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IAOM MEA brings the milling industry together

05 November 20214 min reading

The IAOM MEA Conference & Expo 2021 was the first in-person gathering for the most milling industry professionals in the region since the start of the pandemic. This year’s event has attracted 64 stands from 52 exhibiting companies, 510 in-person participants from 44 countries, 121 millers from 62 milling companies.

2021 edition of the International Association of Operative Millers Mideast & Africa (IAOM MEA) Conference was held in Dubai from October 10-12 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The event took place at a time of great change not just to the milling industry but to the global economy as well. The expo was the first in-person gathering for most milling industry professionals in the region since the start of the pandemic.


Multinational companies from the flour milling and feed manufacturing industries, allied traders, grain millers, milling machine manufacturers from various parts of the world participated in the event. This year’s event has attracted 64 stands from 52 exhibiting companies, 510 in-person participants from 44 countries, 121 millers from 62 milling companies.

The IAOM MEA Conference & Expo 2021 provided networking, exchange of ideas, technical & educational opportunities and discovery of new products and services. Participants followed the panel discussions on ‘Supply Chain Cost/Risk during Covid 19 Amid Tightening World Wheat Supplies’ and ‘Impact of Automation and the 4th Industrial Revolution on the Milling Industry’ with great interest to get up to date with the current market and industry trends. More than 15 different topics were presented during the conference.

Organizers have modified the format of IAOM MEA for this year on an exceptional basis considering the ongoing pandemic situation by avoiding social events to ensure the safety of participants. There were several protocols in place due to the pandemic.


“As the premier grain milling event in the region, IAOM MEA is the optimal setting to network from all corners of the globe and build our global milling community,” said Conference Chairman Essa Al Ghurair in his welcome speech. At the event, he was also awarded the IAOM MEA Regional Leader.

During the panel discussion on the topic ‘Supply Chain Cost/Risk during Covid 19 Amid Tightening World Wheat Supplies’, Dr. Khaled Raed, CIO of PETKUS, warned that there is a risk in doing business as usual. “We should develop a strategy adapted to the ‘new normal’. There are so many volatile parameters like price increases of raw materials, supply chain costs, delays, logistical challenges as well as inflation and increasing demand. This requires new planning: starting planning at an earlier stage, increasing storage capacity, adapting spare parts management to secure continuous operation. The key to lasting success is doing business in a new way!”, he underlined.

In his presentation on US Market Outlook, Ian Flagg, Regional Vice President of U.S. Wheat Associates, said stocks entering the marketing is well below the 5-year average. He also noted that export pace well behind the five-year average and US ending stocks projected sharply lower.

Merzad Jamshidi, CEO of Khousheh Fars Flour Mills, discussed the changing meaning of food safety in his presentation on Food Safety Culture, Covid-19 Challenges and Consumer Behavior Change in Flour Milling & Allied Industries. “Everyone is watching the safety protocols in the entire food chain. Government agencies across the world are re-writing the framework of food safety. The entire view of food safety is changing from responding to foodborne illness to preventing it.”  “Egypt and Iran will lead the food import –to secure stock. Morocco and Lebanon will import large volumes due to a decrease of production by %50,” said Mr. Jamshidi.

Ali Habaj, Regional Director of IAOM MEA, has announced that Zanzibar will be the next destination for the 32nd Annual IAOM MEA Conference & Expo.

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