Meet Our Judges: Feroz Sanaulla
We spoke with Feroz Sanaulla, Senior Strategic Advisor at Roland Berger, to talk about his thoughts about food technology trends in the UAE and abroad.
What is your favorite memory related to food?
From street food in Delhi and Bangkok, sushi and okonomiyaki in Kyoto, winery food tours in Napa Valley, and pub food in Dublin, my travels have taken me to many places. I continue to enjoy the nuances of regional foods and like to go to small dives over large established restaurants. Going to corner dives is not just for satiating an appetite but also for enjoying many strange and enlightening conversations. I normally avoid popular restaurants.
Food security is more important than ever given the disruptions to the global supply chain caused by COVID-19. What are the best policy practices that the UAE should implement to boost its food security during this time?
Food reserves are an important insurance against disruptions. I would suggest the UAE to analyze the total food production in smallholding farms and gauge the amount of pilferage and waste. With this, it would be good to have centralized storage facilities and a marketplace to get the food to market quickly and efficiently. UAE could also look at canning facilities for long term storage of food. For example, I am helping a major regional agri-business develop a UAE-based canned mushroom facility.
Surveys have shown that youth are increasingly disengaged from food and agriculture work. How do we renew youth engagement in this area?
It is important to have youth spend time outdoors and see food production for themselves. There should be more pick and purchase farms where youth can pick their own fruits like strawberries, blueberries and bring them home. This would have the youth understand the farm to plate process and get them involved in food production. The government can also sponsor farm work programs where students can get extra credit for having worked on a farm for 2-3 months.
What are books, papers, and/or articles that you are reading about food security that you would recommend?
My current favorite book is Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester Brown. He takes an environmentalist view on food production and security. His focus is not just about yield management but also about the conservation of resources.