IMPACT OF EXPORT CURBS ON SUPPLY OF KEY FOOD ITEMS TO SINGAPORE AND ON SINGAPORE’S “30 BY 30” FOOD PRODUCTION GOAL

Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song asked the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) between 2018 and 2021, what is the amount (in tonnes) of live and chilled poultry imported into Singapore from each country or territory; and (b) what are the constraints to expanding the number of approved countries for poultry imports. 

Mr Chua Kheng Wee Louis asked the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) whether there will be a review of the “30 by 30” target on self-sustainability in food production in view of the rising food security concerns; (b) whether there are plans to accelerate self-sustainability in food production; and (c) what is the long-term target on local food production and nutrition needs beyond the year 2030. 

32 Ms Jessica Tan Soon Neo asked the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment with countries curbing the export of their produce (a) what measures are in place to ensure Singapore’s continued supply of key food items; (b) what further measures will be taken to prevent future disruptions to Singapore’s food supply; and (c) what support can be extended to businesses and consumers to help manage the impact and rising costs as a result of disruptions to food supply. 

33 Ms Joan Pereira asked the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment whether the Ministry will consider setting some local production targets for poultry and poultry products under the “30 by 30” food production target of SFA to enhance the resilience of Singapore’s supply of poultry.

34 Mr Desmond Choo asked the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) what has been the impact on local businesses and consumers in relation to Malaysia’s export ban on chicken; (b) how has the Ministry been engaging with the Malaysian government on the supply of poultry; and (c) how will the Ministry protect our local consumers from similar supply shocks involving other products. 

35 Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song asked the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) between 2018 and 2021, what is the amount (in tonnes) of live and chilled poultry imported into Singapore from each country or territory; and (b) what are the constraints to expanding the number of approved countries for poultry imports. 

36 Mr Chua Kheng Wee Louis asked the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) whether there will be a review of the “30 by 30” target on self-sustainability in food production in view of the rising food security concerns; (b) whether there are plans to accelerate self-sustainability in food production; and (c) what is the long-term target on local food production and nutrition needs beyond the year 2030. 

37 Mr Alex Yam asked the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) whether the Ministry has been informed in advance of the Malaysian authorities’ decision to stop cross-border supply of fresh chickens; and (b) how has this month-long suspension affected local businesses thus far.

The Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (Ms Grace Fu Hai Yien): Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, may I have your permission to answer Parliamentary Question Nos 32 to 37 together?

Mr Deputy Speaker: Please do.

Ms Grace Fu Hai Yien: My response will also address Parliamentary Questions filed by Mr Edward Chia1 and Mr Shawn Huang2 due for reading at subsequent Sittings, and I would like to invite the Members to ask any supplementary questions they may have.

Global food supply chains are highly interlinked. Disruptions to the production, export or transportation of agricultural inputs or food products in one country or region often have knock-on effects on other parts of the food supply chain. These can arise from many causes, including geopolitical tensions, extreme weather events, disruptions to logistics chains or policy decisions by foreign governments.

Some food producing countries have reacted by imposing exports bans or restrictions on food items. Indonesia’s recent palm oil export ban, India’s wheat and sugar export bans and Malaysia’s chicken export ban, are recent examples.

Singapore imports more than 90% of our food. We cannot fully prevent such disruptions. However, we have adopted a multi-pronged approach to mitigate the impacts. Let me elaborate.

First, we work with the industry to build resilience in their supply networks. SFA supports the industry’s diversification efforts by actively accrediting multiple overseas food sources. SFA also helps to accredit new source countries, regions and suppliers in order to give our importers more choices. Through import licensing, SFA requires egg importers to have a business continuity plan and have measures such as diversifying import sources, signing retainer contracts or holding a buffer stock. These measures help to mitigate the impact of disruptions from any single source. We currently import our food from over 170 countries and regions. We will continue our diversification efforts.

Specific to the chicken export ban, chicken from Malaysia accounts for 34% of our total chicken imports. This has dropped by three percentage points from 37% in 2018. While this accounts for 99% of our live and chilled chicken imports, at about 73,000 tonnes in 2021, we have the alternative of frozen chicken available. Frozen chicken provides us with greater food resilience as industrial freezing extends the shelf life of the meat. Under proper storage conditions, frozen meat can be kept for up to a year. It enlarges our pool of available choices to include suppliers from countries that are further away like Brazil and the United States.

