Saudi Press

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Saturday, Sep 23, 2023

First Saudi catering conference begins in Makkah

The first Saudi International Conference on Catering opened in Makkah this week, bringing together experts and businesses to discuss the Kingdom’s burgeoning food industry.
The conference was inaugurated by the Undersecretary for Development Affairs of the Emirate, Eng. Ala'a Alnofaie, under the auspices of the Deputy Governor of Makkah, Prince Badr bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz.

Its session will cover challenges facing the food industry such as providing meals for millions of pilgrims and how to best use new technologies, as well providing opportunities for local and international businesses to network.

Member of the Board of Directors of the Makkah Chamber of Commerce, Nabil Al-Thaqafi, highlighted the importance of the supply chain sector as an engine for all other industrial, commercial and service sectors, including nutrition.

“Thank God our country had taken care of this sector and advanced in rank on the supply chains list according to the reports issued by the World Bank,” Al Thaqafi said.

“We aim to reach the 25th rank in the Logistics Performance Index in compliance with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. Therefore, we achieve food security goals, as the food and beverage market constitutes around SR 153 billion ($41 million), 78 percent of which is imports.”

The first session focused on ready and pre-prepared meals, food safety and food quality, a vital topic in a country where nearly 80 companies prepared 1.2 million meals for pilgrims during the last Hajj season.

Executive Vice President of the Aircraft Catering Sector at Saudi Airlines Catering Co., Dr. Rashed Alarfaj, conducted the dialogue.

Executive Director of the western sector at the Saudi Food and Drug Authority, Fahd bin Ali Al Naseri, presented a talk on how legislation helps maintain food safety.

Executive Vice President of Development at Local Content and Government Procurement Authority, Eng. Sami Alhojilan, spoke about the improvement of economic growth following the support provided to the industry.

Deputy Governor for Regulatory Affairs at the Public Authority for Food Safety, Dr. Mohammed Al-Omari, also tackled the topic of limiting food loss and food waste.

Associate Professor at the Department of Food Sciences and Nutrition at King Saud University, Dr. Ghedeir Alshammari, held a presentation on the safe handling of pre-prepared meals.

Senior Director of Business Development at the Saudi Airlines Catering Co. Mansour Al-Sobhi, with the participation of the menu planning team, presented the Saudi Airlines Workshop.

Another workshop presented by the Professor of Clinical Nutrition at Umm Al-Qura University, Prof. Dr. Firas Sultan Al-Azzeh focused on foods that aid the immune system.

A workshop on nutrition education was presented by the Associate Professor at Umm Al-Qura University, Dr. Al Sayyed Ali Bakr.

The conference runs until Friday at the Makkah Chamber for Exhibitions and Events Center.

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