Experts convene at Expo 2020 to discuss how to sustainably meet future food demand

New Zealand partners with Dubai Chamber of Commerce to deliver Thematic Business Forum during Expo 2020 Dubai’s Food, Agriculture and Livelihoods Week


Government leaders and changemakers will convene at the Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC) at Expo 2020 Dubai on 21 February for the Food, Agriculture and Livelihoods Business Forum.


A key event during Food, Agriculture and Livelihoods Week (one of 10 Theme Weeks anchoring the Programme for People and Planet at Expo 2020 Dubai), the forum is a co-curation between Expo 2020 Dubai, New Zealand and Dubai Chamber of Commerce – aimed at galvanising action among policy makers, businesses and the scientific community on the transition to sustainable food systems to meet future demand.


New Zealand’s participation is being led by New Zealand G2G, a joint venture between New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) in collaboration with other participating nations including the UAE, Australia, Bahamas, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Estonia, Ghana, Hungary, India, Morocco, Peru, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, The Netherlands, Trinidad & Tobago, Ukraine, USA, Vietnam, and Zambia. The Forum will address the urgent need to transform the world’s food and agricultural systems to feed 10 billion people by 2050, within environmental limits.


A keynote address will be given by Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, who will also provide insight into the climate priorities identified by the newly formed Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate).


New Zealand was selected by Expo 2020 Dubai and Dubai Chamber of Commerce to co-curate the Business Forum because of its leadership in sustainable food systems, smart applied science and a proven track record of producing high value products. New Zealand is recognised globally as one of the most progressive agricultural and aqua-cultural nations – its food sector feeds around 40 million global consumers each year, eight times its population. A delegation of some of New Zealand’s top experts in sustainable food systems will lead discussions during the forum and showcase examples of joint research initiatives that are supporting a more reliable supply of nutritious food to the global population.


Joining the forum virtually will be Hon. Damien O’Connor, Minister of Agriculture and Minister for Trade and Export Growth, New Zealand Government, who will discuss the transition to positive food systems and how natural resources can be utilised sustainably.


Remarking on the importance of the Forum, Hon. Minister O’Connorsaid: “Around the world land and water ecosystems are stressed to a critical point, yet millions of people have no food to eat. Existing paradigms of food production and distribution are characterised by distorting incentives, unnecessary waste and poor infrastructure. This is driving inefficient and inequitable outcomes. With the world’s population expected to reach close to 10 billion by 2050, we must act now to create sustainable, healthy and nutritious food systems that benefit people, place and planet.


“New Zealand is honoured to be working alongside the UAE and other participating nations at Expo 2020 Dubai to create positive dialogue and foster collaboration on this most pressing issue. New Zealand’s solutions are born out of our shared values. We take a deep responsibility as guardians of the natural environment to leave it in a better place for future generations – it drives our agricultural innovation. We look forward to sharing our lessons with forum participants as we take action together for a more sustainable future.”


His Excellency Hamad Buamim, President & CEO Dubai Chambers commented: “The National Strategy for Food Security aims to make the UAE the world’s most food-secure country by 2051 and achieve zero hunger by ensuring access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round throughout the world. To succeed we must foster cross-border cooperation and share our collective knowledge to build resilient, sustainable and inclusive food systems. We must also recognise the role of trade in promoting food security and develop agri-food trade policies that drive sustainable growth and enhance economic competitives.”


H.E. Buamim added that the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, as the Official Business Integration Partner is working closely with private and public sector stakeholders to address global issues through the Thematic Business Forum series, which is driving cross-border collaboration and promoting knowledge sharing at the mega event.


The Business Forum will feature a series of panel discussions, Tedx Talks and Fireside Chats by government officials and leaders from the business and scientific community. Among the line-up of confirmed speakers are H.E. Dr. Shaikha Al Dhaheri - Secretary General, Environment Agency (UAE); Sanjay Sacheti - Co-Chair FICCI National Agriculture Committee, Country Head & Executive Director Olam Agro (India); H.E. Fernando Mattos, Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries (Uruguay), Celso Luiz Moretti - President of Embrapa (Brazil); H.E. Natasa Pilides – Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry (Cyprus) and Dr. Rhoda Mukuka - National Coordinator, Nutrition, FAO (Zambia).


Topics speakers will cover include: the importance of public-private collaborations in the global agricultural ecosystem, effective use of resources for farmers, modern food safety systems, livestock productivity, and the role of technology in solving challenges to global food systems.


The Food, Agriculture, and Livelihoods Business Forum Agenda:

· Positive Food Systems: How Future Demands Will Be Met Sustainably

· The Future of Food and Agriculture – Feeding 10 Billion People

· 360 Support: Financing the Agro Food World

· Collaborative Growth: Private-public Partnership in the Agri Ecosystem

· Netherlands: A Pioneer in Food Producing Cities

· The UAE’s Commitment to Food Security

· Made With Care – A Modern Food Safety System

· Effective Use of Resources for Farmers

· Tech for Tomorrow – Part 1

· Promoting Greater Productivity of Local Livestock

· Spotlight on the Role of Smallholder Farming Across Agricultural Value Chains

· Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate)

· Tech For Tomorrow – Part 2


for the full forum agenda click here


The Thematic Business Forum during Food, Agriculture and Livelihoods Week aligns with the Indigenous values and principles showcased in New Zealand’s Expo 2020 Pavilion experience. Its Expo theme, Care for People and Place, is inspired by the Māori environmental ethos of kaitiakitanga, and the understanding that humans and nature are inextricably connected. It is a deep belief that humans have a responsibility to care for and protect the land, sky and water and that nature will, in turn, provide and care for humans to sustain and safeguard a future for all.


New Zealand’s leadership in sustainable food systems and agritech innovations will be shared throughout Food, Agriculture and Livelihoods Week at Expo 2020 Dubai with a number of the country’s foremost scientific experts presenting at World Majlis events across the Expo site.

Several other New Zealand Agritech companies will also present during the Business Forum and attend the Future Food Summit taking place from 23 to 24 February at DEC, Expo 2020 Dubai. Click here for a full overview of New Zealand’s activities during the thematic Week.