UAE. Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) has announced that the new standards and specifications aimed at the modernization of the retail (grocery) sector will have to be implemented in all groceries during the year 2012.
Groceries failing to comply with the new rules will not have their licenses renewed beyond December 31, 2012.
In a meeting held at Abu Dhabi Municipality to unveil the new standards and specifications to grocery owners and other stake holders from the private and public sectors over a two-day period from November 28, ADFCA officials said the first phase of the implementation (January 1 – December 31, 2012) would cover the Abu Dhabi Metropolitan area.
A uniform look for all groceries, visually appealing and consumer-friendly allocation of space within the groceries, safer preservation of food products, avoidance of cluttering on the shelves, uniforms for workers at groceries, uniform trade mark for all groceries in the emirate and resultant ease of locating them are among the highlights of the new system, the officials pointed out.
Mohamed Jalal Al Reyaysa, Director of Communication and Community Service at ADFCA, said the new measures were integrally linked to Abu Dhabi's vision 2030, which envisages substantial improvement in all areas of life in the emirate. "The new standards and specifications have been finalized on the basis of the best practices observed from around the world. Though it will take three to eight weeks for a grocery to implement the new rules, we decided to grant them a longer period of one year so the transition to the new system will be easier for the grocery owners financially and operationally," he explained.
"A technical information centre under ADFCA will start operations in January next year to provide guidance and consultations to grocery owners. A detailed manual will be prepared and distributed so they have a single reference guide to implement the rules. We are also going to shortlist the names of preferred contractors and designers who are proficient in all aspects of the new rules. We have also created two pilot groceries – in Hamdan Street and Al Ma'moora - to serve as a practical on-the-ground reference for easy implementation. This is also meant to demonstrate that implementation of the new rules is scientifically and technically feasible," Al Reyaysa said.
"We call upon all grocery owners to begin taking the first steps toward implementing the new rules. ADFCA is committed to provide all support during the transition phase, in terms of consultations, advice and recommendations. Once the deadline for implementation expires, licenses will not be renewed and businesses will have to be closed down. We hope such an eventuality will not arise. Once the new rules are implemented, consumers and businesses stand to gain immensely as the new look groceries will be much more consumer-friendly as they will be more competitive," he concluded.