The announcement was made today by Lee Yi Shyan, Minister for Trade & Industry and National Development, at the opening of the Asia Pacific Food Expo 2011, in Singapore.
The aim of the food processing initiative is to enhance productivity of manufacturing bases, ensure high value added products are made through consumer-led innovation and build a skilled workforce.
Minister Shyan said: “Our food industry enjoys a good reputation here and overseas. Its reputation is built upon high quality and safety. Years of consistent investments have helped the industry to reach $3 billion in export volume. To grow larger, our companies must continue to create value through innovation and higher productivity.”
The strategy will be led by government agency Spring Singapore, an organisation that focuses on encouraging enterprise growth throughout the country.
Spring said that it will be able to put resources in place to help food manufacturers achieve improvements in operational efficiency.
This will be done through the use of local industry experts who have knowledge in streamlining and workflow re-design, it said.
The agency added: “Given the small domestic market, driving exports is a key lever to productivity improvements as it increases demand and production volume. This in turn will help manufacturers achieve economies of scale.”
It will also help companies strengthen workforce, including at business leadership and management level.
He said: “Spring will help the industry to develop a pool of productivity champions, consultants and managers to help effect changes within companies in adopting productivity initiatives and programmes.”
Spring noted: “A skilled workforce is imperative for continued growth.”
The Singapore Food Manufacturers’ Association (SFMA) will also play a key role in setting up initiatives to support companies.
Singapore’s Food Innovation Resource Centre (FIRC) will also be accessible to food companies, providing the service and expertise to create new product concepts and formulations.