Foreword by Chief Executive Officer, Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore
In Singapore, we get to enjoy many different kinds of cuisines without having to worry about the safety of food or availability of ingredients. People have confidence that food here is safe and the ‘Singapore’ brand is widely regarded as a hallmark of quality assurance.
The Government and industry have been working closely over the years to uphold Singapore’s good reputation in food safety. Looking farther, I encourage our food industry to innovate and become more competitive. To better support innovation and new product development, the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) has reviewed regulatory processes to allow food establishments to test-bed new production technology within a safe environment, where AVA can pick up any issues for rectification at an early stage, rather than wait until the new product is ready for market launch.
In terms of food supply, almost all of the food we eat is imported from about 170 countries. As such, it is important that we diversify sources to avoid being over-dependent on a single country or establishment for any food item. Together with our importers, we are constantly identifying potential new sources to import food from. In the case of hen shell eggs, AVA and the industry have been keen to source for the item from Thailand. In 2017, AVA approved two layer farms in Thailand to export these produce to Singapore, and I am happy to hear that importers are keen to bring in more, following the successful first shipment.
Other than diversifying import sources, Singapore also needs to increase local production to buffer against global supply shocks. Through AVA’s Agriculture Productivity Fund (APF), our farmers have raised their output of vegetables, fish, and eggs by 1,000 tonnes, 300 tonnes, and 4 million pieces, respectively. We need to do even more to enhance local production and learn how other countries do it. In 2017, AVA organised a trip to Norway, where participating agri-specialists from Singapore learned how the Norwegian aquaculture industry continually evolves and innovates to achieve long-term commercial viability and sustainability.
Through the joint efforts with our stakeholders, we have continued to safeguard and strengthen Singapore’s food security. I would like to extend my appreciation to Marshall Cavendish Business Information Pte Ltd for publishing this 17th edition of the Singapore Agri-Food Business Directory. May it continue to serve as a useful resource for companies to build new ties and expand networks in the agri-food sector.
Mr Lim Kok Thai
Chief Executive Officer
Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore