Committed agents of change, from the kitchen to the classroom and the preservation of the coast, rewarded at the first Gulfood Zero Waste awards


Forward-looking changemakers have been recognized for their drive and determination to tackle a growing challenge in the food industry at the inaugural Gulfood Zero Waste Awards, launched at Gulfood 2022, on the 27thand edition and “first sustainable edition” of the largest annual F&B sourcing event in the world, at the Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC).

Zero waste heroes, including global hospitality leaders, local schools and grassroots change movements, were crowned as part of Gulfood’s drive to turn the agenda into action. According to the latest data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN FAO), a third of the world’s food produced for human consumption is wasted each year, or about 1.3 billion tonnes per year. .

UAE-based EroeGo, which is currently making waves promoting the beauty of ‘ugly’ fruits and vegetables, impressed judges in the ‘Zero Waste Changemakers’ category, for its fast and effective methods of recovering fruit and malformed vegetables discarded by producers. and deliver them to customers at a reduced price.

“Gulfood is a massive show. Seeing so many people come together under one umbrella to talk about sustainable food and how we can do better to ensure that society practices zero waste is so impressive. I am delighted to receive this award for the team. Being able to scavenge food is huge because it’s a social issue,” said Daniel Solomon, Founder of EroeGo. “Sustainability is not just a trend; it’s part of who we are and part of our daily conversations as individuals. Living healthier and being aware of what we put into our bodies is crucial. This is just the beginning; education is needed to ensure the practice of sustainability.

The forward-thinking Arbor School in Dubai won the ‘Community Collaboration’ award for its dedication to promoting a sustainable way of life in society. Throughout the year, the school offers a variety of highly engaging community programs for its children and parents, with an emphasis on education and instilling a sense of responsibility towards the environment and food sustainability. Masterclasses include everything from pickling, preserving, and fermenting to vegan cooking, recycling, and seed-starting classes.

Multinational hotel leader Hilton, which has a portfolio of more than 6,100 properties worldwide, received the ‘Growing Movement’ award for its recently announced ‘Travel with Purpose 2030’ goals, which aim to reduce by 50% waste generation in managed operations, and food waste sent to landfill by 50%.

Ahmad Kasdi, Executive Chef of Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa, said, “’Travel with Purpose’ ensures that when staying at our hotels, you will use sustainable and zero-waste products. We also recently signed a partnership with Fresh on Table to exclusively source 19 ingredients from local farms. We are proud that the initiatives we have launched have marked the hospitality industry in the United Arab Emirates.

“This wonderful award is for all the chefs and our team leader. Hilton is a global company that has always supported the zero waste movement, and we continuously work to practice sustainability in our operations.

Meanwhile, the ‘Most Impactful Initiative’ award went to the Dubai Oyster Project, a joint initiative between Emirati entrepreneur Fadi Abu Ghali, The Maine New England Brasserie Co, Arbor School and the Emirates Marine Environmental Group. (EMEG).

The project is rehabilitating reef systems off Dubai using discarded oyster shells from Maine’s three outlets. The shells are donated to the Arbor School where children, their families and school staff transform the shells into a natural reef for the EMEG reserve near Ghantout.

Omar Shihab, CEO of BOCA, was named a Zero Waste Hero for his unwavering commitment to the cause. He has pioneered several projects as the creative mind behind the region’s best sustainable restaurant, including reusing glass bottles and caps in the restaurant, conserving cooking oil to turn it into biodiesel, collaborating with local artists to create unique local artwork with Jameel Arts Centre. , and more.

In keeping with the awards’ overarching goal of fighting litter, the winners each had a ghaf tree planted in their honor in the Jebel Ali desert instead of receiving a trophy.

Gulfood is a precursor to the highly anticipated Food For Future Summit and the Global Agtech Innovation Expo, taking place February 23-24 at the Dubai Exhibition Centre.

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