1. What is the Citizens’ Workgroup on Increasing Demand for Local Produce about?
The Citizens’ Workgroup on Increasing Demand for Local Produce is part of the Government’s efforts to partner Singaporeans to co-create and co-deliver solutions. The Workgroup will study and recommend ways to increase the local consumption of food produced from our local farms, such as vegetables, fish and eggs. Click here for more information on our challenges.
The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) and Singapore Food Agency (SFA) are recruiting Singaporeans to form a Citizens’ Workgroup. The Workgroup will work with MEWR and SFA to co-create solutions on increasing demand for local produce.
Participants will be given access to background information about the agri-food industry and local produce in Singapore. They will also be given access to relevant information like consumer perception survey findings as well as subject matter experts who can share their expertise and help with the piloting and implementation of solutions.
Through the Citizens’ Workgroup, we aim to go beyond consulting citizens, to working together with citizens. After the sessions are over, we encourage participants to continue working with us and our partners to make their recommendations a reality.
This Workgroup follows from the success of MEWR’s first Citizens’ Workgroup in 2019, which worked on improving the way households recycle. Click here to find out more about the #RecycleRight Citizens’ Workgroup.
2. Who will make up the Workgroup?
We are selecting around 50 citizens and Permanent Residents (PRs) from diverse backgrounds. These citizens may include those who actively buy local produce, those who do not buy local produce and those who are keen to buy local produce but feel that they do not have enough information to do so. The aim is to work with a diverse group of citizens to co-create solutions for citizens, by citizens.
We welcome partners or individuals active in the agri-food scene and industry to be involved in the Workgroup as subject matter experts. The Workgroup participants will benefit from your experience and technical knowledge, to ensure that their recommendations are well-informed and robust. Partners and active individuals can volunteer to be subject matter experts by emailing MEWR_Feedback@mewr.gov.sg.
MEWR will call on the subject matter experts based on the requirements of the Citizens’ Workgroup.
3. Can I be in the Citizens’ Workgroup if I am not a Singaporean?
You must be a Singaporean or PR to be eligible. Non-Singaporeans are welcome to volunteer for involvement as a subject matter expert if they have the relevant expertise.
4. Who is organising the Citizens’ Workgroup on Increasing Demand for Local Produce?
The Citizens’ Workgroup is organised by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources and the Singapore Food Agency.
5. Why is it important to increase demand for local produce?
It is estimated that by 2050, there will be a 56% shortfall in food nutrition as global food supplies face increasing risks from extreme weather changes and poor land management. As 90% of food in Singapore is imported, external factors can threaten the availability and affordability of food in Singapore. These factors may include global disease outbreaks and domestic food supply shortages in our major import countries.
If we can increase demand of local produce in Singapore, our local farmers will be encouraged to increase their productivity and supply to meet the increased demand and ensure a consistent source of food for Singapore consumers.
6. Where and when will the Citizens’ Workgroup meet for discussions?
Participants in the Citizens’ Workgroup must attend all four full-day sessions, which will be held on the following Saturdays:
- 27 June 2020, 9am to 5pm
- 18 Jul 2020, 9am to 5pm
- 29 Aug 2020, 9am to 5pm
- 19 Sep 2020, 9am to 5pm
Discussions will be conducted in English. Outside of these four sessions, participants are free to hold informal discussions amongst themselves.The Citizens’ Workgroup will be held in MEWR’s premises, located at 40 Scotts Road, Singapore 228231. The venue is within walking distance from Newton MRT station.
7. How is the Citizens’ Workgroup different from previous consultations or Focus Group Discussions?
Consultations and Focus Group Discussions are usually conducted within a day. Participants exchange ideas and give feedback to the facilitators, without the need to reach a consensus.The Citizens’ Workgroup will meet for several sessions over a longer period of time. Participants need to work with one another to investigate various solutions (while hearing from experts) and reach a group consensus on the recommendations to be submitted to MEWR and SFA. Some participants may choose to work beyond the sessions to come up with more in-depth recommendations, which may be supported by pilot trials.The Citizens’ Workgroup’s recommendations will be published. MEWR and SFA will provide a response to the recommendations and work with the participants to implement them where feasible.
8. What is the end outcome? How does it benefit me?
Singapore consumers are aware of local produce in Singapore. A Government poll in 2018 found that up to 76% indicate that they have purchased local produce before. However, purchasing local produce is still not top-of-mind among consumers. We hope that the recommendations by the Citizens’ Workgroup will go some way in helping to enhance top-of-mind awareness amongst consumers to choose local produce when grocery shopping.Participating in the Citizens’ Workgroup will provide you with a deeper understanding of Singapore’s agri-food landscape. It will allow you to partner the Government in co-creating meaningful solutions which can make an impact on our environment. You will also have the opportunity to build new partnerships with other citizens with shared values. Collectively, we can build a more active and gracious community.
9. Are there any monetary incentives?
We will cover transport expenses for all four sessions of the Citizens’ Workgroup. Breakfast, lunch and light refreshments will also be provided.
10. Sounds good – when and where do I sign up?
Please register your interest by completing the form here by 31 March 2020.
11. When will I know if I have been selected?
We will inform you by May 2020 if you are selected.
12. Who can I contact if I require further assistance?
Please email MEWR_Feedback@mewr.gov.sg if you have further queries.