Beyond being fresher, more nutritious and being of higher quality than imports, did you know that local produce goes a long way towards creating a sustainable, healthy and vibrant agri-food ecosystem for Singapore?
In this article, we explore how local produce promotes sustainability in our agri-food ecosystem.
#1 – Food Sustainability: Strengthening Singapore’s Food Security
Supporting local produce not only strengthens Singapore’s food supply resilience but also reduces reliance on imports.
Currently, Singapore produces less than 10% of its food. To mitigate potential disruptions caused by factors like climate change, Singapore aims to increase its self-sufficiency to 30% by 2030. If local farmers can scale up production and garner consumer support for locally grown produce, Singapore will be able to establish a stronger buffer against supply chain disruptions and unpredictable price fluctuations.
#2 – Environmental Sustainability: Lesser Food Wastage
Food wastage happens most frequently when our produce turns bad before we can even use them. However, that’s an inevitable and common problem with imports.
With locally harvested produce, they reach your homes faster, fresher, and safer.They also remain edible for a longer period of time because of the shorter time and distance travelled, reaching your plate with higher levels of nutrients.
Moreover in Singapore, where farming regulations are stringent, the local produce you buy adheres to controlled levels of agricultural chemicals such as pesticides and fungicides, and any contamination can be easily traced. The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) conducts monthly inspections to ensure that the produce meets their rigorous standards, ensuring a higher level of food safety than imported produce.
#3 – Environmental Sustainability: Reduced Carbon Footprint
The true cost of food goes beyond the price on the label. It also includes the environmental and social impacts from protracted use of transport, fuel and storage space. For example, transporting produce alone causes more than 26% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. This can harm the environment, contribute to climate change, and pollute our air and water. Local produce, on the other hand, does not contribute to these problems as it travels shorter distances to get to you, and thus has a lower carbon footprint.
Choosing local produce over imported food also helps to reduce water and land usage. Agriculture accounts for 70% of global freshwater withdrawals and occupies half of the habitable land on our planet. Choosing local produce helps minimise waste and supports efficient food production, as local farms in land-limited Singapore increasingly employ agricultural technology to optimise resource usage.
Ultimately, purchasing local produce over foreign imports goes a long way in creating a sustainable healthy and vibrant agri-food ecosystem. Beyond maintaining sustainability in our food security, choosing local produce will go a long way in reducing our carbon footprint, and creating a sustainable climate for us and future generations.
Restaurants keen on learning more about how to reap the benefits of supporting local produce can contact [email protected].