In the recent chicken export ban, we saw industry partners such as SATS and trade associations such as the Meat Traders Association and the Poultry Merchants Association, increase imports of frozen chicken from the United States and Brazil, and chilled chicken from Thailand and Australia. SFA has also recently accredited Indonesia as a new source for the import of chicken.

Mr Gerald Giam asked if there were constraints to expanding the number of approved countries for poultry imports. Even as we diversify our food sources, food safety remains paramount. Only accredited sources that meet Singapore’s food safety and animal health standards will be allowed to export to Singapore. This has not hindered our diversification efforts. Specifically for chicken, 25 countries are accredited.

Second, we intend to grow more food locally to serve as a buffer in times of supply disruption. We are building the capability and capacity of our agri-food industry to produce up to 30% of our nutritional needs locally and sustainably by 2030, up from less than 10% today.

Mr Louis Chua asked whether we have plans to accelerate “30 by 30”. The 30 by 30 goal is already very ambitious. Singapore is a land scarce country. We only have about 1% of our land set aside for agri-food production, given other competing land uses. To achieve 30 by 30, we need a significant transformation of Singapore’s agri-food sector. As part of this transformation, SFA has recently embarked on the holistic master planning of the 390-hectare Lim Chu Kang area. It will take time for these plans to be implemented.

Ms Joan Pereira and Mr Shawn Huang asked if we could have poultry production in Singapore. Given our land, labour, energy and water constraints, we prefer to concentrate on farming food items that can be produced in a resource efficient and commercially sustainable manner. For example, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) reported that producing one kilogramme of chicken for meat would generate about three times that the CO2-equivalent emissions compared to some fish. We currently have about 260 local farms producing food items that are commonly consumed and have local demand, such as eggs, fish and vegetables.

To Mr Edward Chia’s question on our crisis stockpile, the Government works closely with industry partners to maintain stockpiles of essential food items in order to mitigate the impact of any unforeseen disruptions to our food supply. These stockpiles will help to stabilise supplies during periods of acute disruption as imports from other sources are ramped up. As mentioned by Prime Minister Lee recently, the Government had begun to build up our stockpiles to a higher level at the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, as we were concerned with possible disruptions to our food supply,

I have described our food security strategies to mitigate the risks of unavailability of supply. However, we will not be able to eliminate all risks. To do so would be costly and uneconomical.

We will also not be able to isolate Singapore from the price fluctuations of food supply. As we have seen in recent months, even countries with sizeable food production capabilities face higher food prices because of higher prices of feedstocks, fertilisers and transportation costs.

Price control or subsidies for food, distorts business conditions and may not be financially sustainable. Instead, to address households’ concerns over rising prices, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong recently announced the $1.5 billion support package which includes a GSTV – Cash Special Payment of up to $300 in August to support lower-income individuals.

All Singaporean households would also have received $100 CDC voucher in May to help with daily expenses and the Deputy Prime Minister has already addressed many Parliamentary Questions on this issue, so I do not intend to repeat his points here.

Ms Jessica Tan asked about our support to businesses and consumers. During the ban, our businesses using chicken from Malaysia were able to have access to chicken from alternate sources. The majority of poultry market stalls and chicken rice hawker stalls have remained open. We have also linked up affected hawkers and market stallholders with the Meat Traders Association to switch to frozen or thawed frozen chicken. Our businesses have shown resilience by adapting and pivoting to alternatives, as they have done so with previous disruptions over the COVID-19 pandemic. If needed, we will extend assistance and relieve the burden on businesses and households, as we have done so in the past.

 Mr Desmond Choo and Mr Alex Yam asked about our engagement with the Malaysian government on the chicken export ban. Although the news of the export prohibition broke on 23 May 2022, SFA was officially notified by the Malaysian Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) on 31 May 2022 of Malaysia’s export prohibition of chicken to Singapore that was effective from 1 June 2022. SFA continues to keep in close contact with the Malaysian DVS.

