New playbook guides food manufacturers in adopting sustainable practices
Share this article:

: New playbook guides food manufacturers in adopting sustainable practices

In launching EnterpriseSG's playbook for food manufacturers, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu urges the sector to cut down on food and packaging waste.

SINGAPORE’S food manufacturers who are keen to adopt sustainable practices and develop relevant capabilities can now refer to an industry-specific, step-by-step playbook developed by Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG).

Launched by Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu on Tuesday (Nov 28), the playbook contains checklists that recommend key strategies for food manufacturers to incorporate more sustainable practices.

It focuses on three areas: optimising resources; food waste valorisation, which refers to the conversion of food waste or by-products into higher-value items; and the adoption of sustainable packaging.

The playbook falls under the purview of EnterpriseSG’s Enterprise Sustainability Programme, which has also launched other sustainability-related guides.

Speaking at a seminar held at Republic Polytechnic, Fu urged food manufacturers to cut down on food and packaging waste.

“By reducing the amount of resource we use and the carbon footprint that we create, the payback will come in cost savings, better asset utilisation, lower utility bills and better resource resilience,” she said.

To fund their transition to sustainability, food manufacturers can tap existing government schemes, she added.

These include EnterpriseSG’s Energy Efficiency Grant, which provides up to 70 per cent funding support for businesses in the food services, food manufacturing and retail sectors to adopt pre-approved, energy-efficient equipment.

Local rice vermicelli producer People Bee Hoon Factory took a page from the playbook, which indicates that food manufacturers can optimise resources by adopting energy-efficient equipment, while also working to improve operational productivity.

After installing solar panels on the roof of its facility in August last year, it generated some 30 per cent of its electrical needs through solar power. That is equivalent to 138 tonnes of carbon emissions savings, or planting 189 trees.

Frozen dessert maker Ice Cream & Cookie Co reduced its water consumption by investing in a 3,000-litre water recirculation tank when kitting out its new facility in Pandan Loop last year. Water, used during the production process for heating and cooling purposes, was previously single use.

By installing a recirculation tank, the water could instead be pumped back into the tank and reused, resulting in utilities savings of around S$15,000 monthly, the company’s founder and managing director Natasha Chiam told The Business Times.

On the food waste valorisation front, food manufacturers could capture new opportunities by repurposing by-products, such as spent grain from brewing beer or soya bean pulp left over from tofu production, into new food products.

Home-grown soya milk producer Mr Bean, which produces 100 tonnes of soya bean pulp annually as a by-product, recycled some 5 per cent of the food waste – which would otherwise have been discarded – into granola bars.

Fu also encouraged food manufacturers to adopt the use of sustainable food packaging. By doing so, they can reduce packaging waste, appeal to environmentally-conscious consumers, and pre-empt new packaging regulations being rolled out internationally, the minister said.

Source: The Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.