Dubai Municipality signs MoU with Union Coop to strengthen food supply chains in Dubai
Dubai Municipality signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Union Coop, one of the largest retailers in the UAE, to ensure sustainable provision of strategic food commodities in Dubai’s local markets. The MoU aims to strengthen the cooperation in the field of food supply chain, and seeks to enhance its resilience, supporting the objectives of the Dubai Food Security Strategy.
The MoU seeks to enhance collaboration between the two entities, facilitating the exchange of information related to the strategic stock availability index for essential food commodities. The objective is to integrate this data into the food security platform of Dubai Municipality, ensuring the resilience, adaptability, and uninterrupted functioning of supply chains.
Alia Al Harmoodi, Acting CEO of the Environment, Health, and Safety Agency at Dubai Municipality and Dr. Suhail Al Bastaki, Director of Corporate Communication Dept. at Union Coop, officially signed the MoU on the sidelines of the 17th Dubai World Conference on Food Safety.
Al Harmoodi underscored Dubai Municipality’s commitment to fostering collaborations and cooperation with stakeholders in the food sector in Dubai. The focus is on bolstering the sustainability and resilience of the food industry, with a specific emphasis on optimizing the efficiency of food supply chains. She highlighted that Dubai Municipality’s priorities include the establishment of a sustainable food system with flexible supply chains, aligning with the objectives outlined in its ‘Dubai Food Security Strategy.’ This strategy emphasizes diversifying import sources, strengthening food safety and nutrition systems, and enhancing the sector’s ability to withstand crises, all contributing to ensuring food security and self-sufficiency in the emirate.
She said: “The MoU with Union Coop will enhance the collaborative efforts of both parties in securing the sustainability of food supply chains for various strategic commodities in Dubai’s local market, which enhances the diversity of the emirate’s strategic food stockpile. It aims to elevate preparedness to effectively address risks associated with crises and emergencies that may impact food systems.” She further stated that the first stage of selection of major traders and suppliers of strategic food commodities has started, and work is underway to attract more traders and key suppliers to ensure sustainability of food supply chains.
For his part, Dr. Suhail Al Bastaki expressed his pleasure at being one of the first institutions to support food security in the Emirate of Dubai. He emphasised that the cooperation with government agencies aims to establish the concept of community and national responsibility, which is one of the cooperative’s priorities, which is to strengthen cooperation with all sectors and entities to launch initiatives targeted at members of society and expand their role in economic and community development.
He said: “As part of its annual strategies, the Union Coop aims to support initiatives that are of benefit to the local economy and society as a whole, and through this agreement it strives to support the directions of the Dubai Municipality and provide all support to achieve sustainable food security.”
The MoU outlines technical specifications for electronically linking data related to strategic food commodities, such as rice, wheat, etc., within the food security platform. It also involves the monitoring of challenges and constraints impacting supply chains. The agreement included provisions for sharing forthcoming plans and collaborative efforts to guarantee the availability of commodities in the domestic market. Additionally, it establishes a framework for joint proactive coordination in instances where the supply of commodities is constrained or affected. This contributes to effective decision-making and preparedness to address crisis and emergencies in matters related to food security, to prevent the risk of shortages and facilitate prompt handling of such situations.
The memorandum also stipulates the incorporation of business continuity plans of the Union Coop into emergency import and storage operations. It includes provisions for sharing information on challenges and constraints affecting the supply chains of imported and stockpiled strategic commodities. Furthermore, the agreement outlines joint coordination efforts in implementing food security sustainability awareness programs.