SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): Singapore will soon be able to receive chicken from Indonesia.
In a Facebook post on Thursday (June 30), the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said Indonesia has been approved as a new source of frozen, chilled and processed chicken meat for the Republic.
SFA added that chickens from approved Indonesian establishments can now be imported. Singapore's existing sources include Brazil, Thailand and Australia.
Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu also posted about the announcement on Facebook.
She said adding Indonesia to Singapore's list of 20 accredited countries to import chicken from is another step forward for the county's efforts to diversify sources and enhance the resilience of its food supply.
"Global supplies will continue to face uncertainties, and we must be psychologically prepared for more disruptions and price volatility," she added.
"While the Government undertakes long-term planning and proactive actions to safeguard Singapore's food supply, consumers and the food industry also have an important part to play."
Fu said being flexible with food choices and being willing to switch to alternative products when necessary also help increase Singapore's resilience.
The announcement that Singapore will have another source of chicken is timely given that Malaysia's chicken export ban, which started on June 1, is still in effect.
Exports were halted so that prices and supplies there could stabilise.
Although Malaysia has since allowed exports of kampung and black chicken, the more common and affordable broiler chicken - which makes up the majority of Singapore's chicken imports from Malaysia - is still under the ban.
According to SFA, 34 per cent of Singapore's chicken supply come from Malaysia. Most of those chickens are imported live and slaughtered here.
In its announcement on Thursday, SFA said chickens can be imported only from sources accredited by it to ensure that sources have the required systems, processes and capabilities to supply chicken that can meet Singapore's food safety and animal health standards.
It added: "Individual establishments and the farms would also need to be evaluated and approved.
"The accreditation assessment involves detailed documentary evaluations and on-site audits for verification.
The consignments would also be subjected to SFA's inspection, sampling and testing upon import.
"This ensures the continuity of SFA's source diversification strategy without compromising on food safety."