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Singapore to import chilled, frozen, processed chickens from Indonesia; live chickens not part of arrangement

SINGAPORE — Singapore has added Indonesia as a new source for the import of chilled, frozen and processed chicken, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said on Thursday (June 30).
Pre-packed chicken in a supermarket in Singapore.
Pre-packed chicken in a supermarket in Singapore.

SINGAPORE — Singapore has added Indonesia as a new source for the import of chilled, frozen and processed chicken, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said on Thursday (June 30).

Fresh chickens are, however, not part of the arrangement. There is an ongoing ban of live chickens from Malaysia that has severely affected Singapore slaughterhouses, wet market poultry sellers and chicken rice sellers, among others.

Last week, Reuters quoted Mr Achmad Dawami, the chairman of the Indonesian Poultry Breeders' Association, as saying that Singapore wanted to import live chickens from Indonesia in order to keep their domestic slaughterhouses operational.

However, Indonesian producers preferred exporting slaughtered chicken since they lacked experience in shipping live poultry, he said.

TODAY has sent queries to SFA on whether it was looking to import fresh chickens from Indonesia.

On Facebook, SFA said that the addition of Indonesia as a source for chicken had been made possible by close collaboration between SFA, the Animal and Veterinary Service and the Indonesian authorities.

Indonesia joins the ranks of more than 20 countries such as Australia, Brazil and Thailand that are allowed to export chicken to Singapore.

In its Facebook post, SFA said that diversification is a “cornerstone of Singapore’s food security strategy” and that it has been diversifying food sources "over the years" — especially commonly consumed food items such as eggs, chicken and vegetables.

It added that chickens can only be imported from SFA’s accredited sources to ensure that they can meet Singapore’s food safety and animal health standards.

Individual establishments and chicken farms will need to be evaluated and approved through documentary evaluations and on-site audits for verification, while consignments would be subjected to SFA’s inspection, sampling and testing upon import.

“This ensures the continuity of SFA’s source diversification strategy without compromising on food safety,” the agency said.

“Having a new source for imports of frozen, chilled, heat-processed chicken meat and chicken meat products is another step forward in SFA’s efforts towards diversifying food supply sources and enhancing the resilience of Singapore’s food supplies. This will better safeguard us against global supply uncertainties.”

In a separate Facebook post, Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, said that Indonesia joining the more than 20 countries accredited to import chicken “is another step forward for our efforts to diversify sources and enhance the resilience of our food supply”.

SFA is a statutory board under the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment.

“Global supplies will continue to face uncertainties, and we must be psychologically prepared for more disruptions and price volatility,” Ms Fu said in the post on Thursday.

“While the Government undertakes long-term planning and proactive actions to safeguard Singapore’s food supply, consumers and the food industry also have an important part to play.

“By being flexible with our food and ingredient choices, and switching to alternative products or sources when necessary, we can all help to increase Singapore’s resilience.” 

Related topics

chicken chicken ban Malaysia Indonesia SFA MSE food security

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