At this week's Sial Middle East exhibition in Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Farmers’ Services Centre (ADFSC) officially launched its Local Harvest brand to promote "fresh and safe" local produce from farms located in the emirate.
ADFSC is the leading supplier of local produce in the UAE, with expectations of close to 40,000 tonnes between November and June, but, according to the Centre, only the best produce will be packed under the Local Harvest brand.
“We have been working hard to get into this position to launch this exciting brand at the number one industry event, Sial,” said ADFSC chairman Rashid Al Shariqi. “The possible marketing channels and growth potential that an event like Sial encourages should provide good initial recognition for the brand, and this will greatly benefit the emirate’s farmers.”
The brand's launch has been timed to coincide with the start of the winter vegetable season in order to reach as many people as possible.
“Unfortunately, many people, especially expatriates, don’t even realise there are farmers in Abu Dhabi,” said Al Shariqi. “However, Abu Dhabi’s farmers are nothing if not dynamic and resourceful, and Local Harvest was created to proudly showcase this.”
What is crucial, according to ADFSC CEO Chris Hirst, is that the quality of the local produce matches or betters that of imported items, as "shoppers aren't going to buy them just because they're local".
The farmers supplying Local Harvest produce follow production practices consistent with safe and sustainable agriculture, according to ADFSC, while each product can also be traced back to the specific farm it came from.
Hirst added that the focus was on the long-term development of the farmers. "When a farmer is able to learn new techniques and improve his farming infrastructure he will continue to produce world class products for years,” he said.
The brand's produce is set to be widely available at Spinneys, Carrefour and ADFSC Souq Supermarkets in Abu Dhabi, and in Spinneys, Carrefour, Géant and LuLu in Dubai, the Centre stated.