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Singapore Food Agency to work with fresh food wholesale industry on study

THE Singapore Food Agency (SFA) on Friday said it will be embarking on a study of future infrastructure needs to support fresh food wholesale and distribution in the Republic.

The study, which is expected to be completed in 2022, will commence in the third quarter this year, and be done in consultation with industry stakeholders.

Covering both the seafood as well as the vegetable and fruits industries, the review will help SFA better understand different sectors related to fresh food distribution, wholesale and retail, the agency said. 

The consultation will examine how technological advancements, wholesale trends and evolving consumer and business preferences might impact future business models. It will also look at the infrastructure needed to facilitate such trends and improve operational efficiency, as well as benchmark the industry's processes against international best practices, it added. 

Findings from the study will be taken into consideration in the government's review of the fresh food wholesale industry in Singapore, the agency said. 

While the study is ongoing, SFA will be undertaking renovation and repair works at Jurong Fishery Port. 

Tenants can look forward to new installations and improvements such as electrical power for individual market lots, better drainage and lighting systems, as well as the provision of WiFi in the market, SFA said. 

Renovation works are slated to commence in the first half of 2022 and to complete in mid-2023.

Separately, SFA said it will be consolidating Senoko Fishery Port into Jurong Fishery Point by 2023. 

According to the agency's review, the level of activity and customer patronage at Senoko Fishery Port has decreased over the years, with the volume of seafood handled dropping by 62 per cent from 2000 to 2018. 

"The declining activity at Senoko Fishery Port, coupled with the renovation of Jurong Fishery Port, presents an opportunity for the consolidation of the fishery ports. This consolidation of the fishery ports will centralise wholesale seafood in Singapore and allow buyers to purchase seafood wholesale conveniently at a single location," the agency said. 

Merchants at Senoko Fishery Port who wish to continue their trade will be offered a market lot at the renovated Jurong Fishery Port, and additional lots will be built to cater to these merchants. 

Melvin Chow, senior director of SFA's food infrastructure development & management division, said: "SFA looks forward to partnering the industry to chart the future of fresh food wholesale in Singapore. The study will help us leverage new opportunities to plan and grow the fresh food wholesale industry.

"In addition, bringing both our fishery ports under one roof will help the industry remain sustainable and vibrant."

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