New accreditation scheme being developed for S'pore farms

A new accreditation program is being developed to certify farms in Singapore that meet the national guidelines of producing pesticide-free and sustainably-grown vegetables, Enterprise Singapore (ESG) said on Monday (Sep 27).

The new program – to be drawn up by the Singapore Accreditation Council (SAC), which ESG oversees together with the Singapore Food Agency – will ensure that independent certification bodies can competently assess and recognize such clean and green farms.

The guidelines to ensure produce from local vegetable farms is grown sustainably and free from pesticides – known as the Singapore Standard (SS) 661: Specification for Clean and Green Urban Farms – were launched earlier in March.

It contains criteria that urban farms have to meet in terms of minimizing contaminants in the food production process, as well as sustainable practices on resource and waste management.

Mr. Allan Lim, the founder of Comcrop, said receiving such an accreditation will be “very useful” for local farms in terms of competing with imports and helping to ensure profitability.

But while technology and sustainable farming practices are already underway at the home-grown urban farm, Mr. Lim still expects the new standard to be a challenge to implement.

“Despite the amount of technology and automation and energy efficiency that we have put in place, there is the part about training our (team’s) ability to adapt to the more stringent requirement, and that would take time as we are now already in operational mode,” he said.

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