Food & Beverage
Food & Drink Sourcing
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Food & Drink Sourcing

Food & Drink sourcing is a key component of a sustainability strategy in the F&B industry and leads to many benefits such as reduced operating costs, improved products quality, improved community relationships, increased customer loyalty, and improved morale and loyalty among staff.

Our diet and food choices have a significant impact on our carbon footprint (25% of global GHG emissions are generated by food production).

It is fundamental to understand that "consuming local" will not by itself be enough to reduce our footprint, as Transport only contributes less than 10% of GHG emissions for most food products (falling to 0.5% for beef, because of its tremendous amount of GHG generated by land use and farm-stage emissions). However, it really does matter to avoid products that are air-freighted (because highly perishable) instead of imported by boat and to source from sustainable farms/companies.

If you have 1 first step to make, reducing beef and dairy consumption and shifting to poultry and plant-based alternatives will have the greatest impact on your carbon footprint.

To learn more, read in-depth the analysis from Our World in Data.

Source Responsibly - Locally
Cost
LOW
Cost
MEDIUM
Cost
HIGH
EFFORT
low
EFFORT
medium
EFFORT
HIGH
IMPACT
low
IMPACT
MEDIUM
IMPACT
HIGH

Buy Local Products. It may not be essential in terms of carbon footprint for some products but it's essential for fresh and perishable ones. It helps to support Singapore 30 / 30 Food Plan, secure food supplies, raise awareness on food production and supply chain. It is also an opportunity to be more creative with well known products. Promote your actions with the local farmers and suppliers: it benefits them and your image at the same time.

Look for certifications and labels. For products like eggs, vegetables and fish for instance, Singapore certified and accredited farms are under these quality assurance schemes:

90%

of the food consumed in Singapore is imported.
(SFA)

30%

Singapore aims at raising the local food production to 30% of their needs by 2030.
(Straits Times)

Suppliers that provide solutions:
Urban farming, foodscaping and workshops
Edible Garden City

Edible Garden City champions the "Grow Our Own" movement – believing that growing your own food will reconnect one with nature, conserve natural resources, and cultivate a sense of community.

To do so, EGC’s Foodscaping team has built over 200 edible gardens for restaurants, hotels, schools, office buildings, and private residential homes, their Farm Production team grows fresh produce throughout Singapore, and their Education team drives a range of workshops and events from school farming programmes to corporate workshops, volunteer opportunities to full-on apprenticeships – to share the love for growing your own.

Vertical vegetables farm
Verti Vegies

VertiVegie is a Singaporean Controlled Environment Farming Company.

By growing food locally in a controlled environment, they limit crop loss during production, increase shelf life for consumption & substitute imported food which contributes to major transportation and handling food losses.

Their vertical farm, powered by on-site solar generation, reduces land use, and their closed loop water systems use 90% less water use than field agriculture. Also, the hydro-nutrition food grade systems allow year round production without soil depletion and degradation.

They use:
- No Pesticides, Pollutants & Preservatives
- No Genetic Modification
- No Unethical Practices

Urban Farming (vegetables & herbs)
ComCrop Pte Ltd

ComCrop is the first urban commercial rooftop farm in Southeast Asia.

ComCrop comes from Community Crop, because not only do they use marginalised spaces to grow food, they also establish their farms near where people live (less transport and commute) and support marginalised communities (such as M.I.N.D.S.).

They use hydroponic systems, that use 90% less water than traditional farming, and climate-controlled environment system. They are also pesticide-free.

Eggs producer
Chew's Agriculture

Chew's Agriculture Pte Ltd is the first ISO 22000:2005 and HACCP certified farm in Singapore, with commitment to deliver high quality, wholesome and safe egg-products for consumers, and also the first Certified Humane® Egg Producer in Singapore.

Chew's designer eggs:
Organic selenium eggs, cage free eggs, omega 3 eggs, omega 6 eggs, zeaxanthin plus eggs, traditional black chicken eggs & kampong chicken eggs, corn + soya eggs, lower cholesterol brown shell eggs, extra-large lower cholesterol brown shell fresh eggs.

Please note there is a minimum order of 300 pieces for wholesale orders.

They can be contacted by email or telephone: 67937674

Source Responsibly - Regionally
Cost
LOW
Cost
MEDIUM
Cost
HIGH
EFFORT
low
EFFORT
medium
EFFORT
HIGH
IMPACT
low
IMPACT
MEDIUM
IMPACT
HIGH

Buy Regional ASEAN Products. It may not be essential in terms of carbon footprint for some products but it's essential for fresh and perishable ones. It helps to support surroundings economies and local communities, secure food supplies, raise awareness on food production and supply chain. It is also an opportunity to be more creative with well known products.