 Because of climate change, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and disruptions in supply chains globally, we expect more disruptions to our food supply ahead of us. While our multi-pronged strategy has worked well in mitigating the impact of such disruptions, we remain vigilant and nimble in the execution of our strategy when new conditions emerge. Businesses should similarly review their Business Continuity Plan and diversify their supplies. Households and individuals too, can contribute to our food resilience by accommodating changes and pivoting to other food types when one is not available. The critical success factor of our food security is the ability of Singaporeans – businesses, consumers, policy makers – together collectively, to adapt, adjust and remain resilient in the face of supply disruptions. Together, we can and we will face any challenges that may come our way.

32 Ms Jessica Tan Soon Neo asked the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment with countries curbing the export of their produce (a) what measures are in place to ensure Singapore’s continued supply of key food items; (b) what further measures will be taken to prevent future disruptions to Singapore’s food supply; and (c) what support can be extended to businesses and consumers to help manage the impact and rising costs as a result of disruptions to food supply. 

33 Ms Joan Pereira asked the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment whether the Ministry will consider setting some local production targets for poultry and poultry products under the “30 by 30” food production target of SFA to enhance the resilience of Singapore’s supply of poultry.

34 Mr Desmond Choo asked the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) what has been the impact on local businesses and consumers in relation to Malaysia’s export ban on chicken; (b) how has the Ministry been engaging with the Malaysian government on the supply of poultry; and (c) how will the Ministry protect our local consumers from similar supply shocks involving other products. 

35 Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song asked the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) between 2018 and 2021, what is the amount (in tonnes) of live and chilled poultry imported into Singapore from each country or territory; and (b) what are the constraints to expanding the number of approved countries for poultry imports. 

36 Mr Chua Kheng Wee Louis asked the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) whether there will be a review of the “30 by 30” target on self-sustainability in food production in view of the rising food security concerns; (b) whether there are plans to accelerate self-sustainability in food production; and (c) what is the long-term target on local food production and nutrition needs beyond the year 2030. 

37 Mr Alex Yam asked the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) whether the Ministry has been informed in advance of the Malaysian authorities’ decision to stop cross-border supply of fresh chickens; and (b) how has this month-long suspension affected local businesses thus far.

The Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (Ms Grace Fu Hai Yien): Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, may I have your permission to answer Parliamentary Question Nos 32 to 37 together?

Mr Deputy Speaker: Please do.

Ms Grace Fu Hai Yien: My response will also address Parliamentary Questions filed by Mr Edward Chia1 and Mr Shawn Huang2 due for reading at subsequent Sittings, and I would like to invite the Members to ask any supplementary questions they may have.

Global food supply chains are highly interlinked. Disruptions to the production, export or transportation of agricultural inputs or food products in one country or region often have knock-on effects on other parts of the food supply chain. These can arise from many causes, including geopolitical tensions, extreme weather events, disruptions to logistics chains or policy decisions by foreign governments.

Some food producing countries have reacted by imposing exports bans or restrictions on food items. Indonesia’s recent palm oil export ban, India’s wheat and sugar export bans and Malaysia’s chicken export ban, are recent examples.

Singapore imports more than 90% of our food. We cannot fully prevent such disruptions. However, we have adopted a multi-pronged approach to mitigate the impacts. Let me elaborate.

First, we work with the industry to build resilience in their supply networks. SFA supports the industry’s diversification efforts by actively accrediting multiple overseas food sources. SFA also helps to accredit new source countries, regions and suppliers in order to give our importers more choices. Through import licensing, SFA requires egg importers to have a business continuity plan and have measures such as diversifying import sources, signing retainer contracts or holding a buffer stock. These measures help to mitigate the impact of disruptions from any single source. We currently import our food from over 170 countries and regions. We will continue our diversification efforts.

Specific to the chicken export ban, chicken from Malaysia accounts for 34% of our total chicken imports. This has dropped by three percentage points from 37% in 2018. While this accounts for 99% of our live and chilled chicken imports, at about 73,000 tonnes in 2021, we have the alternative of frozen chicken available. Frozen chicken provides us with greater food resilience as industrial freezing extends the shelf life of the meat. Under proper storage conditions, frozen meat can be kept for up to a year. It enlarges our pool of available choices to include suppliers from countries that are further away like Brazil and the United States.

