Get tough on unlicensed home bakers

I recently entered the food and beverage industry and opened a bake shop. I noticed that there are many home bakers who do not have a National Environment Agency (NEA) food shop licence, yet are selling their products to the public.

This puts those who comply with the regulations at a disadvantage, as we are competing with a higher cost, which includes rental, utility bills and licence fee.

While I understand that those without a licence can sell small amounts of their goods to friends and relatives, there are several who sell their goods to companies or prepare a spread for functions.

How is NEA enforcing its regulations and is it trying to control the spread of unlicensed home bakers who are selling to the public?

I hope the NEA will comment. Otherwise, many bake shops such as mine will not be able to compete with the big players, who have more resources, or low-cost home bakers.

Eventually, the licensed bake shops might just close and join the home bakers. After all, if you can't beat them, why not join them?

Chong Siew Yen (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 17, 2016, with the headline 'Get tough on unlicensed home bakers'. Print Edition | Subscribe