Ninth Arab Beverages Conference begins under the theme ‘Challenging the Future!’
The ninth edition of the Arab Beverages Conference (ABCE 2019) began today (October 27, 2019), under the theme ‘Challenging the Future!’ as senior industry experts from around the region meet to explore ways to move the sector forward in the years ahead. The Arab non-alcoholic beverage industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the Middle East region and has witnessed rapid development in the past three decades to become extremely competitive with its counterpart industries in different parts of the world. The two-day event, taking place at The Grand Millennium Hotel, Barsha Heights, will serve as the perfect platform for guest speakers to discuss relevant topics and attendees to explore avenues for cooperation that will enhance the sector.
According to a recent study conducted by Tetra Pak, a multinational food packaging and processing sub-company of Tetra Laval, the GCC consumed 3,733 million litres of dairy, 2,646 million litres of juice, nectars and still drinks, 6,909 million litres of coffee and tea, 11,310 million litres of water and 2,981 million litres of carbonated soft drinks in 2018 for a total of 27,857 million litres. The Levant region excluding Iraq consumed 595 million litres of dairy during the same period, as well as 393 million litres of juice, nectars and still drinks, 1,928 litres of coffee and tea, 1,633 million litres of water and 841 million litres of carbonated soft drinks for a total of 5,461.
Meanwhile, North Africa consumed 7,027 million litres of dairy, 2,641 million litres of juice, nectars and still drinks, 28,257 million litres of coffee and tea, 608 million litres of water and 508 million litres of carbonated soft drinks in 2018 for a total of 27,857 million litres. When combined, the three areas consumed a total of 11,355 million litres of dairy, 5,680 million litres of juice, nectars and still drinks, 37,094 million litres of coffee and tea, 13,551 million litres of water and 4,330 million litres of carbonated soft drinks in 2018 for a total of 73,156 million litres.
Monther Al Harthi, Chairman, Arab Beverages Association (ABA), said: “ABCE will once again serve as an innovative platform for research and development as we aim to elevate the sector to newfound heights in the months and years ahead. A two per cent growth was recorded for 2018/19 and we expect this figure to continue to increase every year as more and more business and investment opportunities present themselves throughout the Arab region. We look forward to the outcomes of the many fruitful discussions that will take place over the next two days that will ultimately reflect the tremendous growth opportunities throughout the Arab Beverages industry.”
A cooperation agreement between Arab Beverages Association (ABA) and Sure-Global-Fair (SFG), represented by Al Harthi and Alexandra Heinermann respectively, was signed between today’s opening two sessions to finalize the proposed long-term partnership in the area of safety and quality assurance, as well as in protection of the positive image of fruit juices and related products. The cooperation supports the fair competition regarding fruit juices, nectars, fruit containing drinks and related raw materials such as fruit juice concentrates, purées, purées concentrates and other fruit juice products intended for use in the domestic markets of Arab countries.
Al Harthi will get proceedings underway this morning with the opening session, before three separate sessions take place over the duration of day one: “The Beverage Industry: Moving towards an innovative and sustainable future,” “What does the future bring to the industry?” and “Regulations, Health and Wellness.” The Conference will then resume the following morning (October 28) with the fourth session, “The Beverage Industry Experience,” before concluding in the afternoon with “The Circular Economy,” “The Regular Economy” and the annual Conference declaration and closing ceremony respectively.
The event features 21 speakers and professionals from various companies from around the Middle East and Africa, including Monther Al Harthi, Chairman, Arab Beverages Association (ABA); Dr. Omar Obeid, Associate Professor, American University of Beirut (AUB); Mohamad Bilal Akram, Senior Director — Indirect Tax Implementation, Ernst & Young; Niels Osterberg, Managing Director, Orana; Antoine Haddad, Founder & Vice Chairman, Arab Beverages Association (ABA) and Dr. Suzan Bagheel, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs Manager, PepsiCo.
Major sponsors for this year’s event include Tetra Pak (Platinum Sponsor), Al Rabie Saudi Food Company (Gold Sponsor), Orana (Silver Sponsor) and Sadafco (Bronze Sponsor). Other supporting partners include UNESDA, Roland Berger and Ernst & Young (EY).