Conversations on Sustainable Singapore #3

Category: Forums/ Seminars


May 24, 2014


For the final session of COSSG, the topic was on Food Supply & Food Waste, issues discussed on Food Security, supply and wastes as well as suggestions on mitigating the issues.

Overview of Discussion:

1) Sustainable Singapore Blueprint (2009)

Download and read the blueprint at

What’s in the Blueprint:
• Singapore imports most of the food and water we consume, as well as the resources and materials needed for our industries.
• Promote recycling for large sources of waste that now have low recycling rates, such as plastic and food waste. In the longer term, study the feasibility of mandating the recycling of such waste.

2) Food Security

The Inter-Ministry Committee on Food Security (IMC-FS) was formed in 2012 to coordinate and look into holistic measures to mitigate Singapore’s food security risks and vulnerabilities, on two areas:
• Boost industry production capacity and resilience. In turn, this can improve our food supply resilience especially in times of need; and
• Reduce food wastage, which can occur anywhere along the food chain, from initial agricultural production, to processing and retail, and to final consumption.

For industry development, IMC-FS has recommended (a) sharing of resources and functions such as procurement, logistics, high-end equipment; (b) regionalisation and aggregation of demand for services such as logistics; and (c) upstream integration along the food value chain such as in farming, collection, processing or packaging for better control over product quality and supply.

For food waste reduction, IMC-FS recommended to (a) develop a comprehensive public education outreach programme; (b) implement mandatory food waste reporting by large commercial premises; (c) develop guidelines for food manufacturers and retailers to minimise food waste; and (d) promote R&D on food waste reduction and recycling.

3) Food Supply

Food source diversification is Singapore’s core strategy to ensure food security.

Singapore imports over 90% of our food while local farms produce only 8% of vegetables, 8% of fish and 26% of eggs consumed in Singapore –

In 2012, local production consists of 5,548 tonnes of seafood, 21,405 tonnes of vegetables, and 402 million eggs –

Urban and community farming/agriculture is becoming popular in Singapore –

“HDB will set aside space at all new multi-storey carparks (MSCPs) rooftops, and equip them with planter beds and irrigation systems to facilitate community farming.” – Maliki Osman, Minister of State for National Development, Committee of Supply Debate, 10 Mar 2014

4) Food Waste

In 2013, Singapore generated 796,000 tonnes of food waste, of which only 13% is recycled. The recycling of food waste involves mainly bread, spent grain and soya bean waste that are processed into animal feed. Read more about food waste at

Tips for individuals to reduce food waste in our daily lives and at home –

5) Questions Discussed

• Is Singapore doing enough to increase food supply and reduce food waste?
• How can we encourage more local food production and reduce the challenges?
• How to encourage more urban and community farming?
• Do we need more data on sources and types of food waste?
• How can the public sector and companies reduce food waste and increase recycling?
• How to get more Singaporeans to take action on reducing food waste?
• Do we need more awareness campaigns and community involvement on increasing food supply and reducing food waste?

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