A group of representatives from ten Brazilian rural companies spent one week in Dubai (UAE) on a mission to expand their business and bring Brazilian food to strategic destinations. The delegation gathers producers of coffee, breakfast cereals, cocoa nibs, chocolate, cassava flour, açaí powder, cassava starch, and other starch products.
In the program, supported by the Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA), the group visited relevant trade fairs such as Gulfood and Expo Dubai 2022. They have also participated in seminars and visited the Free Airport Zone and the Port of Dubai.
The idea was to get to know this market better and exchange experiences with local businesses. However, some of those companies took a step forward and have closed deals. Ivan Klaus, from Amidos Mundo Novo—a company specialized in starch—has sold 200 tons of cassava starch to Lebanon.
The company exports to 24 countries and already has the Halal Certification, a document attesting to products that follow legal requirements and criteria determined by the Islamic jurisprudence and allows exports to the Arab League.
“We go back to Brazil with contacts and connections from all over the world. Gulfood opened us the opportunity to show Brazilian products to all markets in Europe, Canada, the United States, and the Middle East,” Ivan Klaus says. “Now we have Brazilian cassava, from family farming, being put on the table of a strategic country.”
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The week that the CNA delegation spent in Dubai was also important to learn about local habits and traditions. The exchange is significant to generate insights to adapt Brazilian food to the taste of the Arab population.
That is also why Expo Dubai 2022 was included in the program. “What most called our attention was their vision of the future,” said Rodrigo Parisi, from Fruticultura Parisi, a fruit company. “Brazil’s position in this future scenario is clear, and it has a crucial role in guaranteeing food security and providing food for the world.”
Açaí, a typical Brazilian fruit, is also part of this future, according to Martin Chavez, who went to Dubai representing Petruz Açaí. His goal is to increase by 50 tons the amount exported in 2022. Today, the company sends açaí to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and the United States.
“We work with riverside communities to ensure the sustainability of the product and the families working with the fruit. Açaí is present in Dubai’s cafeterias in juices and smoothies, for example, something that wasn’t seen three years ago, and the tendency is to increase,” Martin Chavez says.
The mission to Dubai is part of a wider project to expand the Brazilian export portfolio in agribusiness, increasing the participation of small and medium producers in the trade balance. These farmers can get advice from CNA to improve their business and reach international markets through the Agro.BR program. CNA also has an international office based in Dubai to provide the information they need to find new buyers.