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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 24/02/2013

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Conferences at this week's Gulfood will discuss factors shaping the future of the food industry and trends for the Middle East's burgeoning food and beverage, or F&B, industry.

Offering unrivalled access to the latest information and global expertise, the Gulfood Conferences will bring more than 50 of the world's experts, food specialists and business leaders from all sectors of the F&B industry to Dubai this week.

Taking place from February 25-28 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, or DWTC, alongside Gulfood - the world's largest annual trade show for the food and hospitality industry - the Gulfood Conferences incorporate four key summits: the Global Food Leaders' Summit; Food Packaging and Processing Forum; Food Inspection Conference; and the Franchising Workshop. Gulfood is strictly a trade-only event and is open to business and trade visitors from within the industry only.

"With Gulfood being an important trading platform for F&B professionals from around the world, it is important for us to ensure the show is a source of education and learning for visitors. Gulfood conferences will address the very latest trends, critical issues and opportunities impacting various sectors of the industry through panel discussions, presentations, interactive workshops and case studies," said Trixee Loh, senior vice-president at the DWTC, the organiser of Gulfood. Bringing together senior executives from some of the world's leading food and drink companies, the Global Food Leaders' Summit running tomorrow will address key issues and commercial drivers that impact strategic decision-making.

Commencing with a panel discussion on factors shaping the future of the food industry, the summit will also include keynote presentations on the role of the private sector in food security, food consumption and sustainability and, the implications of being a big business.

"In a world where trends in food consumption are shifting, populations are growing, and resources are finite, we as a snack powerhouse need to ensure sustenance in our products and fight shortages, both now and in the future. This cannot be achieved without the cooperation, transparency and active participation of all stakeholders. Gulfood provides the industry with an exciting platform to help organisations and key decision makers come together and share the latest strategies and challenges, to sustain and build market growth and provide continuity and confidence in the supply chain," said Vishal Tikku, Middle East managing director of Mondelez International (formerly Kraft Foods), who is also the keynote speaker at the summit.

Addressing one of the fastest-growing segments in the food industry supply chain, the Food Processing and Packaging Forum, running on February 26, will outline the very latest trends across the sector.

A series of panel discussions involving business leaders from global players will address pressing issues such as balancing quality and quantity in food processing, the role of packaging specialists in tackling food waste and, cost management through strategic planning and sourcing.

Building on the success of the inaugural Food Franchising Workshop last year, the conference will once again host food-biz veterans on February 27 to provide insights on the A-Z of franchising. Facilitated by Kit Brinkley, director of the World Franchising Association, the Food Franchising Workshop will offer participants invaluable advice on franchise investing, the role of supply chains in a franchise business and hidden elements of a franchise agreement.

"The conference programme is a key feature of Gulfood and every year, we try to enhance this offering by bringing the very best calibre of speakers to provide regional professionals with access to content that is shaping the global F&B landscape," added Loh.


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