European Union (EU) farm exports to the GCC grew by 25 percent in Q1 2020 thanks to COVID-19, which has forced a reappraisal of the health and safety of the entire food system.
“We have definitely seen a shift in consumer buying as it has become more focused on healthy, fresh produce and, to a certain extent, increase of purchasing from known safe sources of fresh produce, like Europe,” Mohammed Nasser, Chief Executive Officer, NRTC Group said in a webinar organized by the EU and titled: “Beyond COVID-19: Rethinking Food for the Future”.
Experts at the webinar talked about the impacts of COVID-19 on consumer demand and food related businesses across the GCC.
“COVID-19 has brought into focus the health and safety of the entire food system so it is understandable that consumers will seek out products that they think have the highest hygiene standards in place,” Nasser said.
According to the panel, European Union farm exports to the GCC grew 25 percent in Q1 2020 compared to Q1 2019.
“This huge growth is testament to the good coordination between the respective EU and GCC authorities as well as the EU’s ability to respond with a resilient supply chain,” Taina Sateri, Trade Counselor at the Delegation of the European Union to the UAE said at the panel.
“We are pleased that the strict hygiene rules that already govern the production of food in the EU have worked effectively to protect our food business operators from the virus responsible for COVID-19, and that EU exports to the GCC have been able to continue to grow with no interruption of trade,” Sateri said.
The event, organized by the EU as part of its More Than Food communication campaign, was attended by more than 150 F&B industry professionals from the GCC region.