15th June 2020

How Buying Local Produce Supports Singapore’s Future

SUSTAINABILITY  By SAFEF

Fresh produce that are grown in Singapore have to meet strict farming standards set by the government. Singapore has around 200 farms producing eggs, vegetables, and fish. More and more of these producers are now applying agriculture technology to increase the production of fresh, nutritious and safe food for the residents of Singapore. 

In the face of uncertainties like climate change and pandemics which can disrupt global food supply, buying local produce can bring significant benefits. These benefits impact you, Singapore as a nation, and even the planet as a whole. With this in mind, we look at how something as simple as supporting Singapore’s local produce can have far-reaching positive impacts.

 

4 Reasons to Buy Local Produce

Local produce are fresher, more nutritious and safe. Choosing locally-farmed produce is also more sustainable as it reduces your impact on the environment, and supports our food security and economy. 

 

1. Fresh, Nutritious & Safe

Compared with imported produce, local produce are fresher and more nutritious. Fresh produce start losing nutrients as soon as they are harvested. As Singapore-farmed produce arrive at local retail outlets more quickly, they retain higher levels of freshness and nutrients.

Local produce are also safe to consume. As Singapore has stringent farming regulations for local produce, the locally-farmed eggs, vegetables and fish you buy have controlled quantities of agricultural chemicals like pesticides and fungicides, and any contamination is easily traceable. This gives you extra peace of mind when it comes to food safety.

Additionally, Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has put in place quality assurance schemes like the Singapore Quality Egg Scheme, Good Agricultural Practice for Vegetable Farming, and Good Aquaculture Practices for Fish Farming. These schemes are marks of food safety and quality as SFA conducts monthly inspections on farms under these schemes to ensure that the produce meet the strict standards spelt out in the schemes. So, for the best quality assurance, choose local produce certified under these schemes when grocery-shopping.

 

 

2. Less Wastage

The true cost of food includes the often invisible environmental and social impacts of food that travel long distances and require resources like transport and storage space. Since local produce travel shorter distances to get to you, they are more sustainable. They also stay fresher and remain edible for a longer period of time. This results in less wastage.

 

3. More Eco-Friendly

You might associate going green with driving an electric car and flying less. However, your choice of food can also help you go green. Locally-produced vegetables, fish and eggs are greener as these produce use less fuel and other resources when getting from farm to you, resulting in: 

  • Less greenhouse gas emissions – Food currently accounts for over 26% of global greenhouse gas emissions. You can do your part in lowering transport-related emissions by choosing local. Opting for local produce also means less energy expended for storage. 
  • Less water and land use – Agriculture uses 70% of global freshwater withdrawals and half of the world’s habitable land. Choosing local can reduce wastage and support more efficient food production due to the increasing use of agriculture technology by local farms to optimise resources in land-scarce Singapore.

A truly sustainable food system is one that supports local farmers, while conserving natural resources for future generations.

 

 

4. Better for Singapore’s Food Security

Buying local produce also enhances food supply resilience for Singapore. Currently, Singapore produces less than 10% of its food. It aims to produce as much as 30% of its nutritional needs within a decade as factors like climate change can disrupt Singapore’s access to imported food. To create a buffer against supply chain disruptions and volatile food prices, Singapore needs local farmers to ramp up production and consumers to support locally-farmed produce.

So, how do you make sure you are buying locally-grown produce to support our food security and economy? Look for the “SG Fresh Produce” logo on product packaging or check for labelling such as “Country of Origin: Singapore”. Alternatively, simply shop at e-SG Farmers’ Market for Singapore-farmed produce.

 

Support Singapore-Farmed Produce

When you choose Singapore-farmed produce, you are assured of quality produce that is fresh, nutritious and safe. In addition, buying local enhances sustainability and lowers your household’s environmental footprint. 

More importantly, supporting local produce means contributing to a more resilient and self-sufficient food supply for Singapore. Disruptive trends like climate change can threaten global food supply chains, so greater self-sufficiency will give us better protection against these supply shocks and related price volatility in the future. 

Make a difference by choosing local today!