To raise public awareness of the merits of local produce, AVA debuted an outreach programme targeted at workplaces in March 2015. A food truck was deployed to three bustling business locales, where the working crowd learned more about the home-grown eggs, fish, and vegetables that were used in dishes they tasted.
Following the success of our food truck roadshows, AVA partnered the bilingual radio station '88.3 Jia FM' to reinforce our local produce messages on-air in April 2015. As part of the radio programme, listeners were invited to take part in an 'Office Invasion' contest on behalf of the companies they are working at. Three selected listeners and colleagues at their offices enjoyed free lunch bentos distributed by the radio deejays and AVA officers.
Altogether, we reached out to about 120 working professionals at these three offices. Prepared by Han's Café & Bakery, the bento boxes boasted a wide variety of dishes made using locally farmed eggs and vegetables. At lunch, the radio deejays engaged the participants through games and quizzes to highlight the benefits of local produce. AVA officers also gave short introductions on our initiatives to promote local produce.
Response from participants was very encouraging. Many were keen to find out more on where they can purchase local produce and how to identify them. Those who missed this radio programme and contest can also have a taste of local produce during the Singapore Restaurant Month, or find these fresh foods in FairPrice outlets.
As the public grows more aware and supportive of local produce, restaurants in Singapore are also catching onto the trend. In February 2015, AVA collaborated with students from the Nanyang Technological University on a month-long programme where 10 restaurants created a wide selection of dishes using local produce.
Local produce will take centre stage again from 1 July to 10 August 2015; this time on a bigger scale. In commemoration of Singapore's golden jubilee, 50 restaurants have committed to featuring a special dish using local produce in their menus. From heritage names to restaurant chains and new-generation establishments, the Singapore Restaurant Month presents diners with both traditional and innovative dishes from international cuisines.
On the objective of this festival, Mr Andrew Tjioe, President of the Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS), said: "We hope to spread awareness about the quality of local produce at both industry and consumer levels, enticing F&B operators to consider local produce when it comes to ingredients procurement."
The Singapore Restaurant Month is organised by RAS with support from AVA, Singapore Tourism Board, and Union Pay. For a list of participating restaurants, visit www.singaporerestaurantmonth.com.
Pick fresh, get local! Choosing local produce means we get the freshest food, as the time involved from harvest to table is shortened. At the same time, we are also supporting our farmers and the environmental call to reduce carbon footprints.
In an effort to encourage consumers to choose local produce, AVA worked with NTUC Fairprice Co-operative Ltd to install educational materials in over 100 FairPrice supermarkets, FairPrice Finest, and FairPrice Xtra outlets. Shoppers will find attractive signs and posters put up in stores to help them identify home-grown fishes, eggs, and vegetables easily.
Keep a lookout for these signs and types of local produce when you next visit these outlets!