The IFFCO Group, one of the UAE’s largest producers of food products, has opened the first 100% plant-based meat factory in the region, in Dubai.
Located in the Dubai Industrial City, the THRYVE™ factory will catalyse the move towards a more sustainable and healthy food chain in the Middle East, actively supporting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the UAE's Vision 2051 initiative to bolster food security through diversity and innovation. The factory will provide nourishing, sustainable and healthy local plant-based meat products inspired by the unique flavours of Middle Eastern cuisine.
Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “The new 100% plant-based meat factory supports the UAE’s Food Security Strategy and our mandate to mitigate the impact of climate change. The opening of this innovative new facility also supports our efforts to protect the country’s ecosystems and enhance its food and water security and diversify our food sources. By fostering such robust research and development focused on producing innovative food products, we seek to raise the UAE’s ability to move up the global food industry value chain and achieve first place on the Global Food Security Index by 2051. The new factory represents a significant contribution to sustainability in the food supply chain.”
Hadi Badri, CEO of the Dubai Economic Development Corporation at Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism said: "The opening of this factory, which will pave the way for a dynamic new industry that will boost trade across the region, is a reflection of the UAE’s commitment to pioneer the use of innovative technologies to provide sustainable solutions to real world problems. It contributes to Dubai's economic diversification journey in line with the goal of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 to consolidate the emirate’s status as one of the top three global cities. The new facility is a testament to the pivotal role being played by Dubai in promoting the growth and evolution of environmentally sound practices that can alleviate the effects of climate change. By providing opportunities for private companies to invest in sustainable technologies, Dubai is accelerating the creation of a robust and resilient green economy.
“Such initiatives also reflect Dubai’s success in creating a fertile environment for new businesses and investors to thrive, and generating new job opportunities. Dubai and the UAE will continue to work with stakeholders and partners to remain at the forefront of innovation and economic sustainability, inspired by the ambition of our visionary leadership to create a better future for all."
Saud Abu Alshawareb, Executive Vice President, Industrial Leasing, Dubai Industrial City, said: “DIC is an ideal location for initiatives like the IFFCO Group’s plant-based meat factory that underscore the importance of food security. The Dubai Industrial City is home to a growing number of Dubai-based food manufacturers who are leading the way in introducing innovative food products. This new enterprise adds value to the industry while strengthening our reputation as facilitators of a self-reliant food programme.”
The THRYVE™ plant-based venture, developed using cutting-edge food technology, contributes to at least three UN's SDG's: good health and well-being, responsible consumption and production, and climate action.
Shiraz Allana, IFFCO Supervisory Board Member, said: "IFFCO has been an innovator in its various fields of operations since its inception, and we are ideally placed to drive a paradigm shift in consumers' habits that reflect their ever-changing demands for healthy and nutritious ways of broadening their dietary options, especially in the aftermath of the COVID pandemic, which has led many people and government entities to explore innovative ways to localise value and supply chains."
Allana added: "It is the ideal time to launch this facility as sustainability is at the forefront of everyone's mind. With 2023 being announced as the UAE Year of Sustainability, we are following the guidance of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to advance innovative solutions to shape a sustainable future. Later this year, the UAE will be hosting COP28, reinforcing its position in the field of sustainability and its growing role in finding solutions for mitigating the climate crisis. IFFCO is also supporting the UAE's Vision 2051 for food security by seeding a movement of change towards healthier, more sustainable eating in the Middle East and sparking a local, regenerative, greener food value chain. Alone, we make a difference, but together, we create change."
The only 100% plant-based meat factory in the Middle East, IFFCO's THRYVE™ will leverage advanced food technologies to produce tasty, healthy, sustainable and culturally relevant food that meets the needs of the local consumer. In addition, IFFCO is working closely with the government to create regulatory standards for plant-based food products.
The global plant-based meat market was estimated to be worth US$7.9 billion in 2022, and is forecast to reach $15.7 billion by 2027, according to a report from ResearchAndMarkets.com. The newly opened THRYVE™ factory will cater to 30% of the GCC population, stimulating the development of the market for local plant-based products. As per proprietary research, the GCC has the potential to be a future leader in developing food products for flexitarians, people whose diet is primarily vegetarian.
THRYVE™ is an innovative plant-based food hub where re-discovered ancient agricultural wisdom meets new food research and technology. THRYVE™ products combine the ‘hero ingredient’ fava bean’s macro and micronutrients with the flavours of local cuisine.