” said Dr Abdulmonem after signing the agreement.
Elite Agro’s and ADFSC’s strategy includes the supply of high value quality products suited to the health and wellbeing consumer segment as well as encouraging the population to make healthier, fresher choices. “The welfare of the people and the country is of equal importance to us. Making healthier and fresher food choices is a step in the right direction. With the increased demand for health-giving fresh products, we are committed to supplying a product that consumers need. By signing this agreement with ADFSC we have taken a decisive step towards meeting increasing consumer demand for local produce and have secured a consistent high-quality supply” Dr. Al Marzooqi added.
The co-operation between ADFSC and Elite Agro will benefit both the organisations as their respective market positions are expected to strengthen, a wide range of customers, and the end consumers. The relationship is expected to grow and prosper just as agriculture in the UAE grows and prospers.