SG: New guidelines for local farms to ensure produce is safe and sustainable

New guidelines to help local farms ensure the production of clean and green local produce were launched on Thursday. They are meant to assure consumers that produce from local vegetable farms is fresh, free from synthetic pesticides and grown sustainably, with efficient use of resources and without compromising the environment.

It contains criteria that urban vegetable farms have to meet in terms of farm management, techniques and practices to achieve a clean and green production system. A clean farm production system refers to one that does not use pollutive farm inputs, such as synthetic pesticides, and does not leave behind undesirable residue for consumers and the environment.

The criteria include minimum competency requirements for farm employees, plans for the responsible management of resources, green procurement practices and farm operations, as well as procedures for handling customer complaints, farm product recalls and conducting internal audits.

Dr Tan Lee Kim, SFA director-general of food administration and deputy chief executive, said these guidelines are timely, given the increasing challenges from climate change. "This can put a strain on food supply chains, including our local food production... The standard will be critical in ensuring our local farms employ farming practices that make efficient use of our resources to grow more in land-scarce Singapore and are sustainable in the long run," Dr Tan said.

"As a result, local urban farms will be recognized for producing safe, quality food, using resource-efficient practices in a clean and sustainable environment. This will allow us to differentiate and brand local produce, further strengthening Singapore's reputation for quality produce as we work towards achieving our '30 by 30' goal."

Read the complete article at www.straitstimes.com.


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