Singapore moves a step closer to local food resilience with groundbreaking of Sats food hub

Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong (second from right) observing a robot at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Sats Food Hub. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
Guests looking at meals at the groundbreaking ceremony at the Sats Food Hub on April 7, 2022. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
The Sats Food Hub will be part of Singapore's wider food manufacturing ecosystem. PHOTO: SATS

SINGAPORE - Airport services firm Sats will be building a $150 million food hub in the Jurong Innovation District, as part of Singapore's ambition to enhance food resilience and self-reliance.

It is the first food industry player to join the advanced manufacturing district.

The Sats Food Hub will be part of Singapore's wider food manufacturing ecosystem, which includes research institutes, agrifood tech start-ups, accelerators and trade associations.

In a speech at the groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday (April 7), Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong said that advances in technology and innovation will transform the way food is grown and produced.

This will help Singapore "grow more with less" in a sustainable manner, and attain the country's 30 by 30 vision, he added.

"As a small and resource-constrained nation, food security and resilience have always been Singapore's priority.

"This has been brought into sharper focus in the face of global challenges, such as climate change, supply chain constraints, and more recently, the outbreak of Covid-19 and the Ukraine war," he said, adding that the vision is for Singapore to become a leading food and nutrition hub in Asia.

Sats Food Hub is expected to be completed by 2024, and the five-storey building will house, among other things, facilities for food manufacturing, production kitchens, innovation lab, and a warehousing and logistics centre.

The company said the project will bring together all of its expertise in food production - culinary, food technology, supply chain, innovation, sustainability, digitalisation, food safety and nutrition - to transform current food production processes.

It will also expand the Sats Global Innovation Centre (SGIC) to the hub. SGIC is a network that includes Sats innovation hubs in Singapore and Britain.

Sats said locating the hub in the Jurong Innovation District will allow it to tap the advanced manufacturing hub's close connectivity to food tech start-ups, small- and medium-sized enterprises and institutions of higher learning.

The site where Sats Food Hub is being built in Jurong Innovation District. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Mr Kerry Mok, president and chief executive of Sats, said the company aims to help local businesses it is working with to innovate and scale their operations cost-effectively to compete internationally.

"Sats Food Hub's location in Jurong Innovation District allows us to tap Singapore's innovation ecosystem to develop new products and services.

"Automating our meal production processes changes the landscape significantly to benefit our customers, suppliers and business partners.

"It will enable us to implement hi-tech food production to achieve cost efficiency, strengthen operational resilience and create greater opportunities for upskilling our people," added Mr Mok.

As part of a plan to achieve long-term food security, Singapore has set the 30 by 30 goal: to produce enough food here to meet 30 per cent of the country's nutritional needs by 2030.

Currently, less than 10 per cent of food is grown locally.

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