Vacant premises in Pasir Panjang can be alternative distribution site for food supplies: Grace Fu

Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu (right) during a visit to the former Pasir Panjang Distripark on July 27, 2021. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF SUSTAINABILITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

SINGAPORE - The former Pasir Panjang Distripark has been identified as a possible alternative temporary distribution site in the event of disruption to Singapore's food supply chain.

Announcing this during a visit to the now-vacant premises at 151 Pasir Panjang Road on Tuesday (July 27), Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu said Covid-19 clusters can cause short-term disruption to the operations of Singapore's fishery ports and distribution centres.

This was the case on July 17, when Jurong Fishery Port was closed due to a Covid-19 cluster.

People were later seen snapping up fish in wet markets, while fish suppliers took to social media to announce that they would not be taking new orders. Some market stalls selling fish sold out early for the day.

On Monday, Ms Fu told Parliament that an alternative site was being made available for use in the event of any future closure of the fishery ports or Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre.

She said at the site on Tuesday: "In our food supply chains, our fishery ports and Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre are important nodes - fishery ports for fish, and Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre for vegetables and fruits."

She added that the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) had identified the vacant premises in Pasir Panjang as a place that could be activated on very short notice.

It has good facilities - such as an unused warehouse with a large area for loading and unloading - that make it suitable for logistics activities. There are also large carparks surrounding it.

It covers about 5ha - the size of seven football fields - similar to Jurong Fishery Port. SFA said the site has been vacant since 2017.

Ms Fu said: "This is a way to ensure our supply chain remains resilient despite having cases and quarantine orders disrupting our supply chain activities. We're always ready to see how we can support our food industry, so that the supply of food continues to meet the needs of Singaporeans."

In a Facebook post later, she added: "Even as we look forward to the reopening of Jurong Fishery Port, we need to be prepared and respond swiftly to prevent disruption to our food supply chain. I thank my colleagues from SFA for working very hard behind the scenes to make these necessary arrangements."

  • Additional reporting by Adeline Tan

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