The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) made the call for the implementation of stricter food safety and quality practices in the global juice manufacturing industry during the World Juice 2009 Conference, which ran recently at the Le Meridien in Nice, France. The move to improve safety regulations in juice preparation seeks to address a recent study made by Eurofins, the world’s leading food and feed testing group, stating that the current economic downturn has pressured some juice manufacturers to cut costs and source cheaper raw materials, affecting product quality and increasing the risk of having harmful contaminants in juice products.
Speaking on the need for more benchmark standards in food safety and quality practices, Monther Al Harthi, CEO, Al Rabie Saudi Foods Co. Ltd., said, “Consumers today have become more health conscious and are very careful about the food and drink products they consume. The increased demand for more health and wellness products, juices in particular, has created the opportunity for more companies to establish themselves in the juice manufacturing sector. To help complement this growth, the need for stronger and stricter safety and quality guidelines must be adopted to ensure that customers always get products of very high quality.”
Al Harthi, who is also the Chairman of the Arab Beverage Association (ABA) and a member of the board of directors of the Saudi Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), represented Saudi Arabia during the conference and was one of the key speakers during the four-day event.
“At Al Rabie, quality and health have been given prime importance every since our inception, which is also reflected in our motto of ‘good health for all.’ The practice of maintaining the highest of standards in the preparation of our products has helped make us the leading producer of dairy products and juices in Saudi Arabia and the largest juice manufacturer in the Middle East,” Al Harthi added.
World Juice 2009 is organised by FOODNEWS, a leading market briefing and research company for the international food trade and the International Federation of Fruit Juice Producers (IFU). Now in its 14th year, the annual conference brings together the world’s leading juice manufacturers, bottlers, processors and traders to discuss key issues in the international juice industry and allow its participants to network with decision makers from across the supply chain. One of the event’s main highlights was the awarding ceremonies for the World Juice Innovation Awards, which seeks to honour companies and individuals who have provided exemplary contributions in the juice industry.
World Juice 2009’s program of activities included special technical seminars, lectures and an exhibition of juice products coming from all over the world. The event also featured plenary sessions, panel/roundtable discussion groups and focused breakout sessions.
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