Dubai is introducing a new green channel for food imports to make it faster and easier for eatables to reach markets. The new channel will also potentially make groceries cheaper in the city.
The announcement came at the Dubai International Food Safety Conference (DIFSC) by Dubai Municipality (DM), which explores future directions in food safety and security.
The Green Channel initiative will use innovative technology and data analytics to reduce the time needed to inspect and release food when they are imported into the city, without compromising its safety. According to experts, this will drive down overall operational costs, make food items cheaper and give fresher produce to customers.
In addition to this, inspectors can use artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to remotely inspect food, thereby increasing the speed and efficiency of inspection.
The green channel will make it easier for those adhering to food safety rules to get their imports into the market.
“It is a channel we have established between us and companies that import food to bring eatables into the country easily and quickly,” said Dawood Abdul Rahman Al-Hajiri, Director General of DM.
According to him, companies that adhere to strict guidelines and import from low-risk countries will be able to get their products into the market easily. This will increase the motivation among food importers to maintain food safety.
“It will all be data driven,” said Sultan Al Taher, Director of Food Safety Department at Dubai Municipality. “Using our technology, we will be able to crunch the numbers on the history of compliance and the quality of their imports. If we have done enough testing on their previous products and they have been safe, we will allow it to go into the market faster.”
The DIFSC was opened by Minister of Climate Change and Environment Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri. In her opening remarks, she stressed the importance of diversifying the sources of import. “The Covid crisis has left a negative impact on the flexibility of the food supply chain,” she said. “We need to diversify our imports.”
Returning for the 16th edition this year, the DIFSC has been at the forefront of making sure food in Dubai remains safe and secure for its consumers. In his address, Dawood Al-Hajiri said the conference will bring together experts from all over the world. “We have implemented several innovative projects to produce a conducive environment for food safety and security,” he said.
“The opportunities and solutions for all our problems are out there. We just need to look for them, discuss them and implement them collectively.”
Source: Khaleej Times
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