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Ms Tan Poh Hong
Chief Executive Officer
Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore
On behalf of the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA), I extend to the Singapore Fruits and Vegetables Import and Export Association (SFVIEA) warm congratulations on the publication of its 2010/2011Members’ Directory.
The Directory has continued to serve the industry well, as a good resource for fruit and vegetable producers, traders and retailers, in Singapore and internationally. It speaks much of the fundamental role of SFVIEA in promoting and supporting the growth of Singapore’s fruits and vegetables trade; increasing networking among SFVIEA members; and strengthening relations within the industry.
I would like to highlight some achievements in the past year that were brought about by the close and beneficial working relationship between SFVIEA and AVA. Both AVA and SFVIEA share a common objective to ensure a stable and resilient supply of safe, wholesome and quality fresh produce for our country. To do so, one of the strategies AVA adopts is through diversification of sources. Alternative supplies of fresh produce are a crucial buffer when consignments from certain countries are disrupted, or when prices from some sources escalate.
Collaborations in this area between AVA and SFVIEA include several mission trips to countries such as Cambodia, Israel and Western Australia in 2010 to scout for possible additional suppliers. During these trips, successful business deals were made between our importers and foreign exporters. This helped to enhance Singapore’s diversification efforts for vegetables and fruits.
These endeavours resulted in a significant increase in the countries of origin of fruits and vegetables sold in Singapore. Approximately 480,000 tonnes of vegetables were imported from 39 countries in 2010, up from the 24 countries in 2007. As for fruits, sources came from 10 more countries than in 2007 – some 370,000 tonnes were brought in from 50 countries in 2010.
To further ensure the competitiveness of local importers and exporters, AVA is constantly improving its processes, so that they serve to keep Singapore’s food safe and facilitate agri-trade at the same time. In doing so, AVA conducts regular dialogue sessions to communicate updates on our regulations and better understand the industry’s needs. In addition, AVA also formed a taskforce with SFVIEA recently to review our fruit and vegetable inspection processes.
Through the continued partnership between AVA and SFVIEA, I am confident that Singapore will continue a safe, adequate and varied supply of fresh produce. I wish SFVIEA members every success in our common endeavour.