4 ingredients that will make S’pore a trusted food & nutrition leader

15/12/2022

Singapore’s food industry is about to get more flavourful.

The Industry Transformation Map (ITM) and Jobs Transformation Map for the Food Manufacturing sector were launched yesterday by Manpower Minister Tan See Leng yesterday (Dec 14).

“The ITM 2025 sets out the growth strategies for the food manufacturing sector with the aim to establish Singapore as a trusted food and nutrition leader, and the preferred launchpad into Asia for quality brands,” he said.

The minister then outlined four key ingredients (pun fully intended) that are needed to establish Singapore as a trusted food and nutrition leader, and the preferred launchpad into Asia for quality brands.

Source: Tan See Leng / Facebook

In short, Singapore’s reputation as a food haven is about to be elevated to the next level.

Going global and creating new products

Firstly, given Singapore’s very small size, food manufacturers must think big — not just expanding into regional markets but global ones.

“Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG) will continue to support our food manufacturers to scale exports through market access initiatives and contract manufacturing,” promised Minister Tan.

Going global also goes hand in hand with product innovation. Companies need to create new products to meet demand so as to remain competitive in the global marketplace, he added.

“To support companies in their innovation efforts, we will expand the network of partners, both locally and internationally.”

Such partners can help companies strengthen R&D capabilities and capture opportunities in new business segments such as alternative proteins and elderly nutrition.

Upping the attractiveness of Singapore as a regional food hub

The second ingredient is akin to food plating — making sure that the dish is attractive to diners.

“We will continue to strengthen our R&D capabilities and build cross-border partnerships to attract global investments in high value activities and build capacity to scale manufacturing of novel food products through advanced technologies and Industry 4.0.”

Good news: Eat Just chose Singapore as its regional headquarter and invested in production facilities here to become Asia’s largest alternative protein manufacturer.

As usual, Enterprise Singapore will work with partners to help local companies up their game.

“Through this, Singapore can then be the launchpad for global brands who are keen to enter the Asian market,” said Minister Tan.

Building resilient and sustainable companies

How? By future proofing our supply chains and pursuing sustainable goals for the future. 

Singapore is well into this era of supply chain disruptions that have brought about significant uncertainties. The energy crisis makes things worse — Singapore has seen an increase in vulnerabilities because of the fluctuations in food supply and prices. 

“We want to encourage our companies to enhance their supply chain resilience through source diversification, stockpiling of key ingredients upstream and at the same time making sure they are well-integrated, as well as enhancing production capabilities.”

And of course, every business needs to think of how to stay sustainable.

To this end, Minister Tan said that the Government will work with the trade associations and chambers to encourage companies to take on green manufacturing practices across the entire food value chain, such as adoption of resource-efficient technologies, food waste reduction and upcycling, and the use of sustainable packaging.

Upskilling and reskilling

This is probably the most important ingredient. After all, what’s a kitchen without chefs?

Businesses and workers must pursue upskilling and reskilling to seize opportunities and tackle challenges as the sector continues to transform.

For instance, new roles such as data analysis, novel foods, sustainability and digitalisation and automation will emerge.

Even existing roles will change as more workers will be expected to make use of technology to perform their tasks and jobs well. 

“I encourage all employers to also consider redesigning the jobs within their premises and sectors, so that they can increase the attractiveness of each role to new and existing talent,” he said.

Employers can tap on the Skills Framework for Food Manufacturing and WSG’s Career Conversion Programmes for Food Manufacturing Professionals and Associates or Food Production Specialists to redesign jobs, reskill and upskill workers.

Cover photo credit: Tan See Leng / Facebook