Canada and the UAE Reach a New Milestone in Agrifood Trade

The UAE imported a record AED 2 billion in canola seeds and wheat from Canada in 2020.  Could it change the cooking oil market in the UAE?

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) – On the margins of Gulfood 2021, Al Ghurair Resources Oils and Proteins (AGROP) and Al Ghurair Foods (AGF) and the Consulate General of Canada in Dubai celebrate a milestone in trade between the UAE and Canada.  

In 2020, more than AED 2 billion worth of canola seeds and wheat were imported from Canada to the UAE.) AGROP and AGF imported 1.5 million tons of canola and wheat from Canada, a record high figure that underlines the growing agrifood trade relationship between the UAE and Canada.  This follows AGROP’s recent announcement that it had crushed more than 1 million tons of canola seeds in a year for the first time in 2020.  

Combined, AGROP and AGF is the single largest importer of Canadian food products in the UAE, contributing to the country’s economy and advancing its food security agenda.  Building upon the longstanding bilateral trade relationship between the UAE and Canada, the UAE is now one of the top 5 global buyers of Canada’s canola seeds.

Canola seeds are harvested in Canada’s vast and sustainably-managed prairies. Processed by value-added manufacturing companies such as AGOP and AGF, canola oil is today one of the most consumed cooking oils worldwide.  Canola oil is a healthy, safe, and sustainable product, with the lowest saturated fat content of all common vegetable oils and high in monounsaturated fat, which can improve cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease. While most of the canola seeds crushed in the UAE is currently for export, Mr. Djamal Djouhri, CEO, AGOP, AGF, has plans to expand the domestic market for this healthy cooking oil.

Mr. Djamal Djouhri, CEO, AGOP, AGF, commented: “As a leader in the region’s agricultural commodities sector, at Al Ghurair we understand that we have a critical role in supporting the global drive for enhanced food security. With a commitment to continuous improvement, we invest in innovation to bring the best quality products to consumers across the region, and beyond. Ensuring a sustainable, secure supply chain is a key focus for all at AGROP and AGF, and through our partnership with our Canadian suppliers, I am confident that we will witness continued growth in the canola market in future, as we continue raise the benchmark, providing safe, high-quality products to consumers.”

H.E. Jean-Philippe Linteau, Consul General of Canada in Dubai, noted that Canada-UAE trade was up 17% in 2020 despite COVID-19.  He also underlines that Canada’s high-quality canola seeds offer UAE consumers a new and healthier eating experience.   

H.E. Jean-Philippe Linteau, Consul General of Canada in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, United Arab Emirates, stated: 

“I am delighted to see Canada’s increasing role in contributing to the UAE’s food economy and security.  Canada’s agrifood reflects the diversity of our land, people & climate and our sustainable agriculture practices.  Canola trade is an example of how Canada and the UAE can work together to drive our post COVID-19 recovery.  I salute AGROP and AGF for their achievements in 2020”.