Shawarmer marks 20 years with food waste campaign

The campaign aims to educate and motivate their customers, employees and industry partners to make a real impact on reducing food waste.
Updated 25 March 2019
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Shawarmer marks 20 years with food waste campaign

BEIJING: Shawarmer is marking its 20th anniversary with the launch of a campaign designed to help tackle the growing food waste problem in Saudi Arabia.
The “Shawarmer for Social Responsibility Save It!” campaign from the fast growing Saudi-owned and operated restaurant chain is a year-long initiative designed to draw attention to and provide actionable solutions to Saudi Arabia’s food waste issue. The program will engage youth, families, the restaurant industry and stakeholders across the entire “farm to table to landfill” ecosystem to take responsibility for helping tackle a serious issue that has far-reaching impact on Saudi society.
According to a recent survey by the Saudi Grain Organization, it is estimated that 33 percent of all food in the country ends up in the trash can. That is more than 4 million tons annually worth SR12 billion ($3.2 billion).
“People don’t realize the serious impact of our food waste issue. The economic value of what goes into Saudi trash bins every day is staggering,” said Abdullah Zeid Alshabanat, head of the National Program for Food Lost and Waste. “But most importantly, our Islamic values urge against it.”
“As a homegrown Saudi restaurant group, we have both an opportunity and responsibility to help contribute to a real and lasting solution to our nation’s food waste issue,” said Abdulmohsin Al-Rabiah, CEO of Innovative Foods, Shawarmer’s parent company.
“We are launching a series of internal programs and investing heavily in new technology to minimize wasted food across our supply chain and 92 locations. But we also know with our national reach and 20-year history, we have an opportunity to help educate and motivate our customers, employees and industry partners to do something truly unique and special to make a real impact on reducing food waste,” added Iyad Al-Rasheed, Shawarmer director of operations.
The Save It! initiative will kick off with a competition among Saudi university students, which includes an intensive three-day marketing challenge. Aspiring participants can register their ideas for the campaign on Shawarmer’s website.
Shawarmer will work with university partners and marketing industry experts to select the top 15 teams to join the three-day competition where they will work closely with a range of experts in advertising, marketing, social responsibility and environmental issues to develop a final campaign. At the end of the competition, Shawarmer will fund the winning team’s national food waste education and awareness campaign.
“What better way to kick off our Save It! program than to harness the power, energy and creative inspiration of our Saudi youth. What makes this program special is that not only will we invest in a national education campaign targeting a very real social issue, but we are also investing in the future of our young people,” said Faisal Al-Rasheed, director of marketing, Shawarmer.


Top CEO Conference & Awards wraps up in Bahrain

Updated 17 April 2019
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Top CEO Conference & Awards wraps up in Bahrain

The Top CEO Conference & Awards 2019, organized by TRENDS magazine — Mediaquest and international business school INSEAD, has concluded at the Al-Areen Palace and Spa in Bahrain. The event, held on Thursday, included seven key panel discussions under the theme “Growth in a Volatile Future” as well as the Top CEO Awards 2019 ceremony, which recognized the region’s most successful and trendsetting CEOs from more than 700 companies listed on GCC stock exchanges.

Top business leaders and more than 30 speakers from across the GCC shed light on the Middle East’s dynamic but volatile region and the burning issues facing the corporate world today. This year’s theme focused on a score of relevant issues, such as oil price fluctuations, tech disruptions, armed and political schisms that pose new risks, and opportunities. Speakers such as renowned economist Professor Nouriel Roubini provided growth solutions and road maps for businesses in the GCC region.

Alexandre Hawari, CEO of Mediaquest, said: “In its fifth edition, the Top CEO Conference & Awards fully encapsulated the theme of ‘Growth in a Volatile Future’ by acknowledging and exploring the growth transformation that the region is undergoing through digitalization and the fourth industrial revolution amid geopolitical tensions, looming trade wars and a rapidly evolving business environment. Building on the huge success of the previous years, the Top CEO Awards 2019 recognized CEOs and companies who have raised the bar by navigating challenges, implementing new strategies, and have demonstrated unquestionable growth, profitability and excellence in corporate governance.”

The conference kicked off with an opening keynote from Jassim Al-Seddiqi, CEO of the Abu Dhabi Financial Group and chairman of GFH Financial Group, who delved into the potential of transforming the region into a fintech hub and the importance of jumping on the digital bandwagon. 

The prime panel discussion on the “Future of Growth Amid Volatility” brought together five CEOs who explored methods to create future-proof strategies that can not only tackle challenges but also boost growth in a tough geopolitical and economic climate. 

Hisham Al-Rayes, CEO and board member of the GFH Financial Group, said: “Investing in the future in areas such as fintech, education and technology, the foundations for strong, enduring knowledge-based economies, is a priority for the group and the governments of the region in which we invest.”

“The Blockchain Opportunity” and “The Human Factor and Tech Innovation” panels brought together industry experts from Facebook, the Bahrain FinTech Bay and King Abdul Aziz University. 

“The Future of Women’s Business Leadership” panel discussed positive strides taken by GCC governments and businesses in leveling the playing field for women professionals.