Gulfood 2021 kicks off with deals for Brazilians

The food industry show in Dubai marks the return of Brazilian enterprises to major in-person events. An import-export company that’s an Arab Brazilian Chamber member struck a deal to ship its first container at the event.

Thais Sousa

São Paulo – Gulfood 2021, the Middle East’s premier food industry show, is marking the return of Brazilian brands to major in-person events. The show began on Sunday (21) and will continue until Thursday (25), featuring 42 Brazilian enterprises across four different pavilions. The Brazilian participation has been organized by the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil). The event takes place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Pictured above is IBG Trade of Brazil at its Arab partner’s booth.

The Brazilian Animal Protein Association (ABPA) is yet to release deals or visitor numbers at its space at the show, but its executives are surprised with the turnout. “Expectations were high regarding the first major international action from our industry since the pandemic began. All of the participating companies are surprised, especially with the high level of the visitors they are getting. Expectations have been surpassed when it comes to prospecting and consolidation of deals, which is particularly important at a time when deals with Arab clients are picking up,” ABPA Markets director Luis Rua said.

The Brazilian animal-based protein companies at the trade show are led by ABPA in partnership with Apex-Brasil. Business meetings are also expected to take place involving brands affiliated with the Brazilian Chicken, Brazilian Egg and Brazilian Breeders international poultry industry promotion projects.

Apex-Brasil chairman Sergio Segovia said that being back at a show in the Middle East – the third biggest importer of Brazilian agricultural products – is crucial for the country. “In 2020 alone, exports from Brazil went up by about USD 9 billion. Besides, sales are poised to resume growing in key countries represented at the show. We have a strong foothold in meats and animal-based protein, as well as sugar, soya and maize. Moreover, we have a good share of the market in livestock, coffee, cotton and some other items,” said Segovia, mentioning markets that began sourcing product from Brazil recently. Industries with a potential to step up sales to Arab countries include juices, dairy, honey, organic and functional foods, processed and packaged items, he said.

ABCC staff was present at the opening day of Gulfood

The Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) Dubai office staff is also at Gulfood, working to foster deals. On the first day of the show, ABCC member company IBG Trade reached a deal that will see it export a shipping container’s worth of product to the UAE. “On the first day of the show we made our first sale of one of the products by Amore, a Brazilian jelly and nutrition bar brand. We sold our first container of nutrition bars, and we are really happy with the results we are getting at this show. We are very hopeful that other deals will come about,” IBG Trade commercial director Cristiane Coelho told ANBA.

The Dubai-based brand has offices in São Paulo and Taubaté, Brazil. “We have been working to break into the [UAE] market for a year now. Right now, we have five unique product brands. Nutrition products are getting excellent acceptance,” said Coelho, who’s based at the company’s Arab headquarters. She’s at the event in a partner’s stand.

ABCC Dubai office head Rafael Solimeo has good expectations regarding the gradual return of in-person activities at events. “We have visited Arab and Brazilian members who have joined the show. Throughout the week we will have meetings at our offices. We are really excited. Despite the restrictions in place around the world, we can adapt and support our members,” he told ANBA.


In a bid to envision the opportunities offered by the show, Apex-Brasil conducted studies that have shown that, all subsectors considered, Gulfood can lead to USD 10.8 billion in imports to countries in the region, and to USD 4.2 billion in exports from Brazil. The subsectors covered in the study amount to a 38.9% share for Brazil. In order to leverage this privileged position and create even more opportunities for Brazilian enterprises, Apex-Brasil has had an office in Dubai since 2009.

Also attending the show were Brazil’s ambassador to Abu Dhabi, Fernando Igreja, and the secretary for Innovation at the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, Fernando Camargo. “Gulfood is a great opportunity to open up new vistas for Brazilian agribusiness,” a press release quoted Camargo as saying.

Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum


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