SINGAPORE — For the first time, Indonesia has been approved to export frozen, chilled, and heat-processed chicken meat and products to Singapore.
Chickens from approved Indonesian establishments can now be exported to the city-state, in addition to existing sources such as Brazil, Thailand, and Australia, said the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) on Tuesday (30 June) in a Facebook post.
"This timely accreditation is made possible through great efforts and close collaboration by SFA, Animal & Veterinary Service (a cluster of NParks), and the Indonesian authorities," it added.
According to a trade circular issued by the authority on the same day, three establishments in Indonesia have currently been approved for such exports: PT Charoen Pokphand Indonesia – Food Division, PT Ciomas Adisatwa – Plant Pemalang, and PT Charoen Pokphand Indonesia, TBK.
Chickens can only be imported from sources accredited by SFA to ensure that they have the required systems, processes, and capabilities to supply chicken that can meet Singapore's food safety and animal health standards.
Individual establishments and farms would also need to be evaluated and approved. The accreditation assessment involves detailed documentary evaluations and on-site audits for verification.
The consignments would also be subjected to SFA’s inspection, sampling, and testing upon import.
"Having a new source for imports of frozen, chilled, heat-processed chicken meat and chicken meat products is another step forward in SFA’s efforts towards diversifying food supply sources and enhancing the resilience of Singapore’s food supplies," said SFA.
"This will better safeguard us against global supply uncertainties."
Move comes after Malaysia's ban on chicken exports
The move comes after Malaysia – one of Singapore's biggest importers of chicken meat and products – had on 1 June banned chicken exports, in a bid to stabilise production and prices in the country due to a domestic shortage of chickens.
It partially eased curbs two weeks later for the exports of live kampung and black chicken.
The ban remains for broiler chickens, larger birds reared in commercial operations, which are the types most commonly exported to Singapore. Chicken rice hawkers and wet market poultry sellers in Singapore mainly sell such chickens.
Kampung chickens and black chickens are smaller varieties of chickens that are considered premium and more expensive varieties, as netizens found out when NTUC FairPrice listed two organic kampung chickens for S$72.27.
Of Singapore’s chicken imports totalling about 214,400 tonnes last year, about a third, or almost 73,000 tonnes, were from Malaysia. Almost all of the Malaysian imports were live chickens, which were slaughtered and chilled in Singapore.
Singapore also imports chickens from countries such as Brazil and the US, but a majority of these are usually frozen. Chilled chickens are also imported from Australia and Thailand.
"Diversification has been a cornerstone of Singapore’s food security strategy. The government has been undertaking long-term planning and proactively taking action to safeguard Singapore’s food supply," said SFA.
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