Here's To New Beginings
By Yazen Al Kodmani, Operations Manager at Emirates Bio Farm.
It goes without saying that 2020 has been a tough year for all, and we have been forced to change the way we do things in ways we never imagined. One thing that was hard to ignore was the disruption to our food systems; the pandemic highlighted just how vulnerable our food systems actually are.
Emirates Bio Farm fields in Al Shuwaib, Photo by Getty Images
Throughout the years our mission at Emirates Bio Farm has been to develop and protect the local food system. We work to produce high quality, great-tasting organic produce for the UAE that contributes to the food security of the country. Our reason to be is our commitment to educating the community about sustainable food systems- we do this through our visitor center, which unfortunately we had to shut down temporarily in March due to the pandemic.
As a country we were forced to look at things differently with global supply chains getting disrupted. Food security became a household concern. Technology came in as one solution which is promising but clear limitations do exist when it comes to agtech indoor farming methods. Therefore we need an integrated method of agriculture to be able to be resilient and protect the environment around us.
Emirates bio farm is working towards this solution but without the community support it will be a challenge to go on...
Here are some updates we have done this year to contribute to this solution:
- Increased variety: offering you a plethora of locally produced organic options by pushing the boundaries of what can be produced sustainably in the desert. We have also added all kinds of organic items to our website to fulfill all your grocery needs so you can shop in one place.
- Reduced packaging: we have worked to completely remove the use of plastic in our home delivery boxes. We have actually reduced packaging where ever possible in our supply chain to ensure you are receiving the most sustainable shopping experience possible.
- Created a community platform: through the launch of the Organic Festival in February this year which was set up to educate on the organic industry as a whole and to show what can be achieved through the use of sustainable food systems.
Now more than ever we call on you, the UAE community, to be more conscious of the way you consume food. From how you shop to how you cook, as eating is the final act of agriculture and we need to make this our collective mission if we want to live in a healthy world.
A few ways you can help us build a resilient food system:
- Be a conscious shopper: Many false marketing claims are out there on food packaging and advertising. When selecting your products, read the labels, question the sources and ensure any product claiming to be organic is certified by a third party (for example ESMA, USDA or EU certifications).
- Don’t waste: Food waste is a huge issue that we can all address very easily by buying only what we need and challenging ourselves to make food out the edible parts that are normally discarded. Choose ugly veg in the supermarket and make something delicious out of it!
- Support local farmers: Not only are you getting the freshest possible produce by choosing local, but you are also reducing your carbon footprint by not choosing a product that has been shipped from a farm across the world by boat or plane to get to you.
- Choose Organic: For the health benefits but more importantly for the environmental benefits. The agriculture industry has been proven to be one of the biggest contributors to climate change. That’s why it’s important to support regenerative methods of agriculture that promote soil health and biodiversity- this is done through organic farming practices. The more consumers demand organic products the more support this method of farming will receive and in turn will help the planet!
I’d like to end this message with our promise to you which is to continue to produce great tasting, clean food that is certified organic that you and your families can trust. We promise to continue to protect the environment and work within it and not despite it. We promise to be true to our claims and embed these values into every step of our business.
We hope you can continue to support us so we can continue to do the work that we love doing!
Here’s to new beginnings for a more conscious and sustainable 2021.