Promote your actions with the local farmers and suppliers: it benefits them and your image at the same time.

Look for regional certifications and labels. See international certifications in the additional resources below.

When sourcing products, look at all the other sustainable aspects:

  • integrate side effects such as deforestation and deterioration of natural ecosystems for main raw materials (especially soy, palm oil, beef & fish...)
  • reduce packaging as much as possible
  • avoid air-freight transportation
  • negotiate prices that will allow farmers to preserve a correct income and secure their environment to prevent work accidents and illnesses
  • integrate ethical work conditions (minimum salaries levels, no forced labor, no child work...)
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Some recognized international ecolabels for fish and seafood:

Other recognized certifications for food products recommended by WWF:

  • Forest Stewardship Council® (certification is designated for responsibly produced wood and paper products, some of which is used to package food)
  • Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (certifies responsibly produced palm oil)
  • Bonsucro (certifies sugarcane production that uses water efficiently, limits chemical use, protects wildlife and their habitats, and promotes workers’ rights)
  • Rainforest Alliance (found on wood and agricultural products and tourism operations, including bananas, beef, cocoa, coffee, diapers, flowers, paper, soap, tea, and travel destinations)

For sustainable Palm Oil, support PM Haze People's Movement to Stop Haze which encourages sustainable palm oil consumption and not the Palm Oil boycott. Palm oil is, according to PM Haze, the most land efficient oil crop. Furthermore, palm oil cultivation is the livelihood of many farmers in Indonesia and Malaysia. It is, therefore, more sustainable to source Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) produced by responsible companies which do not engage in practices such as burning and deforestation.

Suppliers that provide solutions:
Organic "Fruits in the office"
ShiokFarm

Shiokfarm brings affordable and organic fruit and vegetables to families and companies in Singapore. Most of their products come from Malaysia and Thailand to limit the carbon footprint. They have a corporate offer "Fruitsintheoffice" to deliver fresh fruits to companies' office every week.

Their program allows to drastically reduce food waste as their members commit for a 6 month period and Shiokfarm commits with their farms for 2 years.

Organic Products Distributor (fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, eggs...)
Quan Fa Organic Farm

Quan Fa Organic Farm has been operating for more than 20 years, from a small organic vegetables retailer to one of the leading distributors in Singapore. Their produces are all sourced from the neighbouring countries of Cameron Highlands (Malaysia) and Thailand. All the produces are organically certified. They use no pesticides or harmful fertilizers and adopted a no plastic bag policy.

Responsible Rice Grower with sustainable farming methods
Golden Sunland (The Little Rice Company Brand)

The Little Rice Company is a brand owned by Golden Sunland, a responsible seed-to-table rice-growing company based in Singapore. They partner with smallholder rice farmers in Myanmar and provide them with fair work conditions & wages through buyback schemes that ensure fairness and profits.

They also use non-hazardous chemicals on the crops (EU standards).

They redesigned their rice mill operations in order to repurpose secondary waste into useful by-products and energy, guiding farmer partners on sustainable growing guidelines, upcycling rice-by products, tracking and making visible the carbon footprint of their rice production.

They are a certified B-Corporation.

Buy unwanted food
Cost
LOW
Cost
MEDIUM
Cost
HIGH
EFFORT
low
EFFORT
medium
EFFORT
HIGH
IMPACT
low
IMPACT
MEDIUM
IMPACT
HIGH

A shameful quantity of food does not make it to our plate because they don't meet standards in size, shape or color...
They are commonly called "ugly" food, although perfectly edible.

In Singapore, where most of the products are imported, "unwanted food" refers to fresh produces rejected because of cosmetic reasons or surplus, at the supply chain and retailer stages. They still can be consumed as it is or transformed into dishes, juices, sauces, etc.

By buying them, you can significantly decrease food waste. Furthermore, their price is usually lower.

When some products almost reach their shelf life, they can be discounted or blessed to staff.

