Incentives for businesses can help

As a Singaporean, I am happy to know that Singapore has been ranked the second-most food-secure country in the world ("Farms tap $63m fund to boost yields"; Oct 30).

However, the problem of food waste is undermining efforts to ensure our food security.

According to the National Environment Agency, 687,200 tonnes of food waste were disposed of last year.

A significant factor could be the overstocking of food supplies by businesses such as supermarkets and restaurants.

Food wastage occurs when extra food or soon-to-expire food is thrown away, due to food management practices.

What can be done is for these businesses to donate the food to Institutions of a Public Character (IPC), such as Food Bank Singapore.

These IPCs could then redistribute the food to people in need.

However, companies may be hesitant about donating unwanted food, as additional costs may be incurred.

Hence, incentives such as tax deductions could be provided to companies which participate in this initiative.

By donating unwanted food, not only will we be helping fellow Singaporeans who are in need of food, but also, as a country, we will be doing our part to reduce food waste.

Mathias Joel Joshua

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 12, 2015, with the headline 'Incentives for businesses can help'. Print Edition | Subscribe