What is the deal with local produce? If you've been wondering why some people are rather vocal about eating local, we've put together a list of reasons why! Some of these may be unique to Singapore, but it applies to local produce anywhere else too.
1. Local produce is super fresh!
As soon as it is harvested, fresh produce begins to lose nutrients and moisture. The longer the journey, the less fresh it becomes.
Locally grown produce doesn't have to travel far before it arrives in top condition at your door! This reduces the risk of contamination and maximises its taste and nutrition.
2. Local produce is full of seasonal surprises.
Seasonal food is produce that is purchased and consumed around the time that it is harvested.
Unlike out-of-season produce, which is harvested prematurely and imported to Singapore, seasonal local foods are allowed to ripen naturally before being picked at the peak of ripeness. As a result, they taste better and contain more nutrients.
3. Local produce is organic.
In Singapore, Sky Greens vegetable farm was the first to secure a new, first-of-its-kind national standard for organic primary produce grown in or near an urban area. With the help of tiered towers that hold rows of Asian vegetables, the farm grows 10 times as many vegetables as traditional farming!
Many farms here also grow organic produce – you can be sure to find a good organic option if that’s what you’re looking for!
*Do note that not all local produce is organic. It will usually be indicated at the point of sale, so make sure to check and verify that it is.
4. Local produce is nutritious.
Shopping and eating local grants you access to a more diverse selection of produce.
Nutrient-rich varieties that may not be popular enough for mass markets or capable of enduring transportation can be easily sourced locally. The more diverse your diet is, the more nourishing ingredients you consume!
5. Local produce is better for the environment.
Transporting produce by air leaves a significant carbon footprint that contributes to climate change. Eating local produce reduces the distance that our food travels to reach us, decreasing the amount of transport-related greenhouse gas emissions produced in the process.
Due to its superior freshness, local produce also remains edible for a longer period of time, resulting in less food waste.
Imported supermarket produce travels an average of 2000km before it arrives at your neighbourhood grocery store. To prepare for this journey and the expected ripening of the produce that will occur over time, unripe or premature produce could be selected to account for transport schedules.
A shorter, more artificial ripening process means those veggies have less of a chance to accumulate nutrients and flavour. Meanwhile, local veggies are allowed to ripen naturally and nutritionally.
Our friends at Just Produce take it one step further, naturally accentuating the flavours of their produce during the growing process itself.
7. Local produce is social!
By purchasing directly from local farms, you are contributing to a close network of ties between Singaporean farmers and our wider community. The local camaraderie that this fosters leads to greater support from the community, helping farms to expand and thrive.
You can also meet like-minded people at events that promote local produce. The Singapore Food Agency partners with Singapore Agro-Food Enterprises Federation Limited to organise the SG Farmers' Market at various community spaces, where you can mingle and form connections.
8. Local produce stands out.
How do you know It is local produce? Easy! Look out for the little red dot.
The SG Fresh Produce logo can be found on packaging and selected marketing collateral that promotes local produce. You can be assured that local produce distributed with this logo must be from SFA-Licensed farm(s) in Singapore.
9. Local produce is traceable.
There's no need for any detective work! Quality assurance is guaranteed as local produce can be easily traced to the farm source.
You can also be satisfied that there's no pesticide! Singapore's stringent farming regulations for local produce means that they contain controlled quantities of chemicals. Any contamination is easily traceable.
The Singapore Food Agency also carries out monthly inspections to ensure that farms meet strict standards.
10. Local produce supports local farms.
As of 2020, there are 238 licensed farms in Singapore. By buying local produce, you are contributing to their productivity and the diversity of crops that they grow!
Vegetables, eggs and fish are some foods with potential for increased domestic production.
According to the Singapore Food Agency, they are commonly consumed but are perishable and more susceptible to supply disruptions when imported. Buy local to support Singapore's farms in producing more for all of us!
11. Local produce sustains our food security.
The Singapore Food Agency has set the target of producing 30 percent of Singapore’s nutritional needs by 2030. As we import over 90 per cent of our food supply, we are vulnerable to market volatilities such as climate change and global food situations which may impact the availability of food.
An important buffer against these vulnerabilities is the capacity of our local food production. When we shop local, we are hence making ourselves more self-sufficient by supporting Singapore's continuous production of fresh and safe food.
12. Local produce supports the local economy.
Buying locally keeps money circulating within the local economy. By creating locally owned supply chains and investing in their employees, local businesses recirculate a greater share of every dollar!
Bonus: Local produce tastes good!
Singapore’s farmers put in a lot of hard work and effort to bring you the freshest produce. They are keenly aware that they face competition from cheaper imports, hence they cannot compromise on quality. With their care and attention around the clock, you can be certain that the produce that reaches your plate is top quality.
We can vouch for it, and so do our customers who have tried the same-day harvests from our partner farms. You can actually taste the difference.