The ‘Made in Qatar’ trademark took centre stage Saturday during the launch of the ‘Qatari Products our 1st Choice’ festival, which was inaugurated by HE the Minister of Municipality Dr Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Turki al-Subaie at LuLu Hypermarket, Abu Sidra.
The week-long festival showcases the best of Qatar’s food and non-food products that underlines the country’s cultural heritage and tradition. The festival has been celebrated annually since 2010 and run this time until March 9 at all LuLu outlets in the region.
The festival aims to promote locally-produced food and non-food products and supports small Qatari businesses and entrepreneurs. It showcases a variety of fresh vegetables, herbs, chicken, eggs, Arabic lamb and beef, chilled items and dairy, frozen foods, such as chicken parts and processed foods, as well as delicatessen and bakery products, assorted groceries, health and beauty products, linen, pillow and table covers, and bed and bedsheets.
Joining HE the Minister Saturday were Sheikh Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani; Jaber Hassan al-Jaber, director of Rayyan Municipality; Dr Mohamed Althaf, director of LuLu Group International; Dr Masoud Jarallah al-Marri, director of the Food Security Department at the Ministry of Municipality; Mohamed Hamad al-Attan al-Marri, vice-president of the Central Municipal Council; Mubarak bin Fraish al-Salem, member of the Central Municipal Council for District 15; Adel al-Kaldi, assistant director of the Agricultural Affairs Department at the Ministry of Municipality; Ubaid Ali of Qatar Chamber; and Abdulla Abdul Razak, as well as many distinguished Qatari nationals and dignitaries from various public and private sector organisations and senior officials from the LuLu management.
Representatives of leading agricultural farms were also present at the inaugural ceremony, including Al Rayyan Farms, Nabati Farms, Regional Agricultural Farms, Agrico, Simsima Farms, Ummqran Farms, Alfardan Group Farms, Ajaj Farms, Al Safwa Farms, Paramount Agricole Farms and Mahaseel, as well as other suppliers such as Almana Unilever, Qatar Detergent, Althaluf, Qbake, Qatar National Import and Export Co, and Gulf Centre for Food Stuff, and officials from 25 farms, a press statement noted.
Al-Jaber expressed gratitude to LuLu Group for its keenness to promote local products, noting that the initiative is part of the efforts of the Ministry of Municipality to support farmers. He also thanked farmers and other participants of the programme for promoting local products.
Dr Althaf said the festival is part of the LuLu World Food Festival, which aims to promote local products. He said LuLu remains as the largest buyer of local agricultural produce by showcasing 300 local products from 35 farms.
Thanking HE the Minister for inaugurating the festival, Dr Althaf said: “During the last five years, we have increased the number of products for the festival. Initially, there were only a few major products displayed on our shelves but today, the local products that we are showcasing cover most of the essential commodities, including fruits and vegetables, as well as micro-greens, among others.”
Speaking to Gulf Times on the sidelines of the festival, Dr Althaf said: “During His Excellency the Minister’s tour of the hypermarket, we were also discussing LuLu’s sustainable development strategy, which is in line with Qatar National Vision 2030. His Excellency witnessed some of our efforts in recycling plastics and even operated one of our reverse vending machines.
“He was also briefed on what LuLu is doing in terms of the group’s circular economy and our refill stations, among other initiatives. Many agricultural countries today, whether in Europe or Asia, are experiencing shortages in much agricultural produce.”
Dr Althaf continued, “We always emphasise that food security is essential, and I think the great efforts that Qatar had made in the past are paying off now. The Qatari products that we have seen not only cover basic essentials but also various industries, such as requirements in the hospitality sector.”
He also underscored LuLu Group’s commitment to promoting Qatari food and non-food products and agricultural produce. Almost all prominent Qatari brands are regularly on display, such as Dandy, Al Maha, Baladna, Mazzaraty, Qbake, Rawa, qfm, Rayyan, Qatar Pafki, Pearl, Jawharh, Flora, Gourmet, Jerry Smith, Agrico Qatar, Paramount Agricole, Ocean Fish, Napoli Bakeries, Al Waha, Korean Bakeries, Parline, Ghazlan, Al Manhal, Dana, Aqua Gulf, Safa, Sidra, Lusail, Doha and Napico, among others.
LuLu Group has a longstanding partnership with local farmers and remains the focal point in marketing local agricultural produce for many years. While LuLu hypermarkets have been promoting Qatari products and farm produce for many years, the last several years have been focusing more on a social and economic commitment to the nation.
During the event, the festival will be providing a unique opportunity for visitors to experience the vibrant and diverse culture of Qatar. It is a celebration of the country’s rich heritage and tradition. The festival also supports small businesses and entrepreneurs by providing a platform to sell their products and reach a wider audience.
In a statement, LuLu said the group ignited the retail revolution by integrating all consumer needs under one roof and becoming a shopping destination with its strong presence in the region for over two decades.
“Besides, the group has a global presence with comprehensive and well-established sourcing offices and logistics centres in 23 countries across the world, including the US, the UK, Spain and Italy,” the statement added.