With the human population forecast to hit 10 billion by 2050, the environment and our food system are coming under intense pressure.
Hence it is imperative for the food industry to be sustainable, believes Amarjit Sahota, founder of research consultancy Ecovia Intelligence, which organised the Sustainable Foods Summit 2020 conference in March that focuses on the ethical sourcing and traceability of food.
He says: “There is a growing realisation that agriculture and food production are directly or indirectly linked to many of the problems facing the planet – greenhouse gases, biodiversity loss, deforestation, plastic pollution, and so forth. Because of this, sustainability is becoming an intricate part of the food industry.”
At the same time, consumers have a role to play and need to make the right consumption choices, says Janissa Ng, senior manager, content & engagement, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Singapore. Giving the example of sourcing locally, she adds: “Choose food items that are produced locally or sourced within the region to reduce our personal carbon footprint. By making sustainable lifestyle choices, we are also helping to support businesses that are responsible with the environment.”
But true sustainability extends beyond merely reducing greenhouse gas emissions, avers Yeo Pei Shan, co-founder of UglyFood. “It is important for Singaporeans to be aware of sustainable foods and know what they are eating. This is because eating is an everyday activity, and each day we are taking a step closer to depleting earth’s resources and supporting certain agricultural activity.”
Wong Jing Kai, founder of seafood-to-table restaurant Scaled, concurs: “While not the whole of Singapore will be able to switch overnight, everyone should take baby steps forward.”
NSMAN takes a look at how some local F&B businesses go sustainable.