1/3

of the food grown or prepared does not make it from farm or factory to fork. Mostly because they are sorted to visually appear "beautiful".(Drawdown)

US$2.6 trillion

is the estimated global economic, environmental, and social cost of food wastage, which is nearly equal to the GDP of France.
(FAO, 2014)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Suppliers that provide solutions:
Food from rescued fruits & vegetables, Workshops & Talks
Ugly Food

UglyFood aims to be the leading go-to company well-known for reducing food wastage in supply chains. They collect fresh produces that didn't make it through the cosmetic filtering from wholesalers, importer, distributors and wet market stalls and transform them into healthy and delectable food products, available at SUTD, at pop-up events and through corporate bulk orders.

Digital platform (app) to reduce food loss
TreeDots

TreeDots is a B2B platform that enables suppliers to re-distribute their unsold inventory to organisations that can use them. Suppliers save money from otherwise discarded products and buyers get quality ingredients at lower prices.

Grow your own produces / Partner with local communities
Cost
LOW
Cost
MEDIUM
Cost
HIGH
EFFORT
low
EFFORT
medium
EFFORT
HIGH
IMPACT
low
IMPACT
MEDIUM
IMPACT
HIGH

Obviously, growing your own produces will not cover all your needs in terms of fresh supplies. However, it has several benefits:

  • reduce transportation of your fresh herbs and other produces
  • allow your employees to (re)connect with nature

In addition, partnerships will support local community gardens and local urban farmers.

You do not need much space to get started:

  • understand your space (lighting, quality of the soil etc)
  • set your gardening goals
  • choose your seeds
  • map out your garden

Alternatively, a specialist can help you start your own garden.

If you cannot grow your own produce, prioritize local produces (labelled if possible). See above solution "Source Responsibly"

14%

of Leafy vegetables consumed in Singapore in 2019 were produced by local farms, 26% of eggs and 10% of fish.
(The Strait Times)

1,300

community gardens are maintained in Singapore.
(NParks. Find your closest garden)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

More resources on how to start your own garden

Suppliers that provide solutions:
Urban farming, foodscaping and workshops
Edible Garden City

Edible Garden City champions the "Grow Our Own" movement – believing that growing your own food will reconnect one with nature, conserve natural resources, and cultivate a sense of community.

To do so, EGC’s Foodscaping team has built over 200 edible gardens for restaurants, hotels, schools, office buildings, and private residential homes, their Farm Production team grows fresh produce throughout Singapore, and their Education team drives a range of workshops and events from school farming programmes to corporate workshops, volunteer opportunities to full-on apprenticeships – to share the love for growing your own.

Converting space into productive gardens
Pocket Greens

They design and set up herbs and vegetable gardens for schools, homes, restaurants and institutions: from rock garden to rooftop garden, food garden, kampung farm or butterfly garden...

Choose Sustainable Water Supply
Cost
LOW
Cost
MEDIUM
Cost
HIGH
EFFORT
low
EFFORT
medium
EFFORT
HIGH
IMPACT
low
IMPACT
MEDIUM
IMPACT
HIGH

Replace single-use bottles by more sustainable options, such as reusable (e.g. glass) bottles that can be filled with filtered tap water and sealed on-site (for F&B outlets and office restaurants for instance). Some systems also allow you to have sparkling and still water for your consumers' choice.

x1,500

It takes 1,500 times more energy to produce a bottled water than to treat & distribute tap water.
(The University of Queensland)

91%

of the world’s plastic bottles are not recycled.(JerseyIslandHolidays)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Suppliers that provide solutions:
Filtered water solutions (bottles, tapping, caps, etc.)
Nordaq

Nordaq delivers a leading and sustainable premium solution for the global hotel and restaurant industry. This means that there is now a more profitable, sustainable and tasteful alternative to ordinary bottled water for all businesses.
They support restaurants, hotels, cafés and offices, produce premium water on-site with minimal environmental impact.

Buddies - Experience sharing

The « green journey » may feel overwhelming sometimes, but you are not alone.

Our Buddies have tried, succeeded, failed to implement change in their companies. They share their experience so you can learn, take shortcuts, get inspired and ask questions.

Everybody can become a Buddy and give back to the community; if you are keen, get in touch with us.

Claire Chabrières
Founder – ShiokFarm

Entrepreneurial by nature, Claire started ShiokFarm in 2015 when realising the high prices for organic fruit and vegetables in Singapore. Based on the French AMAP model, in which Farmers and a community create a partnership in order to reduce food waste and cost, ShiokFarm aims to provide families and offices in Singapore with affordable organic fruit and vegetables while reducing food waste. Starting with a small Facebook group, Claire has succeeded in making ShiokFarm an outstanding organic business.