Browsing 'food' News

All photos courtesy of MME

Locally produced honey will be in the spotlight over the next few days at one of Qatar’s farmer’s markets.

The annual event is at Al Mazrouah Yard in Umm Salal through tomorrow evening and will be held at Qatar’s two other markets in Al Khor and Al Wakrah later on this month, organizers said.

QNA reports Yousuf Al Khulaifi, director of the Ministry of Municipality and Environment’s Agricultural Affairs department as saying:

“This season, we have 4,000kg of honey locally produced, which is unique compared to the size of quantities imported from abroad.

The ministry is providing guidance and training to farmers on the best methods for the production of honey, and this year we have also included packaging training so that the honey can be marketed locally in best possible way.”

The event runs from 7am to 5pm today and tomorrow. It will move to Al Khor’s farmer’s market during the weekend of Jan. 12 and to the Al Wakrah yard on Jan. 19.

Katara market

Meanwhile, a newly opened produce market at Katara Cultural Village has attracted crowds of enthusiastic shoppers since it opened this week.

In addition to locally grown fresh vegetables and fruits, other items are also on sale at the market, including poultry, honey, flowers and dates.

Shopping up a storm this afternoon at the newly opened Mahaseel Festival @kataraqatar Running until Saturday, it is showcasing Qatari produce and farming. After the festival ends it will run a farmers market every Friday and Saturday until march. Today I saw a lovely selection of vegetables (all locally grown, some organic), local honey, flowers, plants, dairy produce. What I really loved was that all the sellers were happy and engaged. They also have a porter service as well as an ATM and activities for hr kids. There is also a lot of information about Qatari farms and methods. It is located in the open car park at Katara (right next to @stregisdoha entrance. There is also plenty of parking! This is such a wonderful initiative and really gives the community a chance to see what is being grown here and also support local farms.🐝🍃🌻🍎💚 I have a feeling this market will be popular! . . . . . #organic #produce #farmersmarket #buylocal #locavore #doha #organicfood #fresh #farmtotable #flowers #organichoney #honey #katara #mahaseelfestival

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The Mahaseel Festival is open daily on the weekends from 8am to 9pm at Katara’s parking area 05.

Thoughts?

US Department of Agriculture/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Food imports that don’t contain nutrition labels (with some exceptions) are now banned from entering Qatar, the country’s health ministry has announced.

The move comes seven months after Qatar adopted GSO 9:2013, a Gulf-wide regulation regarding prepackaged foodstuffs.

Importers were given a grace period to meet the new rules, which took effect Jan. 1, the Ministry of Public Health said in a statement this week.

Enokson/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

During the first phase of implementation, nutrition labels must be present on food in English, and eventually will be required in Arabic as well.

This information, which includes the number of calories in a serving and ingredients in the item, help promote healthy eating, the ministry explained.

Imports without these labels will be held until they meet the new requirements.

Exemptions

However, there are exceptions.

MOPH said that fresh vegetables, fruits, meat and fish that are imported as non-packaged items for sale are exempt from the labeling requirements.

Nicole Abalde/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only

So are ingredients imported by businesses for use in kitchens and manufacturing.

Other exemptions include:

  • Prepackaged food items that are small (not exceeding 20 square cm);
  • Water in any kind of packaging; and
  • Food items imported for non-commercial use.

Labeling

Also last year, Qatar adopted a tougher stance on energy drinks, requiring them to be sold with warning labels.

The labels, which can be seen on drinks like Red Bull, caution pregnant or nursing women, children under the age of 16 years old, those with heart diseases and people allergic to caffeine against consuming the product.

Daniel Juřena/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Additionally, energy drinks must now be sold separately from other products in the refrigerated beverages section of stores.

For years, authorities have also discussed requiring calorie counts to be displayed for foods sold in restaurants. But this has yet to become mandatory.

Thoughts?

Chantelle D'mello

Al Wakrah Yard

Starting next week, Qatar residents will be able to buy more locally-grown produce closer to home, after a new food festival kicks off at Katara Cultural Village on Jan. 3.

Like the popular local farmer’s markets, the Mahaseel (fresh produce) festival will host vendors selling Qatar-grown vegetables, fruit and poultry as well as flowers, honey, juice and dairy products.

But it will be a much closer venue for most people, as the current markets are located in Al Khor, Al Wakrah and Al Mazrouah (near Umm Salal Stadium).

Omar Chatriwala / Doha News

Katara

The festival will take place in the southern part of Katara near Parking Area 5 (see map here) and will run from Jan. 3 to Jan. 7 from 8am to 9pm.

It will then open again every weekend from 8am to 6pm until the end of April.

According to organizers at Katara, a total of 22 outlets and 12 vending trucks will take part.

Good value promise

Speaking to media this week, Katara’s General Manager Dr. Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti said that produce sold at the market would be “only the best quality.

He added that it would be cheaper than similar goods sold at the country’s wholesale markets.

Reem Saad / Doha News

Farmer’s market produce

Additionally, Katara’s restaurants will be encouraged to buy the food they need for their outlets from the markets, Al Sulaiti said.

At the end of each day that the market is open, food will be donated to “needy families,” he added.

Katara will also host an exhibition about Nakheel Palm trees at the market. There, visitors will be taught how to plant one, as well as learn about the tree’s health benefits and importance in Qatar.

Additionally, visitors will be invited to take part in a weekly contest to win QR2,000 worth of shopping coupons.

Thoughts?