How Will Sustainability Policy In Singapore Impact Food Industry?

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Sustainability Policy In Singapore

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are solely those of the editorial team and do not necessarily represent the views of any organization.

Introduction

At the forefront of global conversations is the critical importance of building sustainable systems for the betterment of our planet, and food systems are no exception. In the context of Singapore, where supply chain disruptions are commonplace, it becomes crucial to establish an autonomous food system. This article explores the steps we can take toward a sustainable food system for Singapore and beyond.

The Current State of Food Systems in Singapore

Singapore, a small island nation, has limited land resources for farming. This constraint makes Singapore dependent on other countries for its food supply. This reliance on imported food makes Singapore vulnerable to supply chain disruptions, creating the risk of food insecurity. Additionally, the global food system contributes to a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions, creating an environmental challenge for Singapore, which prides itself on its green and sustainable outlook.

The Path Towards a Sustainable Food System

To establish a sustainable food system, we need to work towards reducing our reliance on imported food and increasing local production. The government and the private sector must collaborate to address this issue.

Promoting Urban Farming

One possible solution is to encourage urban farming, which entails growing crops in vertical gardens and rooftop farms. This solution helps to maximize the use of limited land resources in urban areas, where most of the population resides. Moreover, it minimizes transportation's carbon footprint, reducing the environmental impact.

Introducing Sustainable Farming Practices

In addition to urban farms, sustainable farming practices should be promoted to ensure that local production is environmentally friendly. Techniques such as hydroponics, aquaponics, and permaculture can be employed to maximize the use of space while minimizing water usage and soil depletion. These practices can help to produce food in an eco-friendly manner, reduces waste, and conserves resources.

Encouraging the Consumption of Local Produce

Another crucial step towards a sustainable food system is promoting local produce consumption. This measure helps to reduce the carbon footprint associated with importing food and creates a sense of food security for Singaporeans. To encourage the consumption of local produce, initiatives such as farmers' markets, local food fairs, and community-supported agriculture can be introduced.

Establishing a Circular Economy

Finally, we must establish a circular economy where waste is minimized and resources are recycled. Food waste is a significant problem globally, with an estimated one-third of all food produced going to waste. In Singapore, with NEA and the Singapore Food Agency (SFA), the government has taken steps to address this issue by implementing food waste reduction programs. The private sector can also play a significant role in establishing a circular economy through sustainable packaging and reducing food waste in their supply chains.

Food Sustainability Policy Based On Three Key Pillars


First Pillar: Reducing Waste

One of the biggest challenges facing the food industry is waste. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted. Our government policy has to aim at reducing food waste by encouraging food manufacturers, retailers, and consumers to take action to reduce the amount of food that is thrown away. By working together, we can significantly reduce the amount of food waste in our society.

Second Pillar: Promoting Regenerative Agriculture

Regenerative agriculture is a holistic approach to farming that seeks to improve soil health and biodiversity while promoting animal welfare and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. There is a need for support for regenerative agriculture by incentivizing farmers to adopt practices that promote soil health and biodiversity, such as cover cropping, crop rotation, and reduced tillage. We also have to implement the use of renewable energy sources and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in agricultural operations.

Third Pillar: Supporting Local Food Systems

Another important aspect of our food sustainability policy is promoting local food systems. By supporting local farmers and food producers, we can reduce the carbon footprint of our food supply chain and encourage economic development in our communities. Our policy needs to support the establishment of local food hubs and farmers' markets and the development of community-supported agriculture programs.

What To Expect In The Future

More than 90 percent of our food is imported, which poses a significant risk to our food security. To address this issue, Singapore has set an ambitious goal to produce 30 percent of our nutritional needs by 2030, with less than 1 percent of the land for farming. Achieving this goal will require us to grow more with less in a highly productive, climate-resilient, and resource-efficient way.


Climatic-controlled, vertical farming is one of the paths that Singapore is pursuing to achieve this goal.

GroGrace, a proof-of-concept farm from a public-private partnership between Singapore and the Netherlands, is a great example. With its multi-layer farm structure, GroGrace optimizes limited space to grow more food sustainably and in a climate-resilient manner. Advanced techniques like dry hydroponics, IoT automation systems, and rainwater collection for irrigation and fertigation can produce 33 tonnes of fresh produce annually within a compact facility of just 750 square meters.

Conclusion

This fourth agricultural revolution is our opportunity to revolutionize how we grow and consume food. By adopting and leveraging advanced technologies and innovative solutions, we can ensure our food supply is secure and sustainable for future generations. We can lead the world in developing high-tech, climate-resilient agriculture. The 30 by 30 goal is an ambitious one. Still, we are confident that by harnessing technology and innovation, we can achieve it and secure Singapore's brighter and more sustainable future.

Establishing a sustainable food system is also crucial for the well-being of our planet, and it is our responsibility to take action toward building a self-sustaining food system in Singapore and beyond. Promoting urban farming, introducing sustainable farming practices, encouraging the consumption of local produce, and establishing a circular economy are crucial steps toward achieving this goal. By taking these measures, we can reduce our carbon footprint, enhance food security, and minimize waste, all while promoting the growth of the local food industry.

Read also: What Must F&B Businesses Do To Comply With Hygiene And Food Safety Standards

Read also: Enterprise Singapore Re-Introduces Support Measures For F&B And Retail Businesses To Help With Covid-19 Restrictions 2021

Read also: Do Food Safety Regulations Need To Be Updated for Home-Based Food Businesses?

 

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