Written Reply by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on a Coordinated Purchasing and Distribution Effort of Safe Food Supplies
Ms Nadia Ahmad Samdin: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment in light of the required closing of certain markets and hawker centres to try and contain the spread of COVID-19, whether the Government can consider a coordinated purchasing and distribution effort of safe food supplies to prevent mass wastage of supplies which have already been bought by the stallholders.
Many market stallholders receive their supplies on a daily basis. To minimise food wastage following the closure of the Jurong Fishery Port and some wet markets, the Singapore Food Agency and Enterprise Singapore quickly worked with distributors and supermarkets to activate alternative arrangements. These arrangements include diverting supplies directly to the supermarkets' distribution centres and retail outlets.
We have been reviewing longer-term plans for this sector. Since 2020, SFA has been conducting studies on enhancements to the wholesale fresh produce sector, and is working with the National Environment Agency (NEA) to study our wet markets to better meet the future demands of consumers and industry. We will factor in lessons learnt from this episode to better future-proof the sector.