2017 Buyer Previews

“The demand for real, safe and organic food has increased in the last 10 years” – Emma Sawko, Co-Founder, Wild & The Moon.

Wild & the Moon opened on March 2016, drawing healthy eaters from all corners of Dubai. This new concept serves food and beverages that are 100% organic, cold-pressed, plant-based, wheat-free and unpasteurised. We asked Emma Sawko, Co-Founder, Wild & The Moon, about her take the organic industry in Dubai and why she opened up this space.

What type of organic dishes/drinks does Wild and Moon prepare?

After opening Comptoir 102, a restaurant serving only organic food and focusing on healthy recipes, I realised there was a real demand for good and healthy food in Dubai. I decided to push the concept further with Wild & the Moon and introduce a concept which is 100% vegan and organic, with a strong emphasis on wellness nutrition. With a team of chefs and nutritionists, we created a menu based on the freshest (organic and, whenever possible, local) and most potent ingredients. We came out with a menu featuring juices, smoothies, salads, snacks, hot dishes and desserts, all of them with a health concern in mind. Some have been specifically created for gut healing, anti-aging, detoxing etc.

In your opinion, how popular is the organic industry in the UAE and the Middle East?

It went from being virtually non-existent to mainstream in a matter of years. The demand for real, safe and organic food has increased in the last 10 years, and it's now more and more available in supermarkets, health food shops and even on restaurant menus.

Why, in your opinion, do people prefer eating organic nowadays? 

People are now more aware of what is going into their meals and in their bodies. Who wants to eat food laden with pesticides, toxins and devoid of any minerals and vitamins? 

Do you locally produce organic vegetables for your cafe?

We only source organic produce and buy locally whenever possible. I have been working since the start with Elena from GreenHeart Organic Farms. Her farm here, in the UAE, is 100% organic and biodynamic and produces an amazing variety of fruits and vegetables. For some items, we have no choice but to import them, although we try to do it in a conscious manner and always source from the closest country available to us. 

Any other facts you might want to add about the natural/organic industry? 

Elena's farm is the best example of producing great quality food is available even in this arid region, with good use of the sun and intelligent use of water, which is of course, a limited commodity here. In the future, I hope that more examples of conscious farming develop in this region. I also hope more people take steps towards really thinking about what they eat and how they eat. At Wild & the Moon, we love to spread the idea of food that tastes good, is good for your body and good for the planet. We loved hearing Emma’s thoughts on this topic and it shows that there is a clear potential for organic goods to be locally produced and imported, if necessary.

Interview By - Menaka Ramakrishnan

Middle East Organic & Natural Products Expo