In the recent chicken export ban, we saw industry partners such as SATS and trade associations such as the Meat Traders Association and the Poultry Merchants Association, increase imports of frozen chicken from the United States and Brazil, and chilled chicken from Thailand and Australia. SFA has also recently accredited Indonesia as a new source for the import of chicken.

Mr Gerald Giam asked if there were constraints to expanding the number of approved countries for poultry imports. Even as we diversify our food sources, food safety remains paramount. Only accredited sources that meet Singapore’s food safety and animal health standards will be allowed to export to Singapore. This has not hindered our diversification efforts. Specifically for chicken, 25 countries are accredited.

Second, we intend to grow more food locally to serve as a buffer in times of supply disruption. We are building the capability and capacity of our agri-food industry to produce up to 30% of our nutritional needs locally and sustainably by 2030, up from less than 10% today.

Mr Louis Chua asked whether we have plans to accelerate “30 by 30”. The 30 by 30 goal is already very ambitious. Singapore is a land scarce country. We only have about 1% of our land set aside for agri-food production, given other competing land uses. To achieve 30 by 30, we need a significant transformation of Singapore’s agri-food sector. As part of this transformation, SFA has recently embarked on the holistic master planning of the 390-hectare Lim Chu Kang area. It will take time for these plans to be implemented.

Ms Joan Pereira and Mr Shawn Huang asked if we could have poultry production in Singapore. Given our land, labour, energy and water constraints, we prefer to concentrate on farming food items that can be produced in a resource efficient and commercially sustainable manner. For example, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) reported that producing one kilogramme of chicken for meat would generate about three times that the CO2-equivalent emissions compared to some fish. We currently have about 260 local farms producing food items that are commonly consumed and have local demand, such as eggs, fish and vegetables.

To Mr Edward Chia’s question on our crisis stockpile, the Government works closely with industry partners to maintain stockpiles of essential food items in order to mitigate the impact of any unforeseen disruptions to our food supply. These stockpiles will help to stabilise supplies during periods of acute disruption as imports from other sources are ramped up. As mentioned by Prime Minister Lee recently, the Government had begun to build up our stockpiles to a higher level at the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, as we were concerned with possible disruptions to our food supply,

I have described our food security strategies to mitigate the risks of unavailability of supply. However, we will not be able to eliminate all risks. To do so would be costly and uneconomical.

We will also not be able to isolate Singapore from the price fluctuations of food supply. As we have seen in recent months, even countries with sizeable food production capabilities face higher food prices because of higher prices of feedstocks, fertilisers and transportation costs.

Price control or subsidies for food, distorts business conditions and may not be financially sustainable. Instead, to address households’ concerns over rising prices, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong recently announced the $1.5 billion support package which includes a GSTV – Cash Special Payment of up to $300 in August to support lower-income individuals.

All Singaporean households would also have received $100 CDC voucher in May to help with daily expenses and the Deputy Prime Minister has already addressed many Parliamentary Questions on this issue, so I do not intend to repeat his points here.

Ms Jessica Tan asked about our support to businesses and consumers. During the ban, our businesses using chicken from Malaysia were able to have access to chicken from alternate sources. The majority of poultry market stalls and chicken rice hawker stalls have remained open. We have also linked up affected hawkers and market stallholders with the Meat Traders Association to switch to frozen or thawed frozen chicken. Our businesses have shown resilience by adapting and pivoting to alternatives, as they have done so with previous disruptions over the COVID-19 pandemic. If needed, we will extend assistance and relieve the burden on businesses and households, as we have done so in the past.

 Mr Desmond Choo and Mr Alex Yam asked about our engagement with the Malaysian government on the chicken export ban. Although the news of the export prohibition broke on 23 May 2022, SFA was officially notified by the Malaysian Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) on 31 May 2022 of Malaysia’s export prohibition of chicken to Singapore that was effective from 1 June 2022. SFA continues to keep in close contact with the Malaysian DVS.

