YOUth should know: 5 things about Singapore’s eggs sources
With the addition of Indonesia, 18 countries and regions are accredited as a source of hen eggs for Singapore.
Eggs, a popular pre-gym protein source when eaten raw and a staple cooking ingredient in Asian cuisine, now has Indonesia as a new source of import.
The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) announced that it has accredited the country as a new source to export hen shell eggs to Singapore on Monday (Apr 3). This follows the addition of Brunei as a source of hen eggs on Dec 13, 2022.
As you visit your nearest supermarket and pick up a tray of eggs, you might be curious about the conditions for accreditation for a new source and the reasons behind the need to diversify Singapore’s import sources.
Here are the five things you should know about eggs in Singapore:
1. How many eggs does Singapore produce locally?
There are three egg farms in Singapore – Seng Choon Farm, Chew’s Agriculture and N&N Agriculture.
These farms collectively produce 30 per cent of eggs consumed in Singapore.
Singapore will see the development of a fourth egg farm by 2024. SFA has said that it is to be equipped with a state-of-the-art productive and sustainable egg facility, which will further strengthen the resilience of Singapore’s local egg supply.
According to SFA, when fully operational, local egg farms will meet about 50 per cent of Singapore’s egg demand. It will contribute towards Singapore’s 30-by-30 goal to build the agri-food industry’s capability and capacity to sustainably produce 30 per cent of Singapore’s nutritional needs by 2030.
2. How many eggs in Singapore are imported?
Imported eggs currently contribute to 70 per cent of Singapore’s total egg consumption, said SFA.
With the addition of Indonesia and Brunei, 18 countries and regions are accredited as a source of hen eggs. Some sources include Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, Spain and Poland.
3. What are the conditions required for imported eggs?
According to SFA, the eggs must have a fully developed shell and be clean, fresh and fit for human consumption.
The eggs should also be handled and packed in appropriately sanitised packaging materials and containers in a hygienic manner. A veterinary certificate dated within seven days of export must accompany the eggs exported from each farm.
Should the eggs be transported in reefer containers, the temperature must be maintained throughout such that the products would arrive in sanitary and fresh condition.
The country of import also needs to be free from high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) for the past 12 months prior to export.
4. Why is there a need to diversify Singapore’s hen egg import sources?
Factors such as climate change, disease outbreaks, and geopolitical tensions can disrupt food supplies.
As a globally connected economy that imports more than 90 per cent of food, it is inevitable that Singapore encounters food disruptions from time to time.
An example of an import source being affected is Malaysia’s chicken export ban on Jun 1, 2022, when SFA had worked closely with importers and distributors beyond Malaysia to maintain Singapore’s chicken supply.
While SFA continues to work with the industry to facilitate source diversification, consumers can also play their part by being open and flexible with their food choices and alternative brands or forms of food available.
5. Are imported eggs safe for consumption?
SFA assesses the exporting country’s disease freedom status, veterinary services, legislation, animal disease status and control measures, national residue and microbiological monitoring programmes, as well as the regulatory system for the production of the export products to Singapore.
For example, eggs and poultry can only be imported from Avian Influenza-free areas. This assessment is done in collaboration with the Animal & Veterinary Service, a cluster of the National Parks Board.
Upon approval, imported food from the accredited sources will be subjected to SFA’s inspection at point of import and testing.
Eggs and egg products that do not meet SFA’s food safety standards will not be allowed to enter the market.