Unity Foods Limited, a leading agro-products company, is the Principal Sponsor of the 7th Edition of The Future Summit, a 2-day event that brings together leading experts and thought-leaders across sectors to deliberate on key issues and opportunities posed to Pakistan. The theme of this annual event this year is “The Big Picture.”
Farrukh Amin, the CEO of Unity Foods was the key note speaker, he opined that as far as the Big Picture for Pakistan is concerned, there are several opportunities in the agriculture sector that local and foreign investors can take up. In the midst of current economic challenges there has been a drop in per capita income due to factors like the COVID-19 pandemic and floods in 2022. Other nations too have faced similar adversities, with currency depreciation also in Japan, China, and Egypt. He emphasized the agricultural sector’s potential in Pakistan, noting its large population, extensive irrigation network, and significant global rankings in wheat, rice, milk, mangoes, cotton, sugarcane, and other crops. Moreover, highlighting recent successes, he stated that a 73% surge in agricultural exports had been witnessed in October, particularly in rice and sesame seeds to China.
Farrukh Amin provided a comprehensive overview of the agricultural sector’s economic contribution, noting also that a 126% growth in cotton production is expected to boost textile exports. He also encouraged local and foreign investors to consider the agricultural sector as a lucrative opportunity, emphasizing the growing demand for locally produced food and the potential to reduce imports. Despite current challenges, he expressed optimism, envisioning a positive economic turnaround in Pakistan through collective efforts and investments.
During the speech, it was emphasized that there will always be a demand for food in the country owing to Pakistan’s large and growing population. Moreover, investment in the food and agriculture sector will not only serve to meet this demand, but also create export opportunities. Giving the example of Pakistan importing US$ 4 billion worth of edible oils and oil seeds, he further stated that there is a clear opportunity for investment in the cultivation of crops that yield edible oils, thus leading to import substitution and saving of precious foreign exchange.
Mr. Amir Shehzad, the visionary Executive Director of Unity Foods, took charge as the esteemed panelist discussing Sustainability, Climate Change, and Decarbonization. With unwavering passion, he conveyed, “Unity Foods has embraced the commitment to Net Zero, embarking on a transformative journey towards decarbonization. In this critical moment, it is not just essential but imperative for all stakeholders to adopt a proactive stance in addressing climate change and decarbonization, rather than merely reacting. The time for implementation is now, and our collective actions today will shape a sustainable future.”
As a major player in the food industry, Unity Foods and its brand Sunridge are deeply committed to addressing critical issues such as malnutrition and food security. The Company in undertaking various sustainable initiatives in this regard, including extensive farmer education programmes, fortification of food products with essential nutrients, and expansion into corporate farming to enhance the quality and yield of produce.
The Future Summit featured international and national speakers drawn from various sectors, and including the caretaker Federal Minister for Energy, Power & Petroleum. The first day’s sessions covered various topics of relevance to the Big Picture, including Sustainability, Climate Change & Decarbonisation, Leadership & Strategy in the Age of Disruption and Forging the Future.