Founder & CEO, Pure Harvest Smart Farms
Pure Harvest was founded to tackle challenges posed by the need for year-round, sustainable food production; a desire to reduce import-dependence; and our mission to achieve climate and food security in one of the harshest environments on earth. We know that if we could get this right, the UAE would be the ultimate proving ground to test our strategy, combining the harshest climates and highest temperatures, with a rich, agile, and innovative start-up ecosystem. Our strategy, at the core, is to leverage our innovative growing technologies and horticultural best practices to enable local-for-local production of affordable, sustainably grown, fresh produce, anywhere, and all year-round. We proudly play a part in the wider regional efforts to create a more sustainable future by revolutionizing farming and food production, harnessing technology to achieve water conservation, offsetting carbon emissions, economic diversification, and broader sustainability needs. By perfecting the solution and testing it in the UAE, we can bring it to market and tackle locations with more modest environments and requirements. We started with tomatoes in 2018 and now grow capsicums, melons, raspberries, blackberries, and have diversified into more than 26 varieties of tomatoes, over 14 kinds of greens, and nine varieties of strawberries; all in the harshest climate.
CEO, Emirates Food Industries
Our vision is to enhance food security in the UAE. It is a must to have full control over the supply chain and the full integration of the processing of food across all aspects of manufacturing. We started off as an animal feed manufacturing company, becoming the largest producers in the UAE, with approximately 700,000 metric ton annual capacity supplied to all farms in the UAE, from small and medium to large farms. These are split between ruminants and poultry and dairy farms. The next evolution of our strategy concerns integrating further upstream production capability. We have established one of the largest dairy farms in Al Ain where we produce annually close to 35 million liters of raw milk using our own animal feed. The next step would be to utilize that raw milk in downstream activity, which is why we created the Hayatna brand. Direct access is important for the sustainability of food security in the UAE, and we have technology is coming our way that will not only help us produce locally but also develop a national strategy to progress toward the desired level of independence. Our plans for the immediate future are for geographic expansion and R&D in other food segments.
CEO & Board Member, Elite Agro Holding (EAG)
EAG provides healthy and quality food from our farms to all the countries we currently operate in, including the UAE, Serbia, Morocco, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Egypt, and Liberia. There are also six other countries in the project phase, including Sierra Leone, Tunisia, Malaysia, Uganda, and Angola, and 12 other countries in the preliminary assessment phase. Our principle focus now is to be more sustainable in our production by balancing cost, yield, food safety, and quality. One of the queries we usually receive is on organic products; however, commercially, the quantity produced by same size of organic and conventional lands varies considerably, which may not make commercial farming sustainable in terms of volume and cost. To overcome this, we aim to produce conventional produce with high level of practically implemented food safety and quality management system that eliminates the food safety concern with conventional farming practices. This includes, but is not limited to, non-chemical or biological pest management, use of biological means of pollination, controlled atmospheres, use of resistance and adaptive crop varieties that are chosen based on in-house trials, and so on. Our farms and post-harvest centers are certified with recognized standards including Global GAP, BRC, ISO 22000, HACCP, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001, and sustainable agriculture standards.