New Food Safety Standard to Facilitate Trade in Singapore

The Singapore Standards Council and the Singapore Manufacturing Federation Standards Development Organisation (SMF-SDO) last month launched a new food safety management systems standard for food manufacturers.

The new standard will seek to strengthen the safety of the food supply chain; build local food safety capacity and encourage intra-and-extra regional food trade (see here for further details).

Closely aligned to the international ISO food safety management system standard, the new standard covers requirements on sourcing; preparation; processing; manufacturing; packaging; storage; transportation; distribution; handling and offering for sale or supply of food in any sector of the food supply chain.

Commenting on this development, Mr. Sunny Koh, Chairman, SMF Membership and Industry Groups, and ASEAN Food and Beverage Alliance (AFBA) Chair for Singapore said: “In today’s increasingly globalised world, aligning with global food safety standards is critical in helping to strengthen the safety of the food supply chain, and streamline the movement of food products between countries.

“Singapore’s new standard will help companies, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that don’t necessarily have the resources or capabilities to immediately adopt international standards, to work toward their implementation.”

SMEs make up 95 per cent of ASEAN’s 30,000 food and beverage companies. They have a critical role to play in the overall development and growth of the industry in the region.

“Standards such as this one that will provide companies – particularly SMEs – with greater access to important international markets, helping to drive the region’s overall food trade,” Mr Koh added.

The new standard was developed by the Food Standards Committee (FSC) under the Singapore Standards Council. The industry-led Singapore Standards Council advises SPRING Singapore, the national standards body, on the directions, policies, strategies and priorities for the Singapore Standardisation Programme. SMF was appointed by SPRING Singapore in 2011 as the Standards Development Organisation (SDO) for three committees, including the Food Standards Committee.

“The FSC was formed to enable trade facilitation through the elimination of technical barriers to trade and improving the quality and safety of the food products. This is being achieved through standardisation, implementation and promotion of standards to drive growth in productivity, safety and traceability of the food and beverage industry and food retail sector.

“The committee is made up of both public and private sector players and drives a collaborative approach to the development of Standards, and their implementation.”

Mr Koh added that this collaborative approach is a win-win for consumers, industry and the overall economic growth of the region.

“A collaborative approach to food safety drives consistent food quality and safety standards, ensuring people have access to safe food products and building consumer trust and confidence. Common food safety standards also open up opportunities in international markets, driving intra-and-extra regional trade.

“It is this kind of collaborative approach between governments and industry that the ASEAN Food and Beverage Alliance (AFBA) is promoting. Aligning ASEAN regional standards with global food safety standards is critical to unleashing the economic potential of the food industry in ASEAN, and the food industry itself can play a key role in supporting this process, as it has in Singapore,” he said.

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