 Because of climate change, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and disruptions in supply chains globally, we expect more disruptions to our food supply ahead of us. While our multi-pronged strategy has worked well in mitigating the impact of such disruptions, we remain vigilant and nimble in the execution of our strategy when new conditions emerge. Businesses should similarly review their Business Continuity Plan and diversify their supplies. Households and individuals too, can contribute to our food resilience by accommodating changes and pivoting to other food types when one is not available. The critical success factor of our food security is the ability of Singaporeans – businesses, consumers, policy makers – together collectively, to adapt, adjust and remain resilient in the face of supply disruptions. Together, we can and we will face any challenges that may come our way.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Ms Joan Pereira.

Ms Joan Pereira (Tanjong Pagar): Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. I have one supplementary question for the Minister. Would the Ministry consider exploring the use of offshore islands such as Pulau Ubin for poultry or agricultural users with aspects of ecotourism, so as to enhance the resilience of Singapore’s food supply.

Ms Grace Fu Hai Yien: In my course of engaging the public as well as stakeholders on our food resilience plan, suggestions like what Ms Pereira has offered, are often heard. There were suggestions about using rooftops for community farming, using space in front of our void decks and allowing Singaporeans to plan and grow their own food for food resilience. Also, there were suggestions for other types of farming, such as permaculture for soil rehabilitation, crop rotation, so that we can improve our ecosystem and eco-diversity.  

Mr Deputy Speaker, these are all valid considerations. In many ways, they can contribute and add to our food resilience. But, as SFA, looks after food supply resilience, our priority must be to meet a significant proportion of our food supply needs, build up significant skillsets so that we have the production knowledge and capability onshore to support us in times of need. So, while we are developing our Lim Chu Kang masterplan, we will incorporate suggestions, such as, what Ms Pereira had offered. We invite other stakeholders to also come onboard to give us their suggestions. 

But ultimately, the challenge ahead of us, Mr Deputy Speaker, is how we should increase our food production from the current figure of less than 10% to 30%, with less than 1% of our land almost at the same amount of land that we are using now. In many cases, we are looking at productivity to the multiple of 10 times of what we are doing now, in order to give us the bulk that we need. So, we also invite the public, the stakeholders, the businesses to join us in raising the productivity and production capabilities of our local agri-farm sector.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Ms Jessica Tan.

Ms Jessica Tan Soon Neo (East Coast): Mr Deputy Speaker, I have one supplementary question for the Minister. It is, as Minister said, very concerning that there is still risk even with our multi-pronged approach. So, maybe I will turn my question around. I think Minister has done quite a bit of engagements with both businesses and and Singaporeans. What is it that Singaporeans, individuals and businesses, what is it that we need to do more of to be able to support this strategy?

Ms Grace Fu Hai Yien: Mr Deputy Speaker, I think like many Members in this Chamber, we have been most concerned about the well-being of our businesses, small and large – small ones in the wet markets, large ones like importers or slaughterhouses, and also, our residents, the consumers. I think many of us have made many rounds at our wet markets, our coffee shops to survey and to understand the situation. I would like to share some of my personal experiences.

We – myself and my colleagues from NEA and SFA – have been reviewing and surveying constantly and regularly, so as to allow us to understand what is happening on the ground. Which are the stores that remain open, what are they selling, how are they getting alternative sources? Which are the ones that have closed and for how long? So, that is why I think we speak with some confidence that actually, the majority, by and large, of the stores have remained open. And if they have closed, they closed for short while and when the news about the importation of kampong chicken and black chicken came, they reopened quickly again.

I would like to share some of my experience talking to the stallholders. A nasi lemak stallholder said that: “I’ve learned to diversify, not just for chicken but for many of the major types of ingredients and to multiple suppliers, because during the COVID-19 period, we have seen how suppliers has not been able to cope”. So, he has learnt to diversify to multiple suppliers.

We have also a “si yau gai”, a soy sauce chicken, seller in my area, who has basically replaced his fresh chicken with frozen chicken. We also have poultry stallholders who were selling chicken, fresh chicken and so on, converting to sell kampong chicken, black chicken and frozen chicken as well. And I have a quintessential Hainanese chicken stallholder, who shared with me that she has switched to frozen but could not get the same taste as before and so their business has been affected. And then, she showed me her very swollen fingers, saying, “This is what I have to go through to try to thaw many frozen chicken in order to try to get to the same recipe and same taste as before”.

I am sharing this as our stallholders have actually shown great resilience. They have really tried to pivot. And even though they have not really recovered to pre-ban days, they are definitely trying. And I think that is the kind of spirit that we would like to see and encourage Singaporean businesses, stallholders to have. Sometimes, in the eagerness of helping them with financial assistance or other assistance, we must not undermine this resilience that we see. And we also must not reverse some of the good business practices, the business continuity plans that they have started or implemented. We should not unwind some of these things.

As a whole, I hope our businesses are able to diversify during peacetime, establish trade relations with more suppliers across different countries. Diversify, so that we know if there is a bout of avian flu, we will not be affected in the same way, and I look at a having good business continuity plan. Our businesses, small businesses, have shown resilience, adaptability and flexibility in different forms of meat and different ways of cooking – if you cannot do it in the boiled state, do it in the grilled way. I think this will make us a lot more resilient.

As for individuals like ourselves here, we can always look for different types of cooking, different menus, different sources. And if you are able to again adapt to it, if you cannot buy it this week, just do not eat this form of meat. If you cannot find chicken, let us go for other forms of proteins like eggs. There are very good alternatives around and if you show some hardiness, then, as a whole, the whole country, the whole of Singapore, will have much better resilience against food disruptions.

Mr Deputy Speaker: May I suggest two more supplementary questions on this topic? Mr Gerald Giam and then Mr Alex Yam.

Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song (Aljunied): Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker, before 1 June 2022, almost all our live and chilled chicken imports were from Malaysia. May I ask why more regional countries had not been approved earlier, for live and chilled chicken imports before we faced this crisis, so as to ensure better food supply resilience. I note the Minister just said that food safety is paramount but that has not hindered our diversification efforts, so what has?

Secondly, as Malaysia’s export restrictions are still in place, what is SFA doing to incentivise poultry importers to import chicken from alternative sources that are already approved so as to increase supply and lower the price of chicken in Singapore. For example, can import fees for live and chilled poultry from all approved suppliers be waived until Malaysia completely lifts its export restrictions on chicken?

Ms Grace Fu Hai Yien: Thank you very much for these supplementary questions. On the first question, actually, we do have countries that have been accredited for importation and as I mentioned Malaysia has 99% of the live, chilled market. The rest comes from countries like Thailand and Australia.

So, is there any reason why we do not accredit other countries? There are reasons because, as I mentioned, food safety is definitely one consideration. From time to time, countries are affected by zoonotic diseases, such as avian flu. So, our food security surveillance or food security review system has to take these factors into consideration and we do get into sometimes, protracted discussions with the relevant authorities, about how they are doing safety compartmentalisation, so that affected areas are not affecting the supply from the non-affected area.

So, these are the reasons. I do not wish to go into further details here, but let me give you the assurance that we will support our businesses.

In the pre-COVID-19 days, we used to go together with our trade associations to open up new areas and I think that the supplies from South America is one of the outcomes. We go together, we decide on which are the areas that we want to focus our priorities on and we managed to establish the kind of trade links. So, we will do so.

As to why we are only getting from Malaysia, it is actually related to the first question. Although we have accredited many other countries, but because of proximity, because of historical reasons of having associations with businesses between Singapore and Malaysia, we are very closely linked, with a long history of doing business together. Malaysia continues to be an important source country for us.

I do not believe that we have any significant import fees that will hinder the establishment of a new market but if the Member has specific questions or issues with import fees or costs, please let us know, we will be happy to look into it.

But the basic question is this. There will always be a cost competitive reason for importers to gravitate to the source market that is most competitive. Sometimes, it is because it is the nearest, sometimes it is because it has an established logistics chain that can allow the goods to arrive in the shortest time. Because of competition, they will be reluctant to try new areas that may increase the cost. They may be reluctant to try new products because it is not familiar to the consumers.

So, from time to time, we have to evaluate the need for licensing conditions. We have done so for eggs and we will think about whether it is necessary for chicken as well. The more conditions we impose on licenses, on business regulations, it will introduce rigidity, no doubt. But we may have to do it because it is a trade-off to encourage businesses or to require businesses to diversify. So, if we find that there is a strategic reason for us to do it, we will do so.

Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment
4 July 2022

https://sprs.parl.gov.sg/search/sprs3topic?reportid=oral-answer-2841

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