By Sarah Gain
The Middle East ranks as France's ninth largest international client for agribusiness product exports according to Sopexa.
French food exports to the UAE represented US $236 million in 2006, with the main exports being wine and spirits ($51 million), biscuits and sweets ($44 million), dairy products ($26 million) and poultry products ($19 million), according to the French Food Marketing Board, Sopexa.
The Middle East ranks as France's ninth largest international client for agribusiness product exports, Sopexa added, with $1 billion-worth of exports, out of which $657 million-worth goes to the GCC, primarily to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Due to the many important development opportunities in the region for French food products, the country's pavilion is twice as large this year as it was in 2007. Fifty-five exhibitors are present on the 600m² stand. In addition, French poultry brands Tilly-Sabco and Doux are sponsoring the Dubai International Food Safety Conference while the Emirates Salon Culinaire is supported by Dairy Products from France.
The large number of participants on the French Pavilion illustrates the diversity of French food products, according to managing director for Sopexa Eric Santier.
Cheese, butter, cream, syrup, seafood, chocolate, coffee, pastry, bakery, poultry, pasta, delicatessen products, foie gras, mushrooms, truffles, mustard, oil, honey, biscuits, beverages and jam are just some of the highlights that Santier believes will bring visitors to the stand.
"The French Pavilion builds on the diversity of France's high quality food products, from French cheese, to olives, truffles, beverages, jams and much more. In parallel, the active participation of French Poultry in the Dubai International Food Safety Conference and the Dairy Products from France in the Emirates Salon Culinaire proves the commitment of the French Agro-industry to not only contribute in current food safety issues but also to comply with the world-renowned standards of hospitality and cuisine that are being offered in the Middle East, and to support the culinary minds of the region," said Santier.
"Gulfood is a hugely influential business development platform and provides the best access for France to the Middle East food market."