Topics for debate include setting realistic shelf-lives for perishable products, which is a concern for people living in the hot Middle East climate, internal auditing and risk-based food safety management.
Speakers include Anton Alldrick, special projects manager, science division, Chris Knight, head of agriculture and Dr Roy Betts, head of microbiology, all Campden BRI.
Jeremy Davies, director, Corporate Services, Campden BRI, told FoodProductionDaily, the research and development organisation is doing more work in the Middle East and similar 'parallel' sessions at other events elsewhere like Lab Innovations.
"Global supply chains require harmonisation of supply chain systems, including safety assurance systems such as HACCP, risk management, traceability and laboratory systems,” he said.
“Given the climate and geography, many countries in the MENA region are looking to address the most significant issues around food security.
“With our history of providing practical scientific and technical support to companies at all parts of the supply chain, we are ideally placed to help clients in the region evaluate, adopt, implement and monitor such systems.”
Davies added Campden BRI has over 2,400 member companies in 75 countries and is active worldwide.
'On the road'
“The conference in Dubai provides an opportunity for us to take our expertise ‘on the road’ and is an important part of our business development activities. It enables us to reach a wider audience. Earlier in the year we were at IFT in North America, for example, for the same reason,” he said.
“Through collaborative working with the local experts we can assist in the region’s continued development through appropriate training and the sharing of knowledge to develop better insight into the kinds of issues that might arise from the supply chain and to strive to pre-empt these.
“Likewise, the sharing of best practice with enforcement bodies enables greater insight into how to manage the different risks that different supply chains and product types might pose."
According to Davies, the model whereby the company runs seminars in parallel with exhibitions works well because it adds content for those attending the conference/exhibition and reaches a wider audience.
The organisation recently visited Kuwait where its science director, Martin Hall, was involved in shaping the 8th strategic plan to ensure Kuwait is able to deliver on its food and nutrition commitments in light of future challenges, including an increasing population, diet related health, and food security.
The review of the national food and nutrition strategy for the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) will improve the health of the Kuwait population through healthy eating, lifestyle and safe food.
Last year, Davies took part in a UKTI trade mission to Qatar – as part of a scoping exercise for the Qatari National Food Security Programme.
Qatar does not have a major production infrastructure and has limited water resources. The mission was to evaluate what expertise and practical assistance the UK in general could offer Qatar.
It has also been chosen by the Qatar Supreme Council of Health to oversee a training programme which contributes to the country´s food safety.
Campden BRI will design and manage a programme to train more than 250 of Qatar´s food inspectors via a series of intensive workshops. The "Risk-Based Food Safety Inspections Skills" workshops, which include both theoretical and practical elements, are running over 18 weeks throughout this year and are being delivered in Arabic.
"The courses emphasise the need to take a risk-based approach to food safety, from farm to table. Through the courses, the inspectors will be reminded of the significant safety hazards that can be associated with food, how these are prevented and what evidence the inspector should look for to ensure that food businesses are correctly managed,” said Dr Anton Alldrick, special projects manager, Campden BRI.
“This will include ensuring the food businesses have an appropriate understanding of international standards of food hygiene practice and food safety management systems."
The training courses on standards in food safety are in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, where the country wants to be an advanced society capable of sustaining its development and providing a high standard of living for its people.