Singapore to begin importing chicken eggs from Brunei, further diversifying its food sources
SINGAPORE: Singapore will begin importing chicken eggs from Brunei, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said on Tuesday (Dec 13).
This follows Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu's visit to an egg farm in Brunei, where she announced that SFA has accredited the country as a new source of egg exports.
This brings the number of countries and regions accredited to export "hen shell eggs" to Singapore to 17, up from 12 in 2019, said the agency.
"The accreditation of Brunei as a new country source for eggs is another step towards augmenting food cooperation between both countries, as Brunei looks to produce eggs for export while Singapore diversifies its egg import sources further," said SFA.
Ms Fu visited Golden Chick Livestock Farm in Brunei on Tuesday, at the start of her three-day official visit to the country. It is the first Bruneian farm to export eggs to Singapore.
She is also in Brunei to discuss and strengthen agri-food, environmental, water resource management and climate change cooperation between the two countries.
"We hope that this accreditation will see new markets for the agri-tech industry in Brunei," said Ms Fu, noting the increased business for the country's farms.
70% OF SINGAPORE'S EGGS IMPORTED
Currently, imports account for about 70 per cent of Singapore's egg supply.
Local egg production currently contributes to about 30 per cent of Singapore's total egg consumption and complements efforts on import source diversification, said SFA.
"Efforts to diversify the nation’s egg supply over the past three years have helped us to withstand supply disruptions arising from unexpected events due to disease issues and geopolitical tensions and ensured a stable supply of eggs in Singapore."
The agency added that the upcoming development of Singapore's fourth egg farm will further strengthen the resilience of the country's local egg supply. When it is fully operational, Singapore's local egg farms will meet about 50 per cent of the country’s egg demand.
It will also contribute towards Singapore’s 30-by-30 goal to build the agri-food industry’s capability and capacity to sustainably produce 30 per cent of Singapore’s nutritional needs by 2030.
Eggs imported into Singapore must come from accredited sources that meet SFA’s strict food safety and animal health standards. This involves two main stages:
Accreditation of the country of export
- The agency assesses the exporting country’s disease freedom status, veterinary services, legislation, animal disease status and control measures. It also looks at national residue and microbiological monitoring programmes, as well as the regulatory system for the production of the export products to Singapore.
- For example, eggs and poultry can only be imported from Avian Influenza (bird-flu) free areas. This assessment is done in collaboration with the Animal & Veterinary Service, a cluster of the National Parks Board.
Accreditation of the export farm or establishment
- Farms and food establishments are also assessed by SFA to ensure that they meet food safety standards and animal health requirements.
- Farms and food establishments are required to submit information on how they ensure that products exported to Singapore meet SFA’s requirements and standards. These include information such as their animal health and food safety management programmes, biosecurity/hygiene and sanitation procedures, and their traceability systems.
- SFA also takes into account good agriculture practices and good manufacturing practices when approving sources. An inspection trip may be conducted to validate the country’s system and standards of the individual export farms and establishments.
Upon approval, imported food from the accredited sources will be subjected to SFA’s inspection at the point of import and testing. Egg and egg products that do not meet SFA’s food safety standards will not be allowed to enter the market.