Over the last decades, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have experienced a rapid growth in different sectors: finance, catering, housing etc. leading to an overall rise of the living standards in the country. As recently mentioned in the article: “The Middle East has a food waste problem. What are organizations doing to stop it?” published by the online journal Fast Company Middle East, one of the major problems linked to this massive growth is the amount of daily food excess.
Based on a study made by Dubai Carbon 1, the UAE is one of the nations with the highest rate of food waste per capita in the world. They estimate that roughly 38% of daily food production ends up in a field, data that jumps up to 60% during Ramadan. This excess is due not only to the bad management of the final product, but it is generated all along the production chain. Starting from transportation, either by air, land or sea. Followed by the virgin materials used for the packaging, not always recyclable. Finally, the rotten food produces a gas called methane, which is 25 times more damaging than CO2.
Moreover, some cultural factors play an important role in the development of this situation. For example, the well spreaded practice of over-ordering and over-producing food during social gatherings, either for generosity or to show off, especially in the hospitality and catering industry. In addition, some consumer behaviors like buying more than necessary and discarding edible food add another layer to the problem. All these excesses are putting a serious strain on the environment.
Recognizing the need for change, the UAE government and several other organizations are launching initiatives to fight over the problem of excess of the food industry. As mentioned in the Fast Company Middle East article, businesses such as the restaurant BOCA or the platforms HeroGo and Goumbook are working towards a greener future for the UAE.
Along with these companies a new app will soon be launched: WIN Sustainably. Thanks to the vision of a young couple of entrepreneurs Kaoutar Makrache and Fahmi Al Mughairy, this application focuses on how to reduce the waste linked to unsold food in Dubai and the other Emirates. Developed on a Win-Win business model the platform will allow food related businesses to sell their excess and unsolв food for a discounted price directly to the final consumer. On their side, the customers will have the possibility to choose from a variety of food options in a range of 50 km from their location. They will have the possibility either to pick up the food themselves or have it delivered at their place while partnering with a sustainable food e-commerce company. If you are interested in this project, and you want to be one of the first to join WIN Sustainably you can pre-save the app.
Food wastage is a complex issue that requires a comprehensive approach. The UAE government and its businesses are working together to address this challenge. By embracing sustainable practices, at home and at work, implementing effective regulations.
Dubai Carbon, Our food is damaging the environment https://dcce.ae/press_releases/our-food-is-damaging-the-environment/ and promoting responsible consumption the UAE is creating a more sustainable and enjoyable environment. The road to and beyond COP28! several organizations have launched initiatives to combat food wastage.