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 180 countries and regions in 2022. 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 acccredited a total of 99 establishments and 44 farms in FY2021.
Even as we diversify our food sources, food safety remains paramount. Livestock, meat, and egg items are more susceptible to contamination and diseases, which could lead to foodborne illness in consumers. Only accredited sources that meet Singapore’s food safety and animal health standards will be allowed to export such food items to Singapore. As of 2022, 42 countries were allowed to export these food items to Singapore. In 2022, Brunei, Colombia and Indonesia were approved as new sources for eggs, pork, and chicken respectively.
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.