Diversification of Import Sources
Singapore’s key strategy to enhance its food security is import source diversification. We have diversified our food import sources from about 140 countries in 2004 to over 170 countries and regions in 2019. SFA works closely with industry stakeholders, especially our importers, to diversify, as well as with overseas government authorities to open up more sources that we can import from. This allows our importers to ramp up imports from other sources when there are supply disruptions.
SFA strives to increase the number of farms and establishments across different countries which can export to Singapore. We take feedback from our food importers and prioritise the accreditation of farms/establishments where it is commercially and logistically viable to do so. Importers are also alerted to new accredited sources. SFA accredited a total of 83 new farms and establishments in Year 2019.
One of our least diversified food items is eggs – over 70% of our eggs comes from a single source. To address this, SFA has been actively accrediting new egg sources across different countries that meet our food safety standards. The number of approved countries and farms for eggs has increased by over 50 percent from 47 farms in 7 countries in 2016, to 72 farms in 11 countries in 2019.
Working with our Industry Players to Facilitate Imports
Our food importers are a key node in the supply chain, and we must ensure that they are prepared to withstand potential shocks from supply disruptions. SFA works closely with food importers to adopt business continuity plans (BCPs), including preventive strategies, to mitigate the impact of food supply disruptions. We engage consultants to impart useful skills to our food importers and provide assistance in developing and adopting BCPs for their businesses. In April 2019, SFA introduced a licensing requirement for egg importers. Egg importers must adopt Business Continuity Plans (BCPs) to mitigate any potential impact of food supply disruptions.
SFA also organises food sourcing trips, together with Enterprise Singapore, to help industry players find alternative import sources. These trips enable importers to explore new sources, open business opportunities, and strengthen existing trade ties.
We actively engage our industry stakeholders (trade associations, key supermarket retailers, embassies and trade offices) who are crucial to our source diversification efforts. Through industry dialogues, senior management meetings and 1-to-1 business meetings, SFA shares information and seeks feedback on matters concerning the industry. We actively introduce relevant overseas business contacts to local industry players and organise business matching/networking sessions with foreign delegations.