The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry, SCCI, recently stated that companies operating in the food trade and industry, retail outlets and cooperative societies in Sharjah provide strategic food stockpile in large and sufficient quantities to meet the needs of consumers, according to a field report by the SCCI’s Foodstuff Trade and Industry Sector Business Group.
The SCCI pointed out that all companies operating in the major food sector in the Emirate of Sharjah confirmed the availability of a large supply of perishable or semi- perishable vegetables and fruits, and that there is stability in the supply operations, especially with the diversity of international markets from which they are imported.
This comes as part of the SCCI’s keenness to enhance emirate’s food security system and to follow up on the work of the business community and private sector, especially in light of the global development of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) repercussions.
His Excellency Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, Chairman, SCCI, thanked the wise leadership that placed security of the food supply chain as a top priority since the emergence of COVID-19, something that helped stabilize the local production, strategic stockpile, or even imported food. In that way, the leadership sends a clear message of assurance to everyone lives on the land of the UAE that the provision of food and its security is a sustainable matter.
He pointed out that the directives of the wise leadership, as per the National Food Security Strategy, have allowed the UAE to make great achievements in this file which has an ongoing follow-up.
Al Owais added: “Through our constant follow-up with all members and affiliates from companies operating in the food sector, it was found that the strategic stockpile of goods and basic materials is sufficient for long periods, in addition to the strong daily activity in importing from international markets to raise the rates of this stock significantly. The strategy of the Emirate of Sharjah and the infrastructure for food security and its logistical mechanisms led to the emirate's full readiness in facing challenges at the current stage and its complete preparedness to deal with it.”
“Over the last years, Sharjah has made great strides in enhancing its food security as a continuous and sustainable project, thanks to the availability of the state-of-the-art infrastructure and the keenness to engage the private sector in enhancing food security and storage, as well as building strategic relations with many countries to protect the future food supply chain,” he concluded.
Majid Salem Al Junaid, CEO of Sharjah Cooperative Society commended the important role of the SCCI as a representative of the business community and the private sector before the public authorities for the benefit of the public, underlining that he strategic stock of food and consumer goods in the Sharjah Cooperative is sufficient for a long time and there is no shortage of products.
He added: “We held several meetings with the suppliers and the countries from which we import our products directly to continue supplying goods and meeting the needs of our consumers.”
Al Junaid urged the community members not to listen to rumors or gossips being triggered via phones or social media platforms, including that the rumor that food products may run out of markets because the Cooperative Society and other retail outlets in the country, in cooperation with the competent authorities, has worked over the past years to enhance a national food stock to deal with any crisis that may arise.
Younis Al Mulla, Senior Vice President Business Development, Majid Al Futtaim Retail, said that the supply chain of Carrefour stores is well equipped to ensure the provision of basic products to all members of society, noting that Carrefour UAE, amid COVID-19 and its negative impact on import and export operations, is carrying out plans and strategies tailored to ensure that food stocks remain sufficient to meet market needs and maintain price stability.
He underlined that both Carrefour's traditional stores and its online marketplace will remain open and fully equipped and has sufficient stock to ensure that customers get everything they need.
Mohammed Sorour, Marketing Manager of Mega Mall Sharjah, underscored that the center has adopted all the preventive measures to contain COVID-19 pandemic. This includes sterilizing shopping carts and providing gloves at the entrances to ensure that that consumer goods are not contaminated, stressing the availability of various types of goods and products in the center.
He called on the public to shop responsibly and to buy their needs only, especially that there is enough stock for everyone, pointing out that the center is committed to maintaining prices at their levels during this period, as well as providing customers with the best products and supplies, despite the current challenges.
Dr. Ahmed Al-Tijani, a specialist in the foodstuff industry, praised the government efforts to determine the needs of the food sector in the country, noting that the UAE, thanks to the directives of its wise leadership, harnesses all energies and provides all the capabilities to deal with all conditions, adding that, despite the challenges posed by the Corona pandemic, it brings many opportunities for the food sector in UAE, where the country’s food system has proven to be highly prepared, and it has succeeded, thanks to the efforts and cooperation of all relevant authorities, to secure and provide food supplies in all of the country’s markets, something that reflects the UAE’s successful strategy in enhancing its strategic food stocks